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Showing posts from November, 2011

James Joyce: A Life by Edna O'Brien review

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Title: James Joyce: A Life
Author: Edna O'Brien
Pulbisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
paperback, 179 pages
ISBN: 978-0-14-311993-7
Genre: Biography


Summary:
Arguably the most influential writer of the twentieth century, James Joyce continues to inspire writers, readers, and thinkers today. Now Edna O'Brien, herself one of Ireland's great writers, approaches the master as only a fellow countryman can. From Joyce's adolescence through his travels abroad to the publication ofUlysses-the scandalous masterpiece that was initially banned in the U nited States but later hailed as one of the most brilliant novels of the twentieth century-O'Brien traces the arc of Joyce's remarkable life. Her biography is a tribute, at once affectionate and stern, from a contemporary writer to one of our most significant literary ancestors.


James Joyce was an author who could easily have been classified as mad or brilliant or perhaps both. Edna O'Brien gives us a glimp…

December Giveaways Around the Blogging World

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If you have a giveaway going on, why don't you link it up here? I'll help spread the word! All you have to do fill out Mr.Linky below. Don't forget to put when your giveaway ends. If you have any questions you can email me or @ me on twitter(@2readornot2read).  Bookish giveaways only please. 

EXAMPLE of how to fill out the linky:
You have 50 characters to describe your giveaway for example:
Link title/ blog title: This is where you put what you're giving away
EXAMPLE: $10 amazon gift card, ends 10/25
Link: put a direct link to your giveaway



Nicholas: The Fantastic Origin of Santa Claus by Cody W. Urban

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After a betrayal and a stolen love, an average Roman soldier takes a path of revenge by igniting hope in the people to revolt against a corrupt governor, fulfilling his destiny to become the saint we now know as Santa Claus. Nicholas: The Fantastic Origin of Santa Claus is the epic adventure story of many Christmas tradition origins and the tale of a selfless hero who fought for children in the name of love.





Read the first chapter below. You can adjust the settings on the top to make it easier for you to view.
The book is available on many major online book retailers: Amazon | B&N
Check out Cody Urban's website here: http://www.nicholasthenovel.com/

Teaser Tuesday November 29, 2011

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Open to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that pageBE 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!

Today's teaser comes from Love Unscripted by Tina Reber. 
"From my current angle, I took in the visions of his long legs and how the back pockets of his jeans curved on his shape. And when he leaned over the table, my blue T-shirt separated from his body exposing some tight flesh on his stomach. I could see what the big draw was for his fans....and it wasn't his pool playing skills." ~31~


I'm kinda in-love with the main character, Ryan Christiansen. If you have a teaser, let me know in the comments and …

Charles Dickens: A Life by Jane Smiley review

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Title: Charles Dickens: A Life
Author: Jane Smiley
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
paperback, 212 pages
ISBN: 978-0-14-311992-0
Genre: Biography


Summary:
With delectable wit and characteristic sensitivity, Jane Smiley presents a fresh, illuminating take on the life of Charles Dickens. Smiley naturally finds a kindred spirit in the author of such classics asGreat ExpectationsandA Christmas Carol, who was not only a prolific writer but also one of the first modern "celebrities." She offers interpretations of many of Dickens's major works, exploring his narrative techniques and his innovative voice and themes. Smiley'sCharles Dickensis at once a perceptive profile of the great master and a fascinating meditation on the writing life.


My thoughts:
Chances are sometime in your life you've been introduced to Charles Dickens, weather it be from reading his novels or seeing his characters come to life on film and stage. One of his popular holiday books,…

Charles Dickens/James Joyce Giveaway

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Thanks to Penguin Books I have a copy of two fantastic biographies to giveaway. James Joyce:A Life by Edna O'Brien and Charles Dickens:A Life by Jane Smiley. I've read them both and can tell you they'd make a great addition to any home library. To enter all you need to do is fill out the form below. This giveaway is for US addresses only. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. You can enter to win both books if you'd like. Please make sure to review my giveaway policy before filling out the form. Giveaway ends December 5, 2011. If you're having trouble viewing the forms, click here for James Joyce and here for Charles Dickens.




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Kersten Hamilton Guestpost and Tyger, Tyger Giveaway

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Today Kersten Hamilton stops by to talk about the mythologies behind the Goblin Wars in her novels, Tyger, Tyger and In the Forest of the Night. If you've not read these books yet, I strongly recommend them.

Hi, Marcie! Thank you for letting me talk about the Irish—and other—mythologies behind the Goblin Wars, and why I chose them.

My Goblin Wars books fall into a subset of fantasy called mythopoeia, which incorporates mythological themes and archetypes into newly created worlds.

J.R.R. Tolkien first described the genre after he’d argued with C.S. Lewis about the value of myth. Lewis contended “myths were lies and therefore worthless, even though 'breathed through silver'.” Tolkien thought differently. He famously wrote a poem in response to Lewis: http://home.ccil.org/~cowan/mythopoeia.html

C.S. Lewis was eventually convinced of the worth of myth—the connection with True Myth in the stories of all cultures—and went on to write mythopoeia of his own.

Authors such as Tolkie…

What's Your Status? November 26, 2011

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Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week. 


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I didn't get as much reading done this weekend as I wanted but I at least finished one book.  Currently I'm reading three really good books that are really different. I'm having a hard time choosing between them.  Let me know what you're reading in the comments. 


Last week I finished: Charles Dickens: A Life by Jane Smiley
Currently I'm reading:

Next on my TBR pile:

Current Giveaways: November Giveaways Around the Blogging World
Chain Gang Elementary giveaway ends Nov. 30, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving

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I'm thankful for all you wonderful people who share my love of reading. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. To all my international followers I hope you have a great weekend too. Happy Thanksgiving!

Humpday Giveaway winner

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To last week's Humpday Giveaway winner: P.E.
*Humpday Giveaway is going on hiatus for the holiday season and will return in January. There will still be giveaways going on during the holidays just not this weekly one. Please be sure to check the sidebar for current giveaways. 

In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton review

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Title: In the Forest of the Night (The Goblin Wars #2)
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: November 22, 2011
paperback arc, 295 pages
ISBN: 978-0-547-43560-2
Genre: YA, Fantasy


This is the 2nd book in the Goblin Wars series. If you've not read Tyger, Tyger this review will contain spoilers. 




Summary:
The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growin…

Teaser Tuesday November 22, 2011

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Open to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that pageBE 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!This week's teaser comes from In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton. My quote comes from an uncorrected proof so it may not be in the finished copy. 


"Convert?"
"To Italian. Our angels have wings. Our saints stay in church where they belong. If the goblins haunted one of us like Thomas was talking about, the Family would take care of it. You know what I'm saying?' ~pg. 100~




I know this is longer than two sentences but I had to share it because I thought it's funny. If you have a teaser…

The Water Wars by Cameron Strachner review

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Title: The Water Wars
Author: Cameron Stracher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
paperback, 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-6759-8
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Summary:
Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations. Timely and eerily familiar, acclaimed author Cameron Stracher makes a stunning YA debut that's impossible to forget.


My thoughts:
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher is a dystopian novel set in the not so distant future. Many of the natural resources that we enjoy today have been depleted. The population is left to depend on the government for…

What's Your Status November 20, 2011

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Zakiya from Butterfly Feet Walking on Life has a fantastic meme. In this meme you post your status of the books your reading this week, books you finished this week, books you're going to read next, and books you plan on buying this week. You can also post what reviews and memes you participated in for the week. 


Last week I finished:
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
Currently I'm reading:
In the Forest of the Night  by Kersten Hamilton
Next in the TBR stack:
Charles Dickens: A Life by Jane Smiley
Current Giveaways:
Humpday Giveaway ends Nov. 22, 2011 November Giveaways Around the Blogging World Chain Gang Elementary giveaway ends Nov. 30, 2011


That's my status for this week, what's yours? 

Christmas at Pemberley by Regina Jeffers review

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Title: Christmas at Pemberley
Author: Regina Jeffers
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Publication Date: November 7, 2011
paperback, 350 pages
ISBN: 978-1-56975-991-2
Genre: Jane Austen sequels


Summary:
It's Christmastime at Pemberley and the Darcys and Bennets have gathered to celebrate. With such a mix of eclectic characters under one roof, bitter feuds, old jealousies, and intimate secrets come to the surface. Stubborn Lady Catherine seeks forgiveness, shallow Caroline Bingley finds love, and immature Kitty pursues a vicar. Forced into playing hostess, Georgiana tries desperately to manage the chaos while wishing Darcy and Elizabeth would return from their trip.
Enroute home, Darcy and Elizabeth are waylaid by a blizzard that forces them to take shelter in a nearby inn. Elizabeth is tormented that they will spend Christmas away from their families, but when a young couple arrives at the inn in need of a place for the night, Elizabeth's concern turns to the pregnant girl. As Elizabeth and Dar…

Chain Gang Elementary Excerpt and Giveaway

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One of the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind has been an over-reliance on high
stakes testing and a lamentable, but somewhat predictable, outbreak of cheating on tests–not by
students, but by teachers and administrators anxious to receive praise and avoid censure.
Jonathan Grant’s new novel, Chain Gang Elementary, has its own testing issues and explores an
entirely new way to change test results. The following passage comes from Chapter Seventeen, in
the middle of the story (and doesn’t give away any of the plot).
Elementary Madness: The Standard Hightower Intellachievement Test
from Chain Gang Elementary by Jonathan Grant, copyright 2011. All rights reserved
Due to federal mandate, learning was put on hold in February. The Better Schools
initiative—or BS, as teachers called it—required high-stakes, curriculum-based testing. For
reasons known only to bureaucrats, the state examined students on their cumulative grade-level
learning with three months still to go in the school year. T…