...or why books and tv rank higher than sleep

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Movie Review: The American

 I was so excited to see The American. The trailer made it seem like it was along the lines of The Bourne Identity only with George Clooney. How can you go wrong with that?
  I was feeling a bit down and figured this would be an excellent cheer up. I should have known since I didn't recognize the director or any of the cast that something was off about the movie, but again- George Clooney was in it. Oh George how you disappointed me. This was a foreign movie!
   Don't get me wrong, I enjoy foreign movies. I just like to know in advance that's what I'm watching. What was wrong with the movie was the lack of plot and character development. We don't know who George is. We don't know why he has an interest in butterflies. We don't know why people are after him. It was a jumbled mess that didn't translate well into American cinema and not even George Clooney's charm could fix it.

Rating: (It pains me to say this) 1 eyeglass

Monday, September 27, 2010

Check out my Guest Post

Amelia from The Authoress, one of my favorite blogs, asked me to do a guest post for her on a memorable book. I spent a lot of time going back and forth trying to decide which one to write about (I almost chose The Little Prince) until I decided on Anne of Green Gables.

 Please check out The Authoress, and my guest post which is dedicated to my very best friend that I miss dreadfully since she moved away.

Thanks again Amelia for asking me. I had a great time going through my book memories. :-)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review - The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

First: An apology for being absent. I'm taking 5 classes this semester, plus a full time job, and some personal issues. I haven't had much time to breathe the past couple of weeks, let alone actually blog. Now that I have a grasp on my schedule, I hope to post twice a week if not more.

 Coming up I have a fantastic give-away and review of the next installment of The Snipesville Chronicles by Annette Laing. I should be finished reading it very soon and so far it's even better than the first! Stay Tuned!

Now on to the review...

Gregory, Phillipa. The Red Queen. Simon & Schuster NY. August 2010. 382pp. ISBN1416563725
Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. But worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.
Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York’s daughter. As the political tides constantly move and shift, Margaret charts her own way through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. She feigns loyalty to the usurper Richard III and even carries his wife’s train at her coronation.
Widowed a second time, Margaret marries the ruthless, deceitful Thomas, Lord Stanley, and her fate stands on the knife edge of his will. Gambling her life that he will support her, she then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time—all the while knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and now waits for his opportunity to win the greatest prize.

   I didn't know how Philippa Gregory was going to tackle a woman who was so disliked, who history has virtually ignored. This is a very cold and calculating woman with very little for the reader to sympathize with. And Gregory doesn't seem to make any effort to turn her into a sympathetic character. I appreciated that because doing so would throw away any ounce of credible historical fiction.

  I found the book to be slow going at first, and much more violent than The White Queen. For those expecting it to be as romantic as the Gregory novels normally are will be disappointed. This is a woman that is too pious for something as human as love. Still, it was an interesting look at a period of time and a figure most historical fiction writers ignore. It served as a good follow up to The White Queen and I'm looking forward to the next in the trilogy.

  For those interested in reading more about the war of the roses and the characters in this book, I highly recommend The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

Rating: 3 and a quarter eyeglasses

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When I'm Not Reading

"When I'm not reading" is a Thursday meme hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader . This is one of my favorite memes because it gives insight into bloggers beyond what they read.

  This is back to school week, so when I'm not reading chances are I'm in the classroom. I work full time and I'm taking 5 classes this fall: The Crusades, Managing Archives and Special Collections, Historical Anthropology, Cataloging, and Public Librarianship. Yes, I am pretty sure I am out of my mind but it's how it worked out for me this semester.
   I probably won't be posting too many reviews this semester because the assigned reading for Crusades alone is pretty intense, but I will certainly be reading modern books as much as I can to temper the tedious assigned reading.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Call For Guest Posters

Hi Everyone!
   I am looking for some guest contributors for banned book week. I'd love to have a few bloggers write about their favorite banned book, or how a banned book affected them. If you're interested, shoot me a note at bookwormgal29@gmail.com

You don't have to have a blog to participate.


Very Delayed Posting, but... I Got Another Award!!

Heather from Buried in Books gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks so much Heather, and stay safe this weekend!!(she's potentially in the path of Earl).
     I am passing this award on to these very deserving bloggers:


Jessica @ A Fanatic's Book Blog

Bella & Annabelle @ A Girl Reads a Book

Laura @ Words from the Tampa Bookworm

Margo @ The Fourth Musketeer

Steph @ The Thoughts of a Book Junky

Steph @ Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust  (warning: this blog is for the over 18 crowd)

Hop and Follow - Sept 3rd

It's time for Crazy For Book's Book Blogger Hop. This week's question is:

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I actually really don't. I will be more drawn to a book if I like the cover, but I don't recall ever turning a book away because I didn't like it. The synopsis and the first couple of pages are what is important to me; the cover art is just someone else's different taste.

It's also Friday Follow day over at Parajunkee's View.

This week she is featuring Candace at Candace's Book Blog so please check her out.

Parajunkee's question this week is:

what is your favorite brick and mortar bookstore?

I love love love The Book Barn in Niantic, CT. It's over an hour away from my house but I try to get there at least 2-3 times a year. Niantic is in such a beautiful area, so the drive is definitely worth the trip alone. The location isn't the only reason why I adore The Book Barn. They have hundreds of thousands of books divided into different buildings with names like: Hades, and The Last Page. There are cats roaming around and lots of places where you can sit and read indoors and outdoors. I love it because of the whimsy it exudes as well as the incredible collections of books for very reasonable prices. Almost all of my antique books are from here, including my 2nd edition Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott.
   This place really isn't for the faint hearted. They have such a high turnover rate that it is all but impossible to walk in, grab a book you were looking for, and walk out. The books you are looking for could be anywhere, so browsing and rambling is going to happen. That is a bad thing for my wallet because inevitably I buy bags of books. Hence why I only go a few times a year!

Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Maizel, Rebecca. Infinite Days (Vampire Queen Series 1). St.Martens Press. Aug 2010. ARC.  ISBN0312649916


"Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you...no one."
Those were some of Rhode's last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face.
It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste.
Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.
I never expected to fall in love with someone else that wasn't Rhode.
But Justin was...daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream.
I never expected to be sixteen again...then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me...


 My friend Nicole picked this up for me at ALA annual and I was so happy to read a vampire book that wasn't all sighing and Twilighty. In this book vampires are evil, bloodthirsty, and fearsome creatures. This book is about what happens when you get to become human again after centuries of being a vampire. Lenah is torn between her past and present. She misses Rhode and struggles to abandon herself to her humanity.
     This is a very well written book, with a very clever and imaginative plot. Lenah was an original. As a reader I could really feel Lenah's struggle and her fear that she will once again lose her humanity. The plot is original and Lenah is a well developed character.
     Once again, this is a YA book where the males just aren't as well developed. I don't understand why Lenah fell so hard for Justin. He was a selfish, self-absorbed, jerk. He was mean to her and he was mean to her friend Tony. Tony was probably the best developed character, so much so that I couldn't believe Lenah picked Justin over him!
    The biggest gripe I have about the book is that lack of detail given to her coven. Why would they stop at nothing to find her when they realized she wasn't coming back? Why was Vicken so obsessed? All in all my complaints are pretty minor and don't affect the enjoyment of the book. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 4 eyeglasses

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Booking through Thursday and When I'm not Reading

This week's BTT question is:

Even though it’s usually a mistake (grin) … do movies made out of books make you want to read the original?

If I loved the movie and I haven't read the books, then yes absolutely. The most recent example of this was Eat Pray Love. I poo-poo'ed the book until I saw the movie. I also read The Prestige because I loved the movie. That was a case where the movie was better than the book for me.

When I'm not reading, and if it's Thursday, I can be found at "Dinner and a Story". That's what my cousins, uncle, and I have nicknamed dinner with my Grandmother. I'm heading there in about a half an hour.

Basically 2 of my cousins, sometimes my sister, my uncle, and I meet at my grandmother's apartment for dinner. It's like fulfilling the visitation quota with reinforcements. Not that visiting my grandmother is any way a chore - she's a sassy broad who in no way acts her age (she doesn't care for old people).We eat, laugh, and have a conversation about pretty much anything.

 At some point during the conversation my Grandmother (who can't hear very well but refuses to admit it) interrupts with a story about something that really had nothing to do with what we were talking about. If you let her ramble on she will eventually tell us some long forgotten family dirt. Sometimes she'll go on about people in the family we have never met before. Huck Carlstrom is our favorite person she goes on about that we've never met.

It's a fun time and really nice to spend time with my family. I often feel as though I am the black sheep because I don't get invited much to last minute family get togethers. these thursdays make me feel included and I'm sad when I can't go for stretches of time because of my class schedule.

So... check out Missie's Meme over at The Unread Reader She's featuring Jennifer @ Reading with Tequila and her love of zombie movies!

Review: Speed Dating with the Dead

Nicholson, Scott. Speed Dating with the Dead. Haunted Computer Books. E-book.2010. 274pp

When Wayne "Digger" Wilson hosts a paranormal conference at the haunted White Horse Inn, he has motives beyond searching for the inn's legendary ghosts.
Years ago, he made a honeymoon promise to his wife Beth that if one of them died, the survivor would return to the White Horse to summon the other's lost spirit. Now she's dead and Digger's back, with the daughter they conceived during that fateful honeymoon sixteen years before. And the ghost hunters are stirring up ancient evils that were better left in peace, because the inn's basement is home to a circle of demons that have been waiting for Wayne to return.
They want his teenage daughter Kendra, and they'll play whatever tricks they need in order to satisfy their dark desires. And at the White Horse Inn, not even angels can be trusted . 

Mr. Nicholson was nice to send me the e-book version of this book and The Red Church (review will be forthcoming). I was particularly intrigued to read this book after learning it was based on a real hotel where a paranormal conference took place.
   There is a lot going on in this book. Lots of characters with their own storyline and reasons to be at this hotel during the conference. I spent a lot of time in the beginning trying to get my bearings and figure out who was who in this book. Despite my confusion, I found myself really getting into the book fairly quickly. 
  I find a lot of horror novels to be formulaic. Certainly this one had its Rose Red and Poltergeist-like elements, but there was enough spooks and chills in the book to overcome most of the feelings of "I read this before". I particularly liked the storyline involving Kendra, the daughter of conference leader Digger. She was a solid character in a book where character development was sacrificed for scares. As a reader you can understand Kendra's struggle to believe what was occurring is more than tricks and her Dad's imagination.I would definitely want to read more books with her in it, especially if they also explore her relationship with Cody. I also enjoyed the over the top-ness of the conference guests who all had their own agenda. 
  There is a lot going on, and a lot of people to keep track of, in a relatively short (274 pp) book. I wish more was spent on character development, fewer characters, and the religious aspect of the book seemed gratuitous. I still don't understand how halo colors apply to Kendra. 
  Overall this was a fast read and a chilling book. The kind of book that will scare the beejeezus out of you if you are reading it home alone on a rainy/windy night. 

Rating: a solid 3 eyeglasses

Review: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang


The hilarious new book from the star of Chelsea Lately and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea .
Get ready for big laughs as Chelsea Handler lets loose with more comic personal essays. In this new, no-holds-barred account of life on the ridiculous side, Chelsea mines the wealth of material that is her family, her sex life, her career, and her distinctively outrageous worldview. Here is young Chelsea discovering "The Feeling" during a third-grade sleepover and getting shafted by clueless parents over Cabbage Patch dolls...and grown-up Chelsea at the mercy of the remote control, Lean Pockets, and Sex and the City --but still managing to convince her boyfriend that there are Swiss Army knives in the soles of her $16,000 shoes. Through it all, Chelsea never lets anyone off the hook, even herself, as she delivers page after page of irreverent humor, biting wit, and deliciously off-kilter entertainment.

     I've been waiting for this through my library's ILL since the book was released this spring. I was so thrilled to have it come in right when I really need to laugh. And this book makes me laugh the whole way through. Handler has a way of telling what would be considered inane stories from anyone else in a very funny manner.   
     As a huge fan of her show Chelsea Lately, I was all ready familiar with her opinions on her family and her now ex-boyfriend, but I don't think you need to be in order to appreciate her humor. Her re-telling of the wedding she went to with her ex, and the dog funeral had me laughing out loud. What really got me was the email communications between her and her siblings over her father's antics. Having a wacky family myself (although nowhere near the level of hers) I could really appreciate their interactions. 
   There were some parts of the book that seemed to drag because she had all ready told the story on her show, but overall this was a really quick read. This is definitely not a book for anyone that is offended by sarcastic and bawdy humor though.

Rating: 4 and a quarter eyeglasses.

The Winner of my 100 Follower Giveaway!!

 is Steph from The Thoughts of a Book Junky

Congrats Steph, you should be receiving your copy of Clockwork Angel and Torment soon.

Thank you everyone for participating. I am having another giveaway very soon, so please keep checking back!