Friday, September 30, 2011

Follow Friday #2

It's time again for another Follow My Book Blog Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! Please visit their blogs for more information about participating in Follow Friday, and don't forget to check out their featured blogs!

This week's FF Question is:

"What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you like to see on the big screen, and who would you like to cast as your favourite character?"
Hands down, I would LOVE to see a movie (or saga) based on the Forgotten Realms books by R.A. Salvatore. They'd have EPIC action sequences, and the character development is superb! I think I'd prefer to have mostly unknowns in the roles, or else it would be fantastic in the same style as movies like "Avatar" or "Legend of the Guardians." The animation in both of those movies was absolutely phenomenal, and would do extremely well for books like Salvatore's.

I'd also LOVE to see movies based on Hatchet or Number the Stars - if any have already been made, I am not aware of them. I haven't read either in so long, though, that I have no idea who I would cast in the adaptations. Guess I'll have to do a little re-reading!

Feel free to answer this for yourself in the comments, or link to your own Follow Friday post!

And remember, tomorrow is the last day to enter both of my giveaways! Check out the giveaways sidebar feature to check out not only mine, but a few from other bloggers as well!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out: A Separate Peace

So earlier this week I bought a shiny new webcam, and this morning I broke it in by making my first-ever Virtual Read-Out video for Banned Books Week! I chose to read an excerpt from A Separate Peace by John Knowles, partly because I really just love this book and partly because I have already reviewed it here on the blog, so I had a good idea which excerpt I could legitimately read under two minutes.

You can find this and any other videos I end up making for the blog on my new YouTube Channel - I created tabs at the top of the page with links to different places where you can connect with me.

Anyway, here is my video:

If you made a Virtual Read-Out video for Banned Books Week, feel free to leave a link in the comments! And don't forget - 1 October is the last day to enter both my Banned Books Giveaway AND my It's My Birthday! Giveaway. I will be randomly selecting a winner for both giveaways on 2 October.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Prestige

The Prestige by Christopher Priest is the story of a feud between two stage magicians, around the beginning of the 20th century (mostly) in England. Rupert Angier (stage name "The Great Danton") and Alfred Borden (Le Professeur de la Magie) spend almost as much time retaliating against and spying on each other as they do rehearsing and improving their illusions. It all starts when Borden interrupts a seance being held by Angier. He later regrets his actions, but to Angier, it is unforgivable. The rest of their lives are spent trying to sabotage each other's shows, and when Borden begins performing an illusion he calls The New Transported Man, Angier will stop at nothing to discover the secret to the performance and improve upon it for use in his own act.

I saw the movie adaptation of this when it came out, and knew I had to read the book when I got the chance. I have to admit, though, I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong - the book isn't bad. It's just not what I expected, exactly. It starts off slow, and no matter how many times I thought the pace would surely begin to pick up, it did not. That's not to say it was necessarily boring, though! It's been a long time since I saw the movie, so I didn't really remember much about the story, so I was constantly intrigued about how certain things were going to play out, and what was going to happen next. I'm glad I didn't remember the details regarding The New Transported Man from the movie, since I think that would've just made the book boring for me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday and Teaser Tuesday - The Prestige

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish - every week, a new top 10 list is posted, and as with Follow My Book Blog Friday, it seems an excellent way to both find new blogs and get to know your fellow bloggers a little better. This week's list is:

Top 10 Books I Want To Re-read

And here's mine...

01. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
02. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
03. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry/Ridley Pearson
04. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
05. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
06. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
07. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
08. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (I still haven't read the rest of the series)
09. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
10. Watership Down by Richard Adams

What's your top ten? Mine's not really in any particular order.

Teaser Tuesdays is another weekly meme, this one hosted by Should Be Reading. What you do is just get whatever book you're currently reading, turn to a random page, and post a teaser sentence from that page (careful not to use any spoilers, though!). Be sure to say what the title and author of the book are, so anyone who might be interested can find it!

From The Prestige by Christopher Priest:

"In semi-darkness, half inverted in the chair, tied hand and foot, and entirely submerged in cold water, I began to drown-"

Please visit Should Be Reading, and feel free to also link to your own Teaser Tuesday (or Top 10) in the comments!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week Continues!

Hello, lovelies! I'm making this quick because I'm in the library on campus and other people undoubtedly need to use the computer. I won't be back home until later tonight, though, and did not want to miss out on my daily post to promote Banned Books Week!

So far I only have one Banned Book in my reviews archive - A Separate Peace by John Knowles. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do so! Fellow bloggers, do you currently have any Banned Books in your archives? Tell me about it in the comments! Feel free to link to them if you'd like.

And a question for everyone - have you started reading or re-reading any Banned Books this week? I am almost through reading Christopher Priest's The Prestige, and was planning to read Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins next, but I believe instead I'll start re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Also, don't forget you have until 1 October to enter my Banned Books Giveaway! Check out the post for more details.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First Giveaway Post!

Good morning/afternoon, all! I'm pretty excited to post today, because when I saw that I now have over ten followers, I decided what better way to celebrate my appreciation to you guys than by hosting my first annual...

It's My Birthday! Giveaway

The only real requirement to participate is that you please follow my blog. Also, as with any giveaway I plan to host in the future, this is open both to US and International readers! If you are an international reader, however, I do have one limitation: please check to see if The Book Depository ships to your country! If they don't, you CAN still participate, you are just a little more restricted in your prize options. Sorry. :(

So what are the prizes?

For US readers: You may select either up to $25 in books from The Book Depository OR a $25 gift card to If the gift card will not be used by you, please let me know if you would like a specific design to suit whoever it would be going to.

For International readers whose country The Book Depository ships to: You may select up to $25 (USD) in books from The Book Depository OR a $25 (USD) gift card to As with US readers, if you wouldn't be using the gift card for yourself, let me know if there is a specific design you'd like.

For International readers whose country The Book Depository does NOT ship to: You will receive a $25 (USD) gift card from

Closed to entries!

But that isn't all! To continue the promotion of Banned Books Week (24 September - 1 October), I'm also now hosting a Banned Books Giveaway! The rules are the same as for the above giveaway - you must be following my blog, and it is open to both US and International Readers! This one does have a little more of a restriction for internationals, however - The Book Depository MUST ship to your country. If you select a prize option to win books of your choice, all selections must be on the ALA's Frequently Challenged list - classics, 1990-1999, 2000-2009 or from theTop Ten list from 2010. Entries will not be accepted after 1 October, and a winner will be randomly selected at the end of the giveaway.

Banned Books Giveaway Prize Options:

For US readers: You may select up to $25 in banned books from The Book Depository OR up to about $25 in select merchandise from the ALA's Banned Books Week store! It does not have to be merchandise specific to this year. Basically, with the BBW store option, you can get EITHER one t-shirt OR up to about $25 in any combination of these other items: List of Banned Books, Poster, Button, Tote Bag or Bracelet.

For International readers: You may select up to $25 (USD) in banned books from The Book Depository! If they do not ship to your country, I'm sorry, but you are not eligible for this particular giveaway.

Closed to entries!

Thank you again to all my new followers, and good luck!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

That's right, today marks the beginning of Banned Books Week! The American Library Association runs this event each year during the last week of September to encourage free access to information and to raise awareness of the harm censorship can do. There are many books that have been either restricted or banned in some places, and there are many others that have been the targets of attempted bans. A list of frequently challenged books from just this past decade can be found here, and here is a list of books widely considered to be classics that have been challenged.

Have you read any of these challenged books? I've read some of them, and I think it's ridiculous they'd be restricted at all - I think that in general, people are too easily offended. I think that part of what makes books so special - especially ones that touch on more potentially controversial topics - is that they make you think about these issues by offering different perspectives. Some of these books too, are meant to be taken in their historical context, and people seem to be forgetting about that a lot of the time when it comes to race or gender politics. I would not be able to enjoy a period novel where the values were all modern, just for the sake of political correctness; it would be inorganic to the historical context and I would not be able to really get into the story.

If the theme of a book or an issue is raised in a book that challenges your personal values and/or beliefs, don't take up arms against it - let yourself get outside your comfort zone and keep reading it! There is nothing to be scared of; only YOU can change your values and your beliefs; a book is not going to change them for you. And if the simple fact is that you just plain don't like the book because you can't get past the points that clash with your ideals, that's fine. You don't have to read it and you don't have to like it - but don't go trying to ruin things for other people who might really get something out of it.

What do you think?

On a side note, I really love the BBW robot graphic! He's so cute. Last year's was ace, too. If you've got some extra money and you think the robot is cute, too, you can also help by visiting the ALA BBW store!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Follow Friday and Happy Fall!

So this is my first time participating in one of the many memes hosted by other blogs! I'm pretty excited about it, and I plan to start participating in more, since they look like a lot of fun and a great way to come across other blogs and more books. Today is Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by both Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. If you're not already participating, stop by one of their blogs and check out how to join in!

The FF Question for today is:

Do you have a favourite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep revisiting it.

I'd have to say there are really only two series that I have definitely read completely and multiple times: Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. I love to read fantasy, and I always find myself wanting to step into the worlds that Rowling and Lewis created. The only other books I have that I have read multiple times are not part of a series, but they would be the novels of Jane Austen, Watership Down by Richard Adams and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I have also read Le Petit Prince more than a few times, and have a small (but slowly growing) collection of that book in different translations.

For the most part, though, I have so many books on my shelves that I haven't yet read that I try not to re-read other books too often.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Guild

The Guild by Felicia Day (with Jim Rugg) is a graphic novel prequel to the web series of the same name (written by and starring Felicia Day as Cyd/Codex). Cyd Sherman is a 20-something who is going through sort of a pre-mid-life crisis and is routinely seeing a therapist. While handing out fliers for her boyfriend's band, she comes across (and, of course, purchases) "The Game", a massively multiplayer role-playing game. She gets caught up in the in-game fantasy world, and through the character she creates, begins to develop a new sense of self; she even makes friends with some of the other players she comes across.

I adore the web series and I love, love, LOVE this book! The characters and the dialogue are hilarious, and I find Cyd totally relateable (not entirely sure yet if that is really a good or a not-so-good thing). I used to play World of Warcraft quite a while ago, but eventually stopped shortly after the first expansion came out, because I didn't really play enough to feel justified in paying the subscription fee each month. When I started watching "The Guild" online, it reminded me of how much fun I had playing the game, and I recently started playing again because of it. Nerd confession'd!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Escape by Carolyn Jessop is the true account of one woman's life in the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), a radically conservative polygamist sect of the Mormon church - and the story of how she eventually escaped with her eight children. Carolyn relates what her life was like growing up in the FLDS, and through her experience we see how drastically the church changed once power shifted from prophet to prophet - and how it became unbearable under the leadership of Warren Jeffs. By this time, Carolyn had already been married and become a mother; when she was eighteen years old, she became the fourth wife of Merril Jessop - a man more than twice her own age.

We also learn about the dysfunctional family dynamic that she married into - while it is preached that all wives are to be treated equally, it is common for a man to have a favourite among them, and this causes a lot of tension in the household between all the "sister-wives," as well as among the children. Psychological and physical abuse is common within the sect, both against wives and sister-wives, as well as against children.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Go the Fuck to Sleep

Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach is an adult parody of children's bedtime stories. It is written in verse, and there are illustrations that, while sometimes sweet, I also think are borderline creepy. Which kind of works.

I'm not a parent, but I have had a lot of experience with young children, and while I did not use the word "fuck" back in the days when I used to babysit, the sentiment of "go the fuck to sleep already" was definitely sometimes there, so I think I can safely say that anyone who has had the frustration of trying to get a child to stay in bed and go to sleep will appreciate the humor in this book.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

From the Ganges to the Hudson

From the Ganges to the Hudson: Indian Immigrant Families in New York City by Johanna Lessinger is a part of the New Immigrants Series, and one of the books I had to read this past Spring for my Anthropology of Migration class. As with the other from the series that I've read, Changes and Conflicts, this book is rather short (only 159 pages), but also both interesting and informative. Through Lessinger, we can get an insight into the experience of immigrants to the U.S. (specifically, of course, to New York City) from India - both the first generation immigrants (those who were born in India and immigrated as adults) and the 1.5 and second generation immigrants as well (respectively, those who were born in India but immigrated as children, and children who were born in the US to first generation immigrants). The communities they create here are rich with their native culture, and there is not so much a loss of native language as was widely the case with immigrants from Europe in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology

The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology by Jonathan Marks was required reading last semester as a companion to the formal textbook for my class in - you guessed it! - biological anthropology. Marks does a great job of breaking down all the core concepts without losing anything vital to a basic understanding of the field: he covers a brief introduction into what anthropology is; discusses theories of evolution; genetics and heredity; non-human primates; early hominids; and more. Each chapter ends with a list of references and further reading recommendations, should you be interested in delving a little deeper into a particular subject.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


So as you can tell, my hiatus did not last too very long. I got through the first week of the fall semester, and I think I'll be good to do posts - this term I haven't got any extra books to read for my classes, but don't think that means I will be posting less non-fiction! It just means I will have more time for fiction, which I know is what most people are probably more interested in anyway.

So! My first post back, and I'd like to talk about Sojourn, the final book in R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy. As you may remember from the Exile, Drizzt has left the city of his people, the evil drow and has now emerged from the Underdark into the surface world. This is perhaps the most challenging part of his journey since leaving Menzoberranzan, as all he knows about the surface are the stories he has been told by his people - stories which he has come to suspect are perhaps all lies. Either way, he must find out about his new surroundings on his own.

Sooner rather than later, Drizzt realizes that evil exists even outside the realm of the drow, and he is determined still to deviate from their ways - though he also discovers that the reputation of his heritage will be an obstacle to his pursuit of a different life.