Monday, August 30, 2010

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

Rating: 5 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

There are no words. At least no words that won't completely spoil the entire Hunger Games experience for you - and let me tell you. What an EXPERIENCE! Mockingjay is slightly more political than the other two books in the trilogy, but that's okay because we're finally getting down to it.

I thought MOCKINGJAY wrapped up the entire series perfectly. Keeping my sunglasses on during the train ride home did not do enough to mask my tears - my complete and total heartache. Three days later and I'm only just getting back to normal.

Again. As I did with HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE. I'm begging you. Read. This. Series.


If you'd like to discuss Mockingjay, hop on over to Hannah's blog. It's where all the cool kids go.

The nook Experience

So, because I'm super poor, I opted to read Mockingjay on my nook via the LendMe feature. The nook's LendMe feature allows you to borrow a book from a friend's nook for 14 days.

Ease of transfer: Amazingly easy! All my friend had to do was type in my e-mail address. Within seconds the request to lend appeared in both my g-mail box AND on my nook. I agreed that I'd like to borrow the book and then I clicked Download and the thing was mine!

Length of borrow time: For me, 14 days isn't an issue. I read fast. But I don't think the nook's core demographic are the type of voracious reader that I am. nook's (and any e-Book Reader) demographic is dominated by an older leisure reading crowd, whose eyes thank the Reader's easy-on-the-eyes screen and easily enlarged font. Two weeks seems a little unrealistic.

Reading a really good book on the nook: It was a little depressing, actually. Not holding the real book in my hands. There was no new book smell, no hugability. I couldn't really curl up in bed with it or wrap both my hands around the thick pages. I couldn't close the book and stare at the bookmark - seeing how far I'd come and how much further I had to go. I really felt the loss of a real book. Still - most of what I plan to read on there is either free Google classics, or anything that's sort of trashy that I might not want to buy and display on my shelf at home. (Like, Dan Brown for instance.) It wasn't a terrible experience - just a disheartening one.

Purchase Now from Amazon: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WWYCD/S Wednesday - Hosted by Melissa Getting Published

Hop on over to Melissa's blog to read the questions. The object of the game is to bring your character(s) out of the box. This week's questions are in honor of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.


1) Probably District 11. I feel like he would have been friends with Rue.
2) He wouldn't look forward to killing anyone. But I think he'd get a kill or two in. He'd sacrifice himself for people like Rue and Katniss.
3) He would align himself with Katniss - I think he'd only be drawn to those characters who are playing to survive, not to win. If you understand the distinction.
4) Cynical anti-hero all the way.
5) His sister, Anabel.
6) He would try to lead a revolution, because he's spirited and would definitely feel wounded by the wrongness of the Hunger Games. But he'd be doing it to protect everyone around him and he'd probably be among the first to die.


1) Probably District 12. And he'd feel really put upon about it.
2) He'd really want to take out the Careers just to prove that he could.
3) He wouldn't align himself with anyone. I feel like he'd be the person with crazy eyes hidden in the trees, covered with mud and blood.
4) He'd probably be attracted to the smart, beautiful girl who also refused to align herself with anyone. If he could make it past the Careers, it'd be Paul and this girl in the end. And he'd kill her - though with some reservation.
5) No one.
6) No. He's too busy worrying about how all of this affects him. Not the people around him.


1) I'd have to say The Capitol. I don't know if she's really as flighty and stupid as the rest of the people in The Capitol. Maybe she's 50% Capitol-esque and 50% Cinna-minded.
2) She wouldn't be part of the games, obviously. But she'd watch them with one eye closed.
3) She would probably route for Paul, even if she didn't know him.
4) She'd be attracted to Paul because she'd find the fact that he's this downtrodden guy from District 12 who is surviving on his own very charming in a cliche sort of way. Anabel likes cliche disguised as unique and brooding.
6) She might secretly support a revolution.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The nook Thus Far

Melissa Getting Published asked that I let you guys know how I'm liking my nook and also, why I even went with the nook.

There's all these e-thingys, why choose the nook? The answer is really simple. Maybe I should preface this by saying that I am the perfect consumer. If I had had the money to buy a Saturn Ion back in 2005, I would have. Solely because they had the MOST AWESOME COMMERCIALS.

Basically - I am obsessed with anything Barnes & Noble. I worked in the stores for about five years in high school/college. My local B&N is a place I frequent way regularly. I love anything and everything to do with the place. I was stupid against e-Readers until the nook came out and suddenly, I was all over wanting to own one. That and I got an amazingly good deal on a refurbished 3G nook that could not be passed on.

How's it going so far? Okay. I'm in the middle of a REAL BOOK, so I haven't been carrying it around. But I downloaded a bunch of free stuff - B&N is currently offering different classics for free each week - and it works really nicely and looks great. I sort of wish you could adjust the lighting on the main screen because I was hoping to be able to read in the dark with it. But, reading in the dark is really just a thing I like to do and otherwise, the screen looks like a real page and is super easy on the eyes.

I'm currently in the middle of figuring out how to "purchase" e books on and transfer them over to my nook. I started going through all of the free Google Classics that B&N offers - there are so many! I'm working through them alphabetically and I'm 400 titles in and only on C. Just "bought" Count of Monte Cristo. Since they are seriously just scanned pages available for free, I don't think they'll be formatted as nice as the B&N classics, but that's okay with me.

In a couple of days, I'll be utilizing the Lend Me feature of the nook to borrow Mockingjay from a friend. When I put up my review, I'll also review the ease of the feature for you guys. And I'll also check back in once I'm a nook pro to let you know how I like it and what I would change, if anything.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

In Blogs

Pencil Sharpening
Where do you write? I write in my big sofa chair or in my bed. I used to have dreams of a writing studio, but truth is, I hate sitting at desks.
Literary Classic Posters so many things I want to spend money on.
Emma Thompson to pen a Beatrix Potter book?
A Decline in Glowy Magic
Backward. I Read
26 Ways to Prevent Summer Reading the best way though, would be to refuse the parents who show up at the information desk demanding booksellers go find all the books on their list instead of shopping.
Beta (and Alpha) Readers I've always been so against having people read what I'm writing until I finish. The problem is, I never finish anything. I'm tempted to trust a few people with my first 3 chapters. See if they love my characters as much as I do.
A Brief History of Time (Covers)
Tales Before Bed super cute!
Pseudonym I need one of these. Not Hemingway Heroine either. A name that I wish I'd never picked for myself. But seriously - my last name is not even pronounceable. How am I ever going to get published with it?
Eeyore-AT-AT I am such a NERD

Mockingjay Excitement

YALSA is excited
Disgruntled Bear is excited
Collecting Children's Books is excited
David Maybury is excited

And me! I'm excited too! And seriously considering how cool a Mockingjay tattoo would look on my ankle...

In Books

Raven - Tim Reiterman
A.H.W.O.S.G. - Dave Eggers
Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll

In The Pile

The Maze Runner
- James Dashner
Purge - Sarah Darer Littman
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
On Writing - Stephen King

Friday, August 20, 2010

nook Dance

I have a nook, I have a nook. I have a nook, hey, hey, hey, HEY!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

Good but not great? I love the show, so obviously Jeff Lindsay created really great characters. And I'm glad. There were parts about the book that I liked better than the show. Deb is way less annoying. And less boy crazy. I was actually able to take her seriously in the book. And Doakes - I loved that Dexter sees the Dark Passenger in him as well. That they have a moment similar to the one between Dexter and the Nurse. LOVED IT!

But - it was a little boring. Not always, as I finished pretty fast. Enough was changed from the book to the show to make the book original and interesting. Still, I found myself skimming whole groups of pages, something I don't do unless I find the text unnecessary.

Still, it's a good read for any fan of the lovable serial killer.

Purchase now from Amazon: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Mah Wish List

The newest books I've discovered this week and hope to read someday below. Also, I visited a nice new boy up in Albany this past weekend and came home with a pile of books to read. He had the books in a gigantic bag under his bed, which isn't a very nice place for books, but. I think he was trying to impress me with his collection. Or something. So I should have a nice new In the Pile segment for the round up this week.

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself - David Foster Wallace
Finny - Justin Kramon
The Zero - Jess Walter
Playing with the Grown-Ups - Sophie Dahl
The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracian
Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang - Chelsea Handler
Are you there, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea - Chelsea Handler

Shop Now - Satisfy Your Wishlist

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann

Rating: 4 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

Total pop-culture classic that is, in a way, timeless. Sure the language and social settings are pure 1950s/60s New York City - a really great snapshot of the times. But the book is about more than that. It's about the individual struggles of three women - Anne Welles, who is looking for freedom from her restrictive New England life; Neely O'Hara, who is looking for fame and power at any cost; and Jennifer North, a beautiful actress who is just looking for someone to love her for who she really is. VALLEY OF THE DOLLS is about that struggle - the climb, the sacrifices, the consequences. And the dolls. The red dolls. Yellow dolls. Green dolls.

I think what loved best was the build. You meet Anne when she first moves to New York. Neely is a young, bubbly vaudeville actress looking to make it. They are both so bright and hopeful. Lovable. You want Anne to get Lyon Burke. You want Neely to make it big, bigger than Helen Lawson. Jennifer enters the story later, but she is just as instantly likable. You want for her to find a great guy and have the children she's always longed for.

But then the years pass. Perhaps most interesting was watching Neely fall apart. Watching her go from this promising young woman to a washed-up, power hungry, Academy Award winning actress who cares about only herself.

And the end of the book was perfect - a cliffhanger of sorts. Anne maintains her dignity throughout the novel, though we watch Jennifer and Neely fall hard. I waited and waited for Anne's descent as well. It doesn't come until the very last line - she'll take two red dolls that night. After all, it's New Year's Eve! And the reader is left wondering - will Anne end up like her friends or will her strength bring her to a happier ending?

Purchase Now from Amazon: Valley of the Dolls

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson

Rating: 2 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

Just... not an excellent book. I really don't understand all of the hype. I thought it was terribly boring, completely predictable, and there were large sections that I found wholly unnecessary. Both Blomkvist and Lisbeth are ridiculously unlikeable characters - Blomkvist because he has sex with everything that walks (including Lisbeth even though he's twice her age and wonders if she has Aspergers), which really only serves to take up space rather than actually drive the plot and Lisbeth because she's got no personality whatsoever.

And then! After much painful toiling, when you've finally confirmed that who you thought dunnit actually did it, you still have another 150 plus freaking pages to go!

I think it's safe to say that I won't be continuing this series.

Purchase Now from Amazon:   The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Friday, August 6, 2010

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

What I remember is slow summers, filled with advances and not much else. This summer has been one crisis after another. It's driving me crazy! I'm so exhausted all day long. If you've been following my tweets lately, you'll know I screwed up a project I was working on: a kit with a handle that is really, so freaking cute! Only problem is, when you pick it up, the cover is upside down. AWESOME! I spent a majority of this week figuring out a solution to the problem. I have quotes coming in from three different avenues. We'll see if it's even possible to get this kit out by Holiday this year.

In Blogs

Triceratops or Torosaurus? What's the deal? Why are scientists trying to RUIN MY LIFE?
Surreal Bookshelves One of these would look SO CUTE in my apartment!
A House Built of Books I wonder what the rent would be...
READ with Jeffrey Dean Morgan or, you know. Don't read.

Wine Blog Shameless plug! Check us out!

In Books

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Raven - Tim Reiterman
Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann
A.H.W.O.S.G. - Dave Eggers
Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll

In the Pile

I need to revamp my pile and get back to you. Now that I'm no longer reading so much Teen for PYLAB, I need to clean it up. I mean, it's an actual pile that sits on my nightstand. Once it's revamped, I'll post a picture!
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