Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fiscal Pear and Shimmer in the Call of River Whale

Fiscal Pear and Shimmer in the Call of River Whale
By Olivia Brooks-Scrivanich
ISBN: 1-4196-9589-4

As a reader I will admit that the title of this book caught my attention and was one of the main reasons that I decided to read this book. It just sounded silly. I kept wondering why the Pear was named Fiscal Pear. (The book does not directly answer this question by the way you just have to ponder it awhile after reading the book.) Now very quickly you realize that this book is not a slick new replica of Harry Potter or some other children’s best seller. It is a book that seems to come from bits and pieces of the Authors everyday life added to a fantasy battle between good and evil.
The characters are very simply written and not a lot of time is spent on character and story development. The writing is clear, concise, and gets to the point. The main thing that came to me as I was reading it was that I would feel completely at ease reading it aloud to a group of kids around the campfire on their first group camp-out. I found myself throughout the story imagining myself being the story teller by the fire passing this cute tale along to giggling, wiggling, 8, 9, and 10 year olds. In this book anything can happen. That is the main thing that I think this book has to offer. The story is not confined to rules. The story shifts to become what it needs to become to reach its destination.
The characters in this book find themselves able to accomplish much more than they had anticipated and that help is available to them if they just seek it out. These are important lessons that everyone needs to learn and remember. If as a reader you are looking for something that is unique and out of the ordinary I think you will find it with this book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One More Year by Sana Krasikov

By Sana Krasikov
Spiegel & Grau Publishing
ISBN: 9780385524391

I really love short stories. This book is a compilation of eight short stories all based around Russian immigrants, their lives here in the US and in some cases when they returned to Russia. Having grown up in a small town in the mid-west I was seldom given the opportunity to meet anyone who had moved here from another country so recently. Most people I knew were at least second generation like myself. When I moved to California one of the most exciting things for me was to meet people who had just recently come to this country. Each group comes with its own way of being in this world. What I have seen of people who came from Russia or surrounding countries was so much like what Sana Krasikov portrays in this book. The authenticity of the writing shouted at me.
The writing in this book was perfect. I was able to immediately get involved with each new character and by the end I felt that while the story could go on farther I was still left with the satisfaction of a complete story. Most of the main characters were women with the same struggles that women of all nationalities experience especially in a new country.
The only thing that I did struggle with in this book was also one of its greatest strengths. The stories were mostly sad and frustrating. I often left each one feeling much the way the main character was feeling. Since I tend to read mostly happy ending types of work I had to work a little harder to hang in there with this book. Like salt in a wound, however, it stings but ultimately it will assist in the healing. I think that it is important that we don’t always look at the pretty side but the things that temper humanity to make it stronger.

Tuesday Thingers July 29

This weeks question from Boston Bibliophile...

Today's question: Cataloging sources. What cataloging sources do you use most? Any particular reason? Any idiosyncratic choices, or foreign sources, or sources you like better than others? Are you able to find most things through LT's almost 700 sources?

For the most part I do my searches to catalog books with Amazon. Every so often I need to use Library of Congress numbers to catalog a book but only if it is much older. For my oldest books I have had to hand enter them I have quite a few older books in storage as well that when I get around to entering them I suspect I will have to hand enter them as well unless I can find a good antique site to help me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday Thingers for July 22

Yesterday Boston Bibliophile posted the following question. Yes, I know, I know, I am a day late.

Today's topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT's recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the "special sauce" recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?

Actually for me this is pretty easy. I have never used any of the recommendation aids on Library Thing. Since I purchase mostly non-fiction I usually do a search on Amazon to find books on the subject that I am interested in. Then I look around on all of my sources as to where I want to get my chosen book from. I also use personal recommendations a lot. Since I have been getting a lot of ARC's lately I have not been looking around much for additional reading.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This week Boston Bibliophile posts the following question:

Today's topic: Book-swapping. Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT's book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

The only book-swapping site that I use is Bookmooch. It is where I started and I have been satisfied so I have not looked anywhere else. I found out about them on LT when I was playing around one day and I thought it was such a great opportunity to find some odd out of print books I wanted and move along some that were taking up too much space. I have gotten a lot of great things from there and hopefully everyone I have sent books is happy as well. Who knew someone would love my books on the chinese language. I have had one bad experience with a person who changes there mind on wether or not they want to part with the books they offered but other than that everyone has been great. I am not participating in any discussions about swapping books. I really enjoy one more way to move books around to people who really want them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

By Penelope Przekop
Emerald Book Co. 241 pages
ISBN 978-1-934572-03-0

From the back of the book “ Twenty-One-Year-Old Narcoleptic Angel Duet knows her father harbors secrets. He loves and protects her, but his suspicious refusal to discuss her mother’s death drives Angel to worship an image created from the little history she does have: her father’s sketchy stories and her mother’s treasured photography, studies of clouds that have hung in their foyer for more than twenty years.” Now add to that a new step mother, some new friends that expose Angel to drugs and the world of homosexuality, and an affair.

When I first read the summary of what the book was about I felt a little unsure if I wanted to read it or not. It sounded not unlike a 1980’s episode of General Hospital. I obviously persisted and found this to be a really enjoyable book. To start with the cover is just beautiful. As you read the book you will also discover the meaning in the symbolism of the cover which makes you appreciate the beauty even more. The writing draws you into the story quickly with a teaser on the very first page. You immediately want to discover what it has to do with the rest of the story. The characters were all very interesting. While each of them is very different, they each share a common theme of caring about Angel. The Narcolepsy itself is more like a landscape than an illness. While I don’t know anything about narcolepsy I felt that I was educated as to what it might be like. This gave a great framework for the story to bring up many of the deeper issues that would unfold with the story. I especially liked the fact that no matter what the more apparent issues each character had they all seemed to end up struggling with the same things. This was a good thought provoking book that forces the reader to take a look at their own personal form of narcolepsy.

Here is the most recent Tuesday Thingers question posted by Boston Biliophile.

Since we're past the Fourth of July and the summer season has officially started, what are your plans for the summer? Vacations, trips? Trips that involve reading? Reading plans? If you're going somewhere, do you do any reading to prepare? Do you read local literature as part of your trip? Have you thought about using the LT Local feature to help plan your book-buying?

This coming weekend we are planning on a short trip to Sacramento to visit family. I hope to get a little bit of reading done on the drive but I don't plan on it. Since we are visiting family I really don't see much reading getting done at all. Other than that it is just work as usual. I hope that after the school year starts we might get a short camping trip in. Maybe that could be a reading holiday. Now that I think of it wouldn't it be great to have library spas. Wheat grass juice, pedicure and 1000's of books at your finger tips.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Boston Bibliophile posted the following Tuesday Thingers question:

Since some of us in America may be busy or traveling this holiday week, I thought I would keep things simple for Tuesday Thingers. Think of this as "Popularity of Books on LT, Part Three".

Here is the Top 100 Most Popular Books on LibraryThing. Bold what you own, italicize what you've read. Star what you liked. Star multiple times what you loved!

I hope all the American participants have a great Fourth of July weekend!

1. Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone by J.K. Rowling (32,484)*****

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling (29,939)*****

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) by J.K. Rowling (28,728)*****

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling (27,926)*****

5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling (27,643)*****

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling (27,641)*****

7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (23,266)

8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (21,325)***

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J.K. Rowling (20,485)*****

10. 1984 by George Orwell (19,735)

11. Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics) by Jane Austen (19,583)

12. The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger (19,082)**

13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (17,586)

14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (16,210)

15. The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (15,483)

16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (14,566)

17. Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Bronte (14,449)

18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (13,946)

19. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (13,272)

20. Animal Farm by George Orwell (13,091)

21. Angels & demons by Dan Brown (13,089)

22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (13,005)

23. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (12,777)

24. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (12,634)

25. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (12,276)

26. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (12,147)

27. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (11,976)

28. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, Part 2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,512)

29. The Odyssey by Homer (11,483)

30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (11,392)

31. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (11,360)

32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (11,257)

33. The return of the king : being the third part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,082)

34. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (10,979)****

35. American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (10,823)

36. The chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (10,603)

37. The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams (10,537)

38. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (10,435)

39. The lovely bones : a novel by Alice Sebold (10,125)

40. Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card (10,092)

41. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (9,827)

42. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman (9,745)

43. Dune by Frank Herbert (9,671)

44. Emma by Jane Austen (9,610)

45. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (9,598)

46. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bantam Classics) by Mark Twain (9,593)

47. Anna Karenina (Oprah's Book Club) by Leo Tolstoy (9,433)

48. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (9,413)

49. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (9,343)

50. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (9,336)

51. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (9,274)

52. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,246)

53. The Iliad by Homer (9,153)

54. The Stranger by Albert Camus (9,084)

55. Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (9,080)

56. Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (9,027)

57. The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (8,960)

58. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (8,904)

59. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (8,813)

60. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery - (8,764)

61. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (8,421)

62. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (8,417)

63. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (8,368)

64. The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition) by John Steinbeck (8,255)

65. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (8,214)

66. The Name of the Rose: including Postscript to the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (8,191)

67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (8,169)

68. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (8,129)

69. The complete works by William Shakespeare (8,096)

70. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (7,843)

71. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (7,834)

72. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Barbara Kingsolver (7,829)

73. Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library) by William Shakespeare (7,808)

74. Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by John Steinbeck (7,807)

75. A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (7,793)

76. The Alchemist (Plus) by Paulo Coelho (7,710)

77. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (7,648)

78. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Oscar Wilde (7,598)

79. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk (7,569)

80. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (7,557)

81. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman (7,534)

82. Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan (7,530)

83. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (7,512)

84. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (7,436)

85. Dracula by Bram Stoker (7,238)

86. Heart of Darkness (Dover Thrift Editions) by Joseph Conrad (7,153)

87. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (7,055)

88. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (7,052)

89. The amber spyglass by Philip Pullman (7,043)

90. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics) by James Joyce (6,933)

91. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Milan Kundera (6,901

92. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (6,899)

93. Neuromancer by William Gibson (6,890)

94. The Canterbury Tales (Penguin Classics) by Geoffrey Chaucer (6,868)

95. Persuasion (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (6,862)

96. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (6,841)

97. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (6,794)

98. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (6,715)

99. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (6,708)

100. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (6,697)