Friday, March 28, 2008

Gift Shop Books

One of the things I like about visiting historical places is looking at the books in the gift shops. I often find books that I would not have found elsewhere. The gift shop at The Hermitage had a pretty good collection for me to pursue. There were, of course, several books about Andrew Jackson and other presidents, as well as general histories of the office of the president and other such things. There was a large selection of books about the Civil War. Most of the books were focused on some aspect of American History but they also had a large selection of books about tea and tea parties etc. Huh? Not exactly the subject I would have expected to be so prominently displayed at a the home of a former president. They even had a book about Jane Austen! Maybe Andrew Jackson's wife or daughter-in-law read Jane Austen!

I did not have a lot of time but did grab a few books while I was there.

The First American Cookbook by Amelia Simmons is the first cookbook published in America by an American and the first to use American ingredients like corn meal. This is a great historical document. "It reveals the rich variety of food Colonial Americans enjoyed, their tastes, cooking and eating habits, even their colorful language."
Ever hear of the cooking terms wallop, frumenty, pannikin or emptins? Me neither. Luckily there is a glossary that describes what these old cooking terms mean.

Delicacies in Proportion: An Anecdotal History of White House Entertaining by Patricia B. Mitchell gives very brief overviews of entertaining and food, including recipes, in the White House between the years 1850 and 1901.

Before Freedom and We Lived in a Little Cabin in the Yard edited by Belinda Hurmence are taken from the Federal Writer's Project interviews from the 1930s. These interviews were a part of Roosevelt's New Deal. Ex-slaves were interviewed about their homes, chores, masters, families, and celebrations during slave times. I studied some of these in school and learned then that a lot of these interviews paint an almost nostalgic picture and rarely say anything negative. This is mostly because these people were pretty old when they were interviewed and because they were being interviewed by white people so they were afraid to say anything too negative. I thought it would be interesting to read more of these than I did when I was in college. There is a third volume but I did not get it. I kinda wish I had.

I had even less time to look at the gift shop at Belle Meade and did not buy anything while I was there. In the 30 seconds I had to look, I did see one book that caught my attention and I am going to try and track down a copy of it. It is called A Diary from Dixie and it is the diary of Mary Chestnut who was the wife of an aide to Jefferson Davis. It looked pretty interesting.

Culinary Reading Challenge

I told myself that I was not going to sign up for any more reading challenges because I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and that is not the feeling I want to have when it comes to reading. Well, I found this challenge and I could not resist because it seems to have been made for me! :-)
It is called Soup's On! and is being hosted by Ex Libris.
Here is how it works:

"This challenge will run from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009. All you have to do is select six cookbooks to read* and make at least one of the recipes. These can be any cookbooks of your choice - brand new ones, old stand-bys that you can't live (or cook) without, or even heirlooms. You do not have to decide on the cookbooks ahead of time (unless you want to, of course). Then post your reviews either here or on your own blog. If you want, you can even post pictures of your creations along with your reviews!
*You don't have to read each individual recipe. Just read enough to give an overview of the book."

How fun will this be! You can go over to the challenge page and sign up if you are interested.

I have not picked at list of cookbooks yet. I will probably use The Amish Cook by Elizabeth Coblentz with Kevin Williams and a Paula Dean cookbook. I love Paula Dean and get recipes from her website all the time but have not read one of her cook books yet. Since grilling season is upon us I will probably also use Weber's Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spires of Stone

Title: Spires of Stone
Author: Annette Lyon
Genre: LDS Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 327
Date Finished: 22 March 2008
My Rating: 3 Stars

I do not read a lot of LDS fiction. One reason being that it is difficult to find LDS themed books in my neck of the woods. I'd have to buy them, which leads to the second reason I don't read a lot of LDS fiction. I don't want to spend money on a book I am not likely to enjoy, which has been my experience with most of the LDS fiction I have read.
So why did I decide to read Spires of Stone by Annette Lyon? Because, like Shannon Hale's books I have been reading a lot about this book on other people's blogs. Thanks to inter-library loan and the good people at the Davis county library in Utah, I was able to read this book without having to buy it.
So, I did not know what to expect from this book but decided I needed to keep an open mind. I'd heard it was a redux of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, my favorite Shakespeare play, so I figured I'd either hate it or love it. It turned out I just kinda liked it, but did not totally hate it.
Here is the teaser from the book:
"Bethany Hansen wasn't sure when or if she would ever see Benjamin Adams again. She also told herself that it didn't matter. But when Ben and his two brothers come home after more than two years of serving a mission to the Eastern states, her feelings of heartache and anger also return—fiercer than ever. And so do Ben's feelings for her.
Good-naturedly, Ben's brothers attempt to reunite the two, even as they separately vie for Bethany's younger sister, Hannah. What follows is a charming historical romance complete with wonderful characters and witty dialogue that explores the redemption and power of finding—and rediscovering—true love."
I did enjoy the Bethany/Ben storyline and thought Lyon did a decent job with the interpretation of the original Beatrice/Benedick story. However, I felt most of the characters were underdeveloped and flat. (This is one of the problems I have with this genre.) Claude was supposedly a ladies man who could charm anyone but he seemed dopey and uncommunicative. I've never seen a ladies man who spent so much time moping around, shuffling his feet and looking at the dirt at his feet. I only knew he was a ladies man because I was told he was. Not because that is how the character was developed.
I did not really ever get a feel for Phillip at all and I thought there were several parts of the story that did not make much sense. Like when Phillip confesses his feelings about Hannah to Claude but nothing is ever said or done about it again and they go on as if there is not this big huge elephant standing in the room. I also did not know if the brothers hated Claude or loved him. They were hitting him, calling him a loser and then were surprised when he moved out?
I did enjoy the Much Ado About Nothing overtone and was glad that the book was not preachy (another problem I have with this genre). The book seemed to be very well researched and Lyon even included a historical note at the end which was interesting.

You can go to Annette Lyon's Website to read the prologue and first two chapters of Spires of Stone.

I've sent for another LDS historical fiction book through inter-library loan. We'll see, maybe I'll start giving this genre another try.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008

I have a reading list that will probably take me a year or two to actually read, and the fact that I am constantly adding to it really won't help matters. So I've just taken the first 15 titles off my reading list to use for the Spring Reading Thing. I debated about how many books I should list. A lot of these should be quick reads, so I put 15. I Hope I will actually be able to read that many this spring!
  1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

  2. For the Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George

  3. Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson

  4. I am the Only Running Footman by Martha Grimes

  5. A Walk with Jane Austen by Lori Smith

  6. Rules by Cynthia Lord

  7. L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton

  8. Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

  9. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe

  10. It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

  11. I am a Mother by Jane Clayson Johnson

  12. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

  13. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

  14. Two Histories of England by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens

Head over to Callapidder Days to sign up with your own list.

Edited on 31 March: I am removing Upon the Mountains from the list because inter-library loan is have a difficult time locating a copy for me. I am also adding two books to the list:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

Title: Book of a Thousand Days
Author: Shannon Hale
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 306
Date Finished: 18 March 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars

"Mama used to say, you have to know someone a thousand days before you can glimpse her soul."

If I had not started blogging and reading other blogs I don't think I would have ever read a Shannon Hale book. I'd never even heard of her until I read reviews of her books on the Internet. But about 20 or so pages into my first Shannon Hale book I thought, uh-oh, I don't think I am going to like this book. I've heard so much about Shannon Hale and her books but I'm not gonna like them. The problem is that I have never been a fan of fantasy, but before I knew it I was half way through the book and totally engrossed in the story. I stayed up until after 1:00 last night so I could finish reading it.
Here is what the publisher says about Book of a Thousand Days:
"When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment. As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows."
I become engrossed in the story because I really wanted to know what was going to happen to these girls and for the most part I really liked Dashti's voice as she wrote in her diary. A great deal of the book was a bit predictable but even though I could guess what was going to happen, it did not make the story any less enjoyable to read. At times, I did feel that Dashti used language and phrases that were a bit modern and western and therefor felt foreign and misplaced in this tale. And there were some parts that seemed a bit contrived and hokey but overall I really enjoyed this book. Book of a Thousand Days is a wonderful story about love, friendship, family and loyalty for young or even not so young readers.
"More than a thousand days we've been together, more than a thousand songs I've sung for her, and only now, I think, do I see Saren truly begin to heal."
Both girls ended up just where they should have.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Book Stack Tuesday

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

Title: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From A Medieval Village
Author: Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrator: Robert Byrd
Genre: Juvenile Drama
Date Finished: 17 March 2008
My Rating: 5 Stars

Newbery Medal Winner 2008
In the forward to this wonderful collection of one-person plays, Laura Amy Schlitz said that these plays were written for the students at park School, where she works as a librarian. "They were studying the Middle Ages, and they were going at it hammer and tongs. They were experimenting with catapults and building miniature castles, baking bread and tending herbs, composing music and illuminating manuscripts. I wanted them to have something to perform."

Something to perform is exactly what she gave them! These monologues are absolutely fascinating and delightful.
One of my favorites was Thomas, the Doctor's Son.
"After the prayer, let the patient rest,
And tell his family, 'I will do my best
To fight this sickness, but I fear his fate-
It may be that you called me in too late'
Then shake your head, look serious and wise-
This sort of talk protects you if he dies.
If he recovers, it was all your skill
That brought him back to life. And that's better still."

Another was Barbary, the Mud Slinger.
"It made me think
how all women are the same-
silk or sackcloth, all the same.
There's always babies to be born
and suckled and wiped,
and worried over.
Isobel, the lord's daughter,
will have to be married,
and squat in the straw,
and scream with the pain
and pray for her life
same as me.

And thinking of that,
I added one more prayer-
sweet Jesus, come Christmas,
don't let it be twins."

I also really enjoyed Mogg, the villein's daughter, Piers, the glassblower's apprentice and Mariot and Maud, the glassblower's daughters.

This little volume is storytelling at its best. Not only do you get a wonderful, captivating story (or 22 of them in this case,) but you are also learning about the life of children in the Middle Ages. Through these monologues we learn about farming, pilgrimages, marriage, religion, freedom, hygiene and the crusades of the Middle Ages. And Schlitz definitely did not pretty-up the Middle Ages for her young audience. There are fleas, dung, polluted rivers and religious intolerance.
I can only imagine how fun it must be for school children to perform these little plays.
I can not forget to mention the wonderful illustrations by Robert Byrd. They are beautiful and fit the piece perfectly.
Brief interview with Laura Amy Schlitz on the Today Show

Friday, March 14, 2008

Jane Eyre

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Classic
Pages: 488
Date Finished: 14 March 2008
My Rating: 3 Stars

When I was about 12 years old I picked up a copy of Jane Eyre from a display at the library. It was the first "adult" book that I read. Up until then I was still reading pretty juvenile books, Babysitter's Club etc. I loved Jane Eyre and it started me on my fascination with classic books. I started to trade all my teeny-bopper books (as my dad called them) at the local paperback book store for classics like Dickens and Hemingway etc. I've always remembered Jane Eyre as a great book and listed it as a favorite. After reading it again, I can honestly say that I have no idea how my 12 year old self ever fell in love with this book, much less even finished it!
I had the hardest time reading this book. I just could not concentrate on it and often found my mind wandering and my eyes glazing over. It is a very wordy book. There were so many long passages where nothing happened. Eventually I just started skimming these passages, trying to keep myself from yelling "get. on. with. the. story!"
Jane Eyre is a very morally strong character but I just did not care for her. She was boring and seemed void of strong emotion or passion through most of the story. I also did not much care for the character of Mr. Rochester. I don't see how or why Jane fell in love with him.
It was not until the 3rd volume that I started to care but that might be attributed to the fact that I was excited to be so close to the end of the story. I did like the ending, if that means anything.

A Shameless Plug

I am pages away from finally finishing Jane Eyre. It is going to be a wonderful feeling to finally turn the last page on that book! In the mean time, I just wanted to make sure you all know how much I love Bookmarks Magazine!
"Bookmarks, a bimonthly print magazine, summarizes more than 500 book reviews a month from more than 50 major publications. Bookmarks offers the most comprehensive new book reviews anywhere in print. We also look the classics: timeless novels, histories, biographies, and more in each issue."
Go check them out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Penny from Heaven

Title: Penny From Heaven
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Newbery Honor
Pages: 288
Date Finished: 1 March 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars

Newbery Honor Book 2007
In the early 1950s, Penny is living with her widowed mom and maternal grandparents in New Jersey. Her father's large Italian family is close by and Penny spends a lot of time with them. There is a huge contrast between the two families, her mom's family is kinda boring and overprotective while her father's family is a loud and boisterous Italian family, but neither side will talk to Penny about her father.
You know there is a story there about Penny's father but there is not much build-up. No clues or teasing bits of information are given out to make you wonder what happened but since nobody will talk about him, you know something must have happened. There just was not much build up to the climax of the story and then once Penny does hear the story she accepts it and everything else that had been bothering her that summer and moves on like nothing happened. I thought the story, maybe, could have been fleshed out little bit more.
It was an enjoyable read and I especially like Penny's voice as the narrator. She captured the time period in her tone and language very well. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, especially all the Italian Aunts and Uncles, but most of them were vividly drawn and so stood out from each other.
**spoiler alert**
Holm brought out a piece of history that we don't hear much about. There seems to be so much written about the Japanese internment camps but never much about the Italian internment camps. The author's note and pictures at the end were informative and fun to look at.

Lost Memoirs Book Discussion

Barnes and Noble is hosting a book club discussion of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. Check it out if you are interested.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Reading Thing 2008

Katrina over at Callapidder Days is hosting the Spring Reading Thing challenge. Head over there to check it out. I am going to start working on my list!

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

Title: The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
Author: Syrie James
Genre: Fiction, Jane Austen
Date Finished: 27 Feb 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars

"Do you mean to say, that if I believe in your story as you have told it, then it is as good as if it were true?" (303) So asks Jane Austen's nephew in this fictional account of her life and so sums up my feelings for this book. While I know the story is fiction, it was written in such a true and believable fashion that I had to remind myself that it wasn't actually a recently discovered memoir of Jane Austen.
What fan of Jane Austen has not, at some point, lamented the fact that Cassandra Austen destroyed so many of her sister's letters? Who amongst us has not harbored a wish that maybe Cassandra had not destroyed them but just hidden them away really, really well and someday they will be unearthed? Or that some other forgotten and lost work by Jane Austen would be discovered?
That is the premise of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James. Workmen, repairing the roof at Chawton Manor house, find an old trunk bricked up in the wall of the attic. Inside the trunk they find several old manuscripts and a ring. The manuscripts turn out to be the long lost memoirs of Jane Austen.
The story takes place during a period of time when none of Jane Austen's letters remain for modern audiences to read. This gap in time has left many today wondering what was happening in Jane's life during those silent years. Syrie James gives us a beautiful tale of what could have happened during those years. "Jane Austen has given up her writing when, on a fateful trip to Lyme, she meets the well-read and charming Mr. Ashford, a man who is her equal in in intellect and temperament. Inspired by the people and places around her, and encouraged by his faith in her, Jane begins revising Sense and Sensibility, a book she began years earlier, hoping to be published at last."
I'll admit I was skeptical at first, but this is a love story befitting of Jane Austen. I felt James captured Austen's essence and style. James gave us a mature woman, secretly in love but still grounded in the reality of her time. There have been many who have attempted to write about Jane Austen or her characters but few, if any, have done such a wonderful job. James clearly knew her subject matter and blended the fact and fiction masterfully to give us a most enjoyable, romantic story.
I did have a few complaints. I felt that James took too much of this story directly from Austen's own novels and it read more like a novel than a memoir or journal. How many people writing about events that happened years earlier can remember such long chunks of dialogue?
Withstanding these two things, the novel was wonderful and I highly recommend it to anyone, whether or not they are a fan of Jane Austen.

Old Book, New Name

A few years ago I read one of many, many, many Austen sequels that are out on the market. It was the first and one of the few of this genre that I have read. It was titled "Consequences: or whatever became of Charlotte Lucas." It was a short, little volume that I read in a matter of hours. It brought together the children of most of the characters in each of Jane Austen's 6 major novels. It was a bit difficult at times to keep track of them all, but overall, I remember the story being a fun and enjoyable read.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today when lo and behold I find out a new edition of the book is out, titled "The Darcys Give a Ball."

I have added it to my reading list and look forward to reading it again. I'll put up a more complete review once I have. In the meantime, since I have read it in the past, I can say that it is one out of the many, many Austen sequels out there that I would recommend worth reading.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Book Stack Tuesday

These are the books I am planning to read this week. It is taking me forever to read Jane Eyre. Every time I sit down to read, I find myself grabbing something else, a magazine, a gardening book, anything but Jane Eyre. I am having a hard time getting into it. Once I finally get through Jane Eyre I have three books that should be quick reads to make up for the time it took me to read Jane Eyre. If I am lucky I'll get through them all and get started on another read through of Sense and Sensibility. I want to be sure I have it re-read by the time the new adaptation airs on PBS so that the story is nice and fresh in my mind.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Jane Austen Handbook

Title: The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World
Author: Margaret C. Sullivan
Genre: Non-fiction, Jane Austen
Pages: 224
Date Finished: 29 Feb 2008
My Rating: 5 Stars

This is a delightful, charming, humorous and informative book, packed with information on Regency England. As the publisher said, this book is "for all those readers who dream about living in Regency England, The Jane Austen Handbook offers step-by-step instructions for proper comportment in the early nineteenth century. You'll discover:

How to Become an Accomplished Lady

How to Run a Great House

How to Indicate Interest in a Gentleman Without Seeming Forward

How to Throw a Dinner Party

How to Choose and Buy Clothing
Full of practical directions for navigating the travails of Regency life, this charming illustrated book also serves as a companion for present-day readers, explaining the English class system, currency, dress, and the nuances of graceful living."

You'll also learn just how rich Darcy really was and how much he would be worth today. I thought Sullivan explained entail better than anything else I have ever read about the subject. I feel like I finally understand entail and the hows and whys of its use.
All of the little day to day things that made up the life of the landed gentry during Austen's life time are covered. The writing is light and easy, less scholarly and more fun but just as informative and accurate as a more scholarly book.
I loved the tongue-in-cheek references to the novels that are found throughout the book. I found this approach humorous and enjoyable and almost felt like I was sharing an inside joke between myself, Margaret Sullivan and Jane Austen. For example, when writing about child rearing, Sullivan wrote that "if all else fails, liberal slices of cake solve many child-rearing problems." Could she be referring to Mrs. Musgroves approach to her grandsons that is found in Persuasion? This is just one example of such humorous little tidbits found throughout the book.
The illustrations by Kathryn Rathke make the book even more delightful and the wonderful appendices complete the book. There you find a short bio of Jane Austen, a glossary of Regency terms, synopses of each novel, a listing of film adaptations, a bibliography and a list of web site and discussion groups.
I checked this wonderful book out from the library but will be adding it to my Jane Austen book collection soon.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Magician's Nephew

Title: The Magician's Nephew
Author: C.S. Lewis
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 208
Finished Reading: 3 March 2008
My Rating: 4 Stars

I've never read any of the Chronicles of Narnia series, shocking I know. Apparently there is a debate about the order they should be read in, by publication date or chronologically. I decided to go chronologically. I am hoping the series gets better as it goes. Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy the Magician's Nephew but I guess after hearing so much for so many years I had really high expectations.
I found the story of how Narnia was created to be very interesting. There were some biblical parallels such as Aslan creating light, water, grass, trees, animals etc. One striking difference is of course that in the Bible man is created after the image of God while in Narnia, man is not created in the image of Aslan. I have of course heard about the biblical undertones found in the Chronicles of Narnia and while I did pick up on them, I was more interested in the story of Uncle Andrew, Polly and Digory than trying analyze all that. I enjoyed it for the children's story that it is.
One my favorite parts of the story is when Uncle Andrew is getting dressed up in a strange attempt to impress Queen Jadis. I loved the line when the narrator said that children have their own kind of silliness and adults have theirs. How true!
My other favorite part was when the newly created animals in Narnia are trying to figure out what Uncle Andrew is. I was laughing my head off at that part.
An enjoyable story but fantasy is just not my thing, hence the reason I have not read any of the series before and also why I find myself giving the book a B rating.

Jane Austen, The World of Her Novels

Title: Jane Austen, The World of Her Novels
Author: Deirdre Le Faye
Genre: Literary Biography
Pages: 320
Date Finished: 7 Mar 2008
My Rating: 5 Stars

This is a beautiful book. From the cover to the pictures inside, down to the glossy pages, this a wonderful addition to any Jane Austen Book collection. There 100 illustrations and maps throughout the book with 80 of the pictures in full color.

Le Faye is an Austen scholar who has written, edited and compiled numerous works about Jane Austen and so is a great source for learning about Jane Austen and the world she occupied. This book is divided into two parts. The first part contains a short but detailed history of Jane Austen and her family. This intro into Austen herself is followed by two chapters on anything you could ever wish to know about the time period Austen lived in. Everything from the Royal Family and foreign affairs to travel, employment, fashion and shopping and servants is covered. The final section of the book covers each of Jane Austen's novels, including The Watsons and Sanditon, the two novels that Austen never completed. Le Faye describes the settings, action and even the thoughts of contemporary critics for each novel.

My biggest and really only complaint is that Le Faye spent too much time discussing the settings that the characters in the novels lived in. She seemed to go on and on for pages and pages with descriptions of various homes and places that the characters lived in.

Much of the book is written as if the reader is very familiar Jane Austen's novels. If you have not read them, there might be some confusion as to who or what Le Faye is writing about.

Decades Challenge 2008

The rules are simple:
1. Read a minimum of 8 books in 8 consecutive decades in ‘08.
2. Books published in the 2000’s do not count.
3. Titles may be cross-posted with any other challenge.
4. You may change your list at any time.

Here's my list:

Decades Challenge 2008

Young Adult Reading Challenge

Another reading challenge hosted by Thoughts of Joy that I have decided to join. I am on a Young Adult reading kick right now, so why not?

~ Choose 12 Young Adult novels
(you may switch novels at any time)
~ Link your YAC list from your blog onto Mister Linky
(and subsequent monthly reviews)
~ Read them during 2008
(you may read them at your own pace)

Here are 12 books that are already in my reading list for the year:

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

  • Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

  • The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

  • Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

  • Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

  • Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (Mar 08)

  • Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

  • It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

  • Hush by Donna Jo Napoli
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A to Z Reading Challenge

I have decided to join this reading challenge. It should be fun and interesting. Here are the books so far. I'll come back and update as the year continues.

~ align the author's last name or the title of a book (excluding "the", "a", etc.) with its corresponding letter in the alphabet
~ enter a different book for each author and title (total of 52 books)
~ complete the alphabet lists anyway that suits your fancy
(i.e.: complete each list separately in alphabetical order, read both "A" entries, then "B" entries, fit whatever you're reading into either list, etc.)
~ complete the challenge in the year 2008
~ enjoy the experience!



A to Z Reading Challenge

New Book Blog

I thought it would be better to keep track of all my books, reviews and reading challenges on a blog made specifically for that purpose instead of my main blog.