Banned Books

30 09 2009

While checking out my Google Reader for updated blogs, I came across a couple of mentions of the US’s Banned Books Week – a celebration of the freedom to read.  I am all for the freedom to read, and was interested to see what kinds of books have been banned or challenged at some point.  The American Library Association had a list of 100 banned and/or challenged classics… so I wondered how many I have read and/or own??

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald *Own it, haven’t read it yet
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger **Read it
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Want to read it!
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee **Read it
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker Want to read it!
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding **Read it
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner **Read it

Read the rest of this entry »





KimN ~ The Birth House

30 09 2009

The Birth House ~ Ami McKay

tbhI REALLY enjoyed this book!  I didn’t really have many expectations about what this book was about, or how good or bad it might be.  I decided to read it because I had heard about it from a few people and thought it could be interested based on the title and cover image alone.

Ami McKay, the author, is Canadian and actually lived in Scots Bay (the Nova Scotia town in which the novel is set) in a home that used to be birth house.   McKay must have found a lot of inspiration in this thought, and I suspect she did a lot of research to create this gem of a story.

I have mentioned before that I like a novel that teaches me about something.  This novel did just that on a number of levels.  It is set in the early 1900s and gives you an incredible sense of being a part of the era and especially what it was like to be a woman at that time.

The story follows Dora Rare, a young woman who grew up in a house full of brothers and was eventually wed to an absolutely awful guy!  Dora’s saving grace was that she grew up under the influence of Miss B – the towns midwife.  Miss B was faithful to Dora since the day she was born.  As Dora grew up, Miss B  passed on her knowledge and experience in midwifery to her.  At the same time that Dora was accepting her role in the town as the midwife, a doctor swept in, built a flashy hospital, and tried to sway all of the men in the town to send their pregnant wives to him.  It was so interesting to read about the way that mid-wives used to work, and how the town split their loyalties between new medicine and the traditional midwife ways.

I highly recommend this novel for a number of reasons.  It is a rich novel – full of Canadian history and vibrant characters… definitely something you don’t want to miss!





Nic ~ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

21 09 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies ~ Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Of late, I had been hearing about and seeing this book pop up often.  The cover alone caught my eye every time I saw it at Chapters, and caused a snicker to bequeath itself every time out my nose.

Pretty much Kim and I needed to spend more money to get free shipping, and this bad boy was on sale with our iRewards for like $10 so BOOYA just went on ahead and ordered.  I was trying to put this off and read my Stieg Larsson duitully, but you come to a point in life where you just throw caution to the wind and give into that siren that has been luring you acrross the foggy water for so long.

Hoh boy, am I glad I did.  This book is genius.  It takes Jane Austen’s literary classic, and in between Jane’s eloquent words and inept story line, throws in zombies and guns and marshal arts.  I’m going to keep reading, just to see what happens in this version, but I can already fully declare that I smell a win.





Nic ~ The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

21 09 2009

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ~ Stieg Larsson

dtWell, all the cool kids were doing it.

September 21 – I could not get a good handle on this book.  Every time I tried to get into it, I found myself kind of bored and unitersted instead.  Kim urged me to push onward and promised that it did indeed pick up.  And it’s not that I doubt her, I believe her.  It’s just that life is short and times-a-wastin, so I dumped this book for now with intentions of picking it back up in a later time when I want to take a crack at it again and I have the time and energy to actually give it a half-assed try.  You know.  Like what some nameless boy might have done to me at some point in time.  You know who you are.





KimN ~ My New Bookshelf!

18 09 2009

Since we moved, I finally got to upgrade my books shelves….

BEFORE…

well-read copies of HP

new beside old

More books...

…and AFTER!! So much better, right?

DSC_0056





KimN ~ The Last Jihad

18 09 2009

The Last Jihad ~ Joel C. Rosenberg

tljI finished this book last night.  It was a good quick read that leaves you hanging on the edge or your seat and begs you to read the next one in the series.

The reason I wanted to read this book is because Joel Rosenberg spoke at work and at our church a while ago (probably over a year ago…).  He had so many interesting stories to tell about his previous work experience as a communications strategist for world leaders, his novels and non-fiction book, and his non-profit project the Joshua Fund.  Reading this book you could really see that Rosenberg has used his experiences and knowledge of the business and political worlds to make this novel realistic – the details that Rosenberg includes about the way that the Secret Service transports the President, and other such scenes are incredible.

I am excited to read the next book in the 4 book (so far..) series and see how the President’s major decisinos pan out…

~~~

I thought I should include this link: http://www.joelrosenberg.com/spiritual.asp.  It explains Rosenberg’s spiritual journey, and how his novels are based on biblical prophecy… very interesting stuff!





KimN ~ The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

6 09 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ~ Stieg Larsson

dtAug 20 ~ Truth be told, I don’t really know what this book is about BUT… its a bestseller and it was highly recommended to me.  Here goes nothing!

Aug 30 ~ Since this book is taking me a while to get through (I am about half way in to the 800 or so pages) I thought I’d give  a little update.  It took me about 150 pages before I really got in to this book.  The first 150 pages basically introduced the central and supporting characters, and in my opinion, dragged it out a little too long before digging in to the guts of the story.  The guts, however, are so far very intriguing.

Since starting this novel and first hearing about Stieg Larsson I have also learned that he actually died in 2004.  I was very confused becuase his next book The Girl Who Played With Fire was just released.  And apparently there is a 3rd book in the series that will likely be released sometime in the near future.  From what I have read so far the literary world has suffered a great loss – at least I have 2 more books to read still!

All right… I’m off to the patio to continue reading this book now!

Sept 4 ~ I finished this book on Friday night.  This was a long and complex novel.  There are probably lots of things I could say about it, so I’ll try to sum it up for you!  If you start this book and you feel like its moving a little slow, just keep going – it gets better and better as it starts speeding towards the finish.  It also gets a little creepy and disturbing, as Blomkvist & Salander (the 2 unusually coupled heroes of the novel) piece together the answers to the disappearance of Harriet Vanger 30+ years ago.  There are so many facets to this novel that are not even suggested by the little summary blurb on the back.  It is definitely worth reading, but be prepared for the creepy/disturbing bits to suprise you when they suddenly come up.