Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
by Margaret Atwood
311 pages

The United States is a completely different world in this book. A military group takes over and everything is changed from a country much like the one we are currently in (except perhaps with more open sexual displays) to one where women are stripped of their jobs, money, and significant others (unless you are in your first heterosexual marriage). The US is renamed the Republic of Gilead. Women are not allowed to be single or live on their own. They are put into a position in society such as a Wife who is married to a ranking officer, a Martha who is a cook/maid in the house, an Econowife married to a poor man, or a Handmaid who is there to conceive a child with the ranking officer. Each caste of women have a specific dress code. The Wives wear blue, Marthas are in green, and Handmaids are in red. This ensures that everyone knows the caste of everyone else.

This story is told by Offred (a name that means she is the Handmaid of Fred, the Commander). She is living at the home of the Commander and it is her third and final chance to conceive a child or else she will be relocated to The Colonies and be declared an Unwoman (infertile woman, unfit for integration into Gilead society). This society structure is a fairly recent occurrence (within the past 10 or less years it seems) so Offred still remembers her past life with her husband (a divorcee), daughter, books (Handmaids aren't allowed to read), and job. It's so sad reading about how Offred (her former name is never revealed) remembers her past life and feels those memories slipping away.

Like any other society, people are corrupt. Offred, like other Handmaids before her, is coerced into spending time with the Commander during the night at times other than the "ceremony" which takes place once a month in attempt to get Offred pregnant. She also begins a relationship with the chauffeur, Nick, which was started by the Wife in order to increase Offred's chances of conceiving. Offred continues to see Nick without the knowledge of the Wife and without knowing whether he is an Eye (member of the Internal Intelligence Agency) or a member of the resistance who can help her.

I'm glad that I read this book since it knocked another one of the 1001 list for me (total up to 17 now!) but, I didn't LOVE it. I was wrapped into it throughout most of the book, but I think that that was only because I was so curious to understand all the parts of Offred's world and what would happen to her. Everything was revealed very slowly since Offred was narrating and revealing things as she remembered them or came across them. I guess sometimes I like rules of the society in the book laid out for me ahead of time. The other thing that bothered me was the ending. The last chapter written by Offred ends with her being taken away. Then it goes to a chapter which is a speaker in the future giving a lecture on Gilead society. It's obvious that the Republic of Gilead came to end but I wasn't really told how or what happened. Also, I never found out exactly what happened to Offred, which just bothers me! You would think that after the rave review of 2666 which had an ending that didn't really resolve a whole lot, I wouldn't mind this ending but man! It bugs me A LOT. I guess I just got attached to Offred so much that I just wanted to know that she ended up okay. Nothing wrong with that I suppose!

7 out of 10 stars

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Review: The White Tiger

So, I decided to change the blog look. I like this much better! Anywho, on to the book...

The White Tiger
By Aravind Adiga
276 pages

I picked this book up at the library because I saw it on the "Recent Releases" (which in my teeny tiny library just means that they recently acquired it) and I had remembered hearing something about it and seeing that it won an award (The Man Booker Prize). PLUS! It qualifies for the WBC, which will be a theme present until March 31st.

The format of this book was not what I expected. I went into it thinking that it was just going to be a straightforward, chapter by chapter story told in third person. Nope! It's a first person narrative, told in letters over the course of 7 days (well nights really). The narrator is Balram Halwai and he is writing to the Premier of the State Council of the Republic of China, Wen Jaibao, to tell him of his upbringing in India and his rise to become a great entrepreneur and murderer.

Balram grew up in a small village as the son of a rickshaw driver. He was smart and attended school for a while (where he was given the name White Tiger) until he family became too poor and needed him to work. He learns how to drive and becomes the driver for a very high up family, for which he becomes a faithful servant. Throughout his story, Balram discusses the caste system in place, what makes him different from his masters, and what keeps him a servant. Eventually, his ideas lead him to kill his master and become his own man.

I wasn't sure that I liked this book at first, but after the first couple sections, I got used to the writing style and really got sucked in. The main character is likable and kind of endearing in a way, despite being a murderer and I ended up really enjoying his story.

7.5 out of 10 stars.

Teaser: The Handmaid's Tale

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

Well, here goes! Today I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale. Here's my teaser from page 95.

"If he were better looking would I enjoy this more? At least he's an
improvement on the previous one, who smelled like a church cloakroom in the
rain; like you mouth when the dentist starts picking at your teeth; like a

Friday, January 23, 2009

Book Review: Love Walked In

Love Walked In

by Marisa de los Santos

307 pages

I got this book on a whim when I was getting a few other books from Barnes and Noble dot com during their after Christmas sale. I just can't pass up books for under $4! As I was browsing for more bargains, I came upon this book. I vaguely remembered hearing something about it and it got good reviews on B&N so, I decided to give it a shot. Plus, it could count towards my WBC (Love in the title)!

The two main characters are Cornelia (a 31 year old cafe manager) and Clare (an eleven year old girl), who alternate telling their part of the story each chapter. One day a man, Martin, walks into Cornelia's cafe and she gets swept into a relationship with him. He's handsome and suave, and always seems to say the right thing, but you can tell that something just isn't there between them. Clare's story begins at her home where she lives with her single mother who begins doing peculiar things like buy sets of towels in every color imaginable, or get tons of cookbooks and cook in the middle of the night only to throw it all out before even tasting it, and then she begins to forget that Clare is even there, forcing Clare to take care of herself and hide the fact that her mother is ill.

Clare and Cornelia's world collide when Martin one day shows up at the cafe with Clare. Clare's mother, Viviana, has disappeared leaving Clare with no choice but to go to her father, Martin. When Clare begins sobbing in the cafe, Cornelia runs to her and embraces her, even though they have never met and she didn't even know that Clare existed. The two of them form an unbreakable bond, even when things around both of them begin falling apart.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt like I knew Clare and Cornelia, and a couple of the secondary characters and by the middle of the book, I was rooting for their happy ending. Martin was also so real to me because he had this HUGE flaw (absolutely horrible father, he just couldn't open up emotionally) but there Cornelia was, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and help him to help his daughter for as long as she could. Hello!!...welcome to my past relationships. A guy that seems pretty perfect but has some huge flaw, but I swear, he has such potential to be a really great person!!! Every time Martin came into a scene, I would sit there shaking my head because I know that I would have given this guy the benefit of every doubt. And I was! Because I sat there the entire time just hoping and praying that he would turn into a great father and him and Cornelia could have a baby and he'd be a great dad! haha. Oh, aren't I just the eternal optimist?!

Anyway, though this book did have a happy ending that came together maybe a little too perfect, the characters were real and likable and I felt happy right along with them. I'm passing this one to my mom this weekend!

8.75 out of 10 stars

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BTT: Inspiration

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

Well, I guess I could take this question two ways. First, what inspires me to read in the first place and second, what inspires me to read what I read.

I read because I love it. I've always loved it and probably always will love it. I love being taken into another place or time and getting away from my daily worries, concerns, or happenings. It clears my mind, frees my spirit, and all sorts of other feel good things! :)

As for what I read, it's pretty much a mixed bag. I usually have a shelf of "To-be-read" books that I've heard of through blogs, the nest book club message board, barnes and noble (and the like) reviews, or from family and friends. When I need a book, I go to the shelf and just stand there for a few minutes, looking at the choices. Then I'll pick one up, read a few lines and if it draws me in, I keep going, if not the process just gets repeated. Sometimes I like to just wander around the bookstore or library and find books that speak to me in some way. I like to read about drama or mystery or science, and occasionally, I let the cover art speak to me. Yup, I am guilty of occasionally judging a book by it's cover. But don't we all every once in a while?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

399 pages

I can't believe that I hadn't read this book until now. Growing up, I LOVED The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and I feel like this could be put into that genre of literature. Maybe it was just printed too late in my childhood...Regardless, I'm glad that I've read it now! I really enjoyed this book.

The story is about Lyra, an eleven year old girl who lives in a world where people's souls are in the form of daemons, or animals, that walk along side them. In childhood, your daemon can change shape at will but once you reach adulthood, your daemon settles into one particular animal form (which usually tells something about your own character, for instance servants tend to have dog daemons). Lyra is orphaned as a baby and her uncle takes her to live at Jordan College in Oxford, England. It is here where she learns about the Gobblers who are stealing children who are never seen again, and about Dust, which settles on adults whose daemons have settled into one form. One night, a woman named Mrs. Coulter comes to dinner and is given permission by the Master of Jordan College to take Lyra on as an assistant. Before Lyra leaves the Master gives her an Alethiometer, a device that when read properly tells the truth, and she is not to let Mrs. Coulter know that she has it. The alethiometer looks like a golden compass, with symbols all around the face instead of directions, hence the name of the book.

While living with Mrs. Coulter and waiting to be taken to the North, as promised, Lyra discovered that Mrs. Coulter is the head of the General Oblation Board (Gobblers) and is responsible for all the children that have been taken. She flees and is rescued by the gyptians who take her on their boat, to the North, to save the stolen children. Along the way, Lyra learns to read the alethiometer, decides to save her uncle, Lord Asriel, since he has been taken prisoner, and discovers what is happening to the stolen children. Also, she learns why the church and GOB are so afraid of Dust. Dust is the elementary particle that is Original Sin. It allows for the connection between humans and their daemon, and allows for free thought, intelligence, and wisdom. The ending of the book was particularly chilling and thought-provoking as you realized that the things that seems to be good throughout the book, very well may not be. So, in the end, Lyra must go on on her own.

Now, I had to watch the movie version in order to count 25 points towards the WBC! I was pretty excited to see this movie since I heard about all the controversy surrounding it when it first came out and, now having read it, I wanted to see how the book was going to transfer into cinema.

I thought that the first 2/3 of the movie was great. It was pretty much the same story line and time period as the book and flowed really nicely. However, as soon as Lyra set out for the North, it started to deviate a lot from the book. The whole escape plan for the children was rushed, the scene with the King of the armored bears was much shorter than it should have been, AND (most importantly!!!) they left off the ending!!!!! Yes, the end is sad and controversial, but it's KEY to the story! you can't have another movie without that part! And, you can't grasp the underlying idea of the fine line between good and evil that the author is trying to portray. This was just so dissappointing. The only redeeming qualities of the movie were that Nicole Kidman was fantastic as Mrs. Coulter, Daniel Craig always looks good (even though he should have been at the end!!), and the CGI bears were really well done.

Overall, for the book, I'll most likely read the next two in the His Dark Materials series and for the movie, I'm glad I saw it and would see the sequel (if they make it but I don't think that they are) but only to see the part left out of the end of the first movie!

book: 8 out of 10 stars
movie: 6 out of 10 stars.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by Should Be Reading and I've decided to start participating! The rules are:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

I'm currently reading Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. Here are my teasers from p. 162.

"You know, dear, Viviana didn't send a card this year and, come to think of it,
we haven't heard from her in a couple of months, and remember how she was acting
a bit odd last time we saw her..." Even if Viviana hadn't disappeared,
someone would have come to Clare's rescue, as uwilling as she was to be rescued.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recommended by Hubs

Title: Bleachers
Author: John Grisham
number of pages: 192

I picked up this book because I needed a fiction (or nonfiction) book about football, basketball, or hockey for the Winter Book Challenge. Originally, I was going to read Tony Dungee's (former coach of the Indy Colts) autobiography, but when my husband saw the list he said that I should read Bleachers. I'm glad I listened to him!
Bleachers is about a man named Neely Crenshaw who returns to his small hometown of Messina when he finds out that their "beloved" head football coach is set to die of cancer any day now. Neely was the star quarterback in high school 15 years ago and looking like he was going to win the Heisman when he blew out his knee during his sophomore year of college and never played again. He never wanted to return to Messina since football was the way of life there and he would never play again, and he never wanted to see his coach again because of an altercation during the state finals game his senior year. During his 4 day stay in Messina, Neely reconnects with old friends, remembers why he loved football in the first place, and realizes whether he loved or hated his former coach.
This book was one that had a lot more to it than just football stories. It talked about different kinds of love and loss, and realizing how things in your past shape you to be who you are at the present. I was definitely crying at the end! Oh, and it only took me maybe 4-5 hours to read.

7 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

Since I'm not sure that I will always be able to finish and review at least one book per week, I figured I might as well have some other regular posts going on. Booking Through Thursday is a weekly question pertaining to books, reading, and this week, songs because well, songs have words too!

But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!
If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.
So, today’s question?

What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?

I am a song lyric junkie. I love when songs have lyrics that I can just relate to. My favorite band, probably for that reason is Sister Hazel. I've been listening to them since their first popular song "All For You" came out and now have every CD they've released and seen them a few times live.

The name of this blog "World Inside My Head" comes from one of their songs (lyrics on the right) and is just about the world around you not necessarily being what you want it to be, but you can choose to see it in a different light. I chose it for my book blog name because I feel like reading a book can always take you to a different world.

Their song "Fortress" includes the lyrics "and I've been feeling sorry for myself, and I've been resurrecting my fortress to protect myself" which I could really relate to during my parent's divorce a few years ago. I was feeling so bad and so frustrated that I was just building up walls and blocking everyone out. Belting out this song definitely helped!

Then there are a few songs that just talk about being yourself and not trying so hard to be what everyone else wants you to be, which is always a good message. My favorites in this category are definitely "Change Your Mind", "Happy", and "Effortlessly".

The song that really touches my heart everytime I hear it is "This Kind of Love". My husband and I used this song as our first dance and I just love how perfect the lyrics describe a loving relationship.

This kind of love makes me feel ten feet tall
It makes all my problems fall
And this kind of trust helps me to hold the line
I'll be there every time
This kind of love it's what I dreamed about
Yeah it fills me up
Baby it leaves no doubt
This kind of love it's why I'm standing here
It's something that we can share
I can't enough of this kind of love

Of course there are other musicians that have lyrics I really love including Dave Matthews, Matt Nathanson, The Weepies, Ben Folds, and the list could go on and on and on...I guess that I feel like music lacking profound lyrics is like it's lacking a soul. There just isn't a true purpose behind it. Not to say that I don't like a little frivalous booty shaking music every once in a while though!! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sookie Stackhouse #5

Title: Dead as a Doornail

Author: Charlaine Harris

number of pages: 295

Yay! Another 15 points for my Winter Book Challenge for reading a book in a series and the one following it! See previous posts for background on the Sookie Stackhouse series.

In this book, someone is "randomly" shooting people in the town of Bon Temps, LA. Sookie, of course, knows that the shootings aren't random because each person who has been shot is two-natured, i.e. a supe or supernatural being. Sookie herself has had part of her house burnt down and has been shot. So she's out trying to figure out who's trying to kill all the supes, especially since her brother (fresh from some bites) is now a supe and is under suspiscion.

Meanwhile, the packmaster of the Shreveport (nearby city) werewolves has died and a new leader of the pack (vroom, vroom...alright I just couldn't resist!) must be appointed. Sookie is approached by Alcide (son of one the of candidates for packmaster, and a friend of Sookie's from book 3) to come to all the "election" gatherings since she is a Friend of the Pack. Also, the challenger to his father is suspected of cheating and Sookie with her telepathy could bring that to light.

Alcide and Sookie have been potential love interests for the past couple of books but have always had some things get in the way (like Bill and Alcide's crazy on and off girlfriend Debbie), but I love him. I wish that things could work out between them because he's shown as being caring, kind, and protective (in a good way) to Sookie. I felt SO bad for him in this book because a lot of things happened that probably just crushed him. I'm hoping that things work out a little better for him in the next book! But, in Sookie's world, nothing seems to work out neatly. It will probably be a few weeks before I get to the next one since I have other books to read for the Challenge but I'm still looking forward to it!

Rating: 7 out of 10 stars.

Sookie Stackhouse Series #4

Title: Dead to the World
Author: Charlaine Harris
number of pages: 291

I don't know what it is about vampires, but something about them draws me in. I loved the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, loved Twilight, and now this. Maybe it's the power and passion that their stories usually have? Or maybe I just like living in a world with a little danger in it for a while, I don't know. But these books supply a nice vampire fix.

This book is the fourth in the Sookie Stackhouse (or Southern Vampire) Mystery series. These books follow Sookie Stackhouse, a 20-something girl who lives in a small town in Louisiana and, oh yea, she just happens to be telepathic. Recently, with the release by the Japanese of a synthetic bottled blood substitute, vampires have "outed" themselves by coming forward and revealing that they are real but hey, that's okay, because now there's a handy dandy fake blood so they don't have to kill people. In the first book, a vampire (Bill) moves to the small town (Bon Temps) and him and Sookie end up in a relationship, which introduces a whole vampire (and other supernatural beings) world to Sookie. These books are really about her and how she deals with her relationships and her life in general since being exposed to all the supernatural stuff. The first book is what the first season of HBO's True Blood show is based on. I've seen a few episodes but haven't really gotten into it really.

Specifically in the fourth book, Sookie has broken up with Bill, separated herself from the local vamps, and has made a New Year's Resolution to not get beat up this year (since hanging around vampires and their issues tends to lead to beatings). About 4 hours into the new year, Sookie is driving home and sees Eric, one of the high up vamps of her area) running around half naked and confused. A coven of witches has come into to town and their leader wanted Eric (in a lustful way) and all his businesses (in a "I want your money" way) and since he refused, she cast a spell which made Eric lose his memory. Sookie gets sort of trapped into keeping him at her home for a few days until the spell can be reversed which leads to her finding out that Eric is not so bad when he doesn't know himself. He's romantic and affectionate, and not out to exploit Sookie's power (since someone with telepathy could come in handy to a vampire, although her power doesn't work on them she can still read humans' minds) which are all new traits to Eric. A relationship of sorts begins between them.

Meanwhile, the other vamps under Eric join with the Weres and Supes (werewolfs and other supernatural creatures, or shape-shifters - hey, since vampires exist, so does everything else right?) come together which is very unusual since they usually hate each other, to devise a plan to bring down the evil witch coven. A battle ensues, in which Sookie was very helpful even though she didn't want to be involved, and lesser evil beats greater evil.

I'm not totally head-over-heels about these books so I'm fine putting some time between each in the series, but they are fun, quick reads and Charlaine Harris has made up an interesting world to be in for a while. Vampires becoming 'mainstreamed' isn't something I've read before which makes it new and different. Plus, I was just coming down from my initial Twilight high when I read the first one, so that was a good jump back into some adult novels while still getting a dose of vampire.

6.5 out of 10 stars (just because I think that the 3rd on was a little better than this one)

Friday, January 9, 2009

2666 by Roberto Bolaño: My first review!

Title: 2666

Author: Roberto Bolaño

number of pages: 898

Okay, I'm going to be straight with all you out there on the interwebs, I got the idea to read this book mostly because I saw a picture of a celebrity carrying it through the airport. But, not just any celebrity! It was Robert Pattinson *swoon* (I love Twilight even though it's not exactly great literature, and I will probably review it someday on here) ANYWAYS, I saw the book in the oh-so-handsome Rob's hands (see pic below) and just had to know about what he was reading. So I did a little researching on Amazon and Barnes and Noble dot com, and decided that I would give it a go. Wow, am I glad I did!

This almost 900 page book is actually very manageable because it's broken down into 5 parts. These parts are The Part about the Critics, The Part about Amalfitano, The Part about Fate, The Part about the Crimes, and The Part about Archimboldi. Each part is about different people in different situations and reads like it's own book (which makes sense since the late author originally wanted this book to be published as five separate novellas).

The Part about the Critics focuses on four literary critics in Europe who become friends because of their common love of a German author named Benno von Archimboldi. Archimboldi is not a particularly widely read author by any means, but he is critically acclaimed and is mentioned for the Nobel Prize. The kicker here is that barely anyone has EVER met Archimboldi or even knows what he looks like. This part goes through all the critics, their love lives, and their hunt to find Archimboldi which leads them to a town name Santa Teresa in Mexico. There, they meet a professor of the University named Amalfitano and find out about hundreds of murders of women have been taking place for years.

The Part about Amalfitano covers his life, how he ended up in Mexico, his family, and how the murders affect his life.

The Part about Fate I originally thought was going to be about fate, as in the inevitable outcome of events, but turns out it's actually about a reporter named Oscar Fate who is in Mexico (from New York) covering a boxing match and how he becomes interesting in covering a story on the murders.

The Part about the Crimes is exactly what it sounds like. It goes through all the murders of women over the past few years, whether they were solved or not, the defects in the investigation system, and who all has been convicted.

And finally, the Part about Archimboldi. This was probably my favorite part. It tells the story of Archimboldi from childhood until present and what a great story it is. You finally figure out why he decides not to be in the public eye and why he ends up in Mexico.

The novel doesn't end with a clear cut, everyone lives happily ever after ending, but it does leave you satisfied with how everyone becomes connected and realizing how small the world can really be. The writing is just amazing because there really was never a point where I thought "ugh, this is so pointless" and Bolaño does not overuse any particular word or statement (which tends to happen in a lot of longer novels, ahem, Stephanie Meyer and chagrin). I felt like his writing changed a little with each character also, so everyone had their own "voice." A great example of this was when a woman was telling a group of people about a dream that she had had. It went on for about 3 pages and when I got to the end of the dream story, I looked back and realized that there wasn't a single period used that WHOLE time yet it made perfect sense. Genius!

I would definitely recommend this book. Don't let the hugeness dissuade you! It's worth it!

8.5 out of 10 stars

Winter Book Challenge

I'm really excited about this challenge! I like the idea of challenging myself to read books that fit the topics so I will pick up things that I wouldn't necessarily read otherwise. Here's my (tentative) list of books I'm going to read for the challenge topics. The ones that are bold I have completed!

The Winter Challenge
5-Point Tasks
1. Read A Book with a color in the title (red, blue, black Ect.).
Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon
2. Read A Book with a number in the title (1, 2, 3, etc.).
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

3. Read A Book with the book Love in the title.
Love Walked In by Maris de los Santos
4. Read a Book with a type of Candy in the title (chocolate, bon bons, etc.)
The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
5. Read a Book with an animal in the title (dog, horse, cat, etc,)
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
6. Read the Book that has been on your TBR pile the longest?
Angela’s Ashes
7. Take 10 titles off you TBR Pile (minus the one above if you do it) and put the titles of each on a piece of paper. Then put in hat scramble them up and pick one out. Read that book.
Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
8. Read a Mystery Book.

9. Read a Book with a winter word in the title (snow, ice, sleet, cold, etc.)
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
10. Read a Book where an African-American is the main character. (February is African American history month)
Jazz by Toni Morrison

10 Point Tasks
1. Read a Non-fiction book.
Three Cups of Tea
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Against Medical Advice by James Patterson

2. Read a Book with January, February, or March in the title.
The March by EL Doctorow
3. Read a Book whose title contains a body part (heart, toe, finger, etc.)
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
4. Read a Book by an author you have never read before.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
5. Read a Romance Novel

6. Read a Historical Fiction Book.
Sin in the Second City
7. Read a book with the name of a city, country, continent in the title.
The Chicago Way by Michael Harvey
8. Read a Book about music
Bel Canto
9. Read a book about a celebrity

10. Read a Young adult book.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

15 Point Tasks
1. Read a book with an occupation in the title.
The Master Butcher’s Singing Club
2. Read a book that you have already seen the movie for.
The Devil Wears Prada
3. Read a banned book.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
4. Read a Book written by an African-American Author
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
5. Read a Fiction or Non-fiction book about a politician or politics

6. Read a book in a series and the one that follows it.
4th and 5th Sookie Stackhouse books
7. Read a book from the 1001 books list.
8. Read a book from a bestsellers list.
The Shack by William P. Young
9. Read a Fiction or Non-fiction book about Football, Basketball, or Hockey.
Bleachers by John Grisham
10. Read a book you read in High School.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

25 Point Tasks
1. Read a book and then watch the movie
The Golden Compass
2. Read a Book than cook a meal inspired by it.
Outlander and Scottish Eggs (not a meal but Hubs has been begging me to make them)
3. Read a book over 700 pages.
2666 by Roberto Bolaño

So I'm starting a book blog...

I decided that since I really love reading books, and I really love reading other people's book blogs, AND I have joined a couple of book challenges for 2009, then I might as well attempt to start my own book blog! What better way to keep track of the books that I've read this year for the challenges?! I hope that I can keep this up and post reviews that will help other readers add to their To Be Read piles, just like other bloggers have added to mine.

The challenges that I'm currently doing are with Book Club message board and are the Winter Challenge and the 50 books in 2009 challenge. I'm pretty sure that I will read more than 50 books, but i decided that that was a good goal for the first year of keeping track.