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Showing posts from December, 2008

Challenges I'm joining for 2009

Graphic Novels Challenge 2009 (Jan 1 - Dec.31 2009)

Reason I can join: I read graphic novels all the time so this challenge fits with my regular reading.

choose a level of participation:
Minor: Read 6
Major: Read 12
Masters: Read 18
Doctorate: Read 24

Hmm let's see I have on hand

Louis Riel, 3 by Rick Geary, 2 Angel's that makes 6, I'd love to read Maus, Persopolis and the Sandman and the Fables series so I think I can safely say I'll join the Major Club and see if I can make it further.

The Pub Challenge '09 (Jan 1 - Dec. 31) read 9 books published in 2009

Reason I can join - I read arcs regularly and at time exclusively so this fits in with my regular reading. Only rule of note for me is that no children/YA books are allowed. I'll make a list as I go.

2009 ARC Challenge (Jan - Dec '09) read 12 arcs (any book sent for review purposes), must list all arcs currently in possession and keep it up to date.

Reason I can Join - same as above challenge and this one allows me …

Pub '08 Challenge Finished

A-Zed Challenge Almost Finished

Well, I gave it the old college try and almost finished this challenge. I ended up stuck with Authors Q-U-X-Z and Titles X-Y-Z. I just wanted to fit the books I read in to the challenge and not read a book simply because it fit into the challenge, ykwim. I think this is running again next year with different rules but I plan on trying it again in 2009 with the same rules as before.

My 2008 List:

AUTHOR LIST
"A" ~ Atwater, Richard and Florence (Mr. Popper's Penguins)
"B" ~ Barrie, J.M. (Peter Pan)
"C" ~ Carey, Peter (True History of the Kelly Gang)
"D" ~ Dexter, Colin (Last Bus to Woodstock)
"E" ~ Erdrich, Louise (The Plague of Doves)
"F" ~ Fox, Paula (The Slave Dancer)
"G" ~ Gardner, Lyn (Into the Woods)
"H" ~ Hayder, Mo (Birdman)
"I" ~ Ingoglia, Gina (Johnny Appleseed and the Planting of the West)
"J" ~ James, Emmett (Admit One)
"K" ~ King, Stephen (Rage)
"L" ~ Lattimore, Ele…

2009 Master Challenge List

My plans for the new year are pretty simple: read arcs, work on series that I've started, not start any new series unless it is for arc reading, and not join any challenges that don't include books I will already be reading.

Random Reading Challenge (Aug. 1 2009 - Jul. 31 2010) (12 books)
1. The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl (Aug)
2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (Sept)
3. Testimony by Anita Shreve (Oct.)
4. Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri (Nov.)
5. BoneMan's Daughter by Ted Dekker (Dec.)
6.

I'm currently involved in these perpetual challenges or projects:

Chronological Stephen King - This is my own personal project and I got stuck at The Stand. It's just such a huge book that every time I looked at it I just thought how many other books I could read in the same time. But I do vow to read this book in 2009 and hopefully continue on with this project. I have read the first 5 books so far and will start this year off with The Stand.

1. Carrie
2. 'Salem's Lot
3.…

Year in Review & Top 10 Books of 2008

Well, in 2008 I read the amazing amount of 194 books! So close to 200! Next year it is tempting to give myself a 200 books challenge but I think that would be pushing myself too much and might take the fun out of reading. Wouldn't want to do that!

You can read my list of 2008 books read here. That page also includes (at the bottom) the 73 books which I read to aloud to my 7/8 yo.

In 2008, I completed the following 13 Challenges and enjoyed every single one:

Canadian Book Challenge II
RIP III Challenge
Decades Challenge
Medical Mystery Challenge
Pub 08 Challenge
Chunkster Challenge

Southern Challenge
YA Challenge
Once Upon a Time II Challenge
Short Story Challenge
First in a Series Challenge
Canadian Book Challenge
Book Awards Challenge

Man Booker Challenge (ended Dec. 31) - this challenge is over and I read a measly one of the six books that I had planned on reading. I'm giving it up as a lost cause.

My reading around the world project went very well. I started on Jan. 1 2008 and plan to conti…

194. All the Colours of Darkness

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All the Colours of Darkness by Peter Robinson
An Inspector Banks Mystery, Book 18

Pages: 349
Finished: Dec. 31, 2008
First Published: Sept. 30, 2008 (Can/UK), Feb. 17, 2009 (USA) as All the Colors of Darkness
Genre: mystery
Rating: 3/5
Reason for Reading: received a review copy from the publisher.

First sentence:

Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot thought it was a great shame that she had to spend one of the most beautiful days of the year so far at a crime scene, especially a hanging.

Comments: Two men are found dead, one brutally beaten in his apartment and the other hanging from a tree in a local park. It appears to have been a lover's spat turned into a murder/suicide but once it is found out that one of the dead men was a secret agent with MI6 things start to seem more complicated than at first presumed.

I enjoyed this book but can't say that it is up to par with the other Inspector Banks novels I've read to date. I enjoyed the whodunit and the author digs deep into Banks' psy…

Books Read in 2009

Books Read in 2009
Titles in green were read aloud to or read by my 8/9yo or used as curriculum.

January: 21
1. Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival by Owen Matthews (3***)
2. The New Americans: Colonial Times, 1620-1689 by Betsy & Giulio Maestro (2**)
3. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (5*****)
4. When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson (5*****)
5. Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown (3***)
6. The Doll People by Ann M. Martin & Laura Godwin (4.5****)
7. Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz (4****)
8. The Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home by J. Michael Straczynski (4****)
9. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (4.5****)
10. The Lost City of Z by David Grann (4 ****)
11. The Meanest Doll in the World by Ann M. Martin & Laura Godwin (4****)
12. Laika by Nick Abadzis (2.5**)
13. The Case of Madeleine Smith by Rick Geary(4****)
14. A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (3***)
15. Ameri…

193. tales from outer suburbia

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tales from outer suburbia by shaun tan

Pages: 95
Finished: Dec. 27, 2008
First Published: Oct. 28 (Can), Feb. 1 (USA)
Genre: short stories, adult picture book, YA
Rating: 4/5
Reason for Reading: received a review copy from the publisher .

First sentence:


when I was a kid, there was a big water buffalo living in the vacant lot at the end of our street, the one with the grass no one ever mowed.

Comments: This is a beautiful, picture book of short stories. The publisher promotes it as juvenile literature but I found the stories immensely deep and could not imagine a child appreciating the full depth of each story. Some stories are one page long, some are several pages long but each is profusely illustrated in full colour by the fantastic shaun tan. The illustrations are not just there to illustrate the story but are an integral part of the story, in fact one story has several pages of wordless illustration to propel the story along. Some of the stories are about children but certainly not al…

192. Sons of Destiny

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Sons of Destiny by Darren Shan
The Saga of Darren Shan, Book 12 (final book in series)

Pages: 199
Finished: Dec. 26, 2008
First Published: 2004
Genre: YA, paranormal
Rating: 4/5
Reason for Reading: next book in the series.

First sentence:

If my life was a fairy tale and I was writing a book about it, I'd start with, "Once upon a time there were two boys called Darren and Steve..." But my life's a horror story so if I were to write about it, I'd have to begin with something like this instead: Evil has a name -- Steve Leopard.

Comments: Well, here it is the final book in the series. I won't be giving a plot summary this time because, well, you just have to read the series. All the ends come together, mysterious doings from the past are finally understood and several reveals twist the plot in a different direction. The ending is very surprising and somewhat bittersweet. A very satisfying ending to a twelve book series. I can appreciate how hard it must be for an author of…

Merry Christmas

This will be my last post until Boxing Day is over. I wish all my readers have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Every Christmas I miss the most wonderful person I ever knew. She was both my best friend and my mother. She passed in 1993 (only just turned 50 yo) and my life has never been the same since. Yet I do continue living my life, knowing we will meet again one day. In memory of my mother here is her favourite Christmas Hymn:



And here is my favourite Christmas song which I first heard on an Elvis Christmas Album. Though the song does not sound very Christmasy it reminds me of my mother and makes me cry each time I hear it. I guess Elvis missed his mum the most at Christmas too. It is very beautiful. Wait until you hear the last verse.



And finally, a more recent Christmas song that I loved the first time my son showed it to me.