Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome to Hogwarts

Hello fellow book lovers! It is June 1st and therefore the start of the summer term at Hogwarts. Come join me rereading, discussing and overall loving all things Harry Potter for the next two months.

To get everyone off on the right foot I figured I'd start with a very simple Potter related  question:
Who's your favorite character? Is it the one you relate to most? A Mythical creature? A literary crush?

Now, I know this is a bit of a loaded question. Favorite characters say a lot about a person. Personally I'm a huge fan of all Weasley's, even ickky Percy, but if I have to pick a favorite of the amazing red headed pure bloods it would have to be Ginny. I know she starts off as just an annoying little sister, but I think she grows into a really strong and powerful woman. She's independent and opinionated, and always ends up on the good side of things. I think she is my favorite character because she is so different from me.

On the other hand I see a lot of myself in Hermione. I can be pretty strict and sever at times, but my heart is always in the right place and I'd do anything for my friends. That's really what I see in Hermione.  She's always stuck me as an old soul, as the groups unnoticed protector. Often times she is overlooked and underrated, and that's why she never tops my favorite characters list. Because I relate to her so closely and because she is mostly a looked over sidekick.

Who knows what light this reread will shed on these characters and on the series as a whole, but I look forward to being able to answering this question better when I don't feel so far from the story.

I'm off to start Sorcerers Stone!

May in Review

Last month I took a page from Lily's Bookshelf and did a Month in Review post. I really her format so once again I've used her beautifully simple template for my review of May. 

Books Read:
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Howe (3/5)
Claude & Camille by Cowell (4/5)

Juliet by Fortier (3/5)Total Number of Books Read: 3Most Anticipated: Claude and Camille, Juliet
Biggest Let Down: The Physick Book of Deliverance DaneFavorite Read: Claude and CamilleHighest Rank: 4/5Lowest Rank: 3/5

Overall Reflection
It was a slow reading month for me, which is odd because it feels like May has been happening forever. In this month alone I have finished classes, started and quit a job, came home, and have dealt with some personal emergencies. When I spell it out like that it's easy to see why I only got through 3 books this month. 

Another contributing factor was the quality and content of what I was reading. As always, this is just my personal opinion. I was truly disappointed in Deliverance Dane. I had heard so many good things about it and I thought it would be right up my ally, but it was just so different from what I had expected. On the other hand Claude & Camille was a breath of fresh air. It was beautiful, refreshing and transporting. I've been meaning to go to the bookstore and pick up Cowell's other novels, but haven't gotten around to it. Lastly there's Juliet. Oh Juliet. I'm not going to lie, I had a hard time getting through this one, and while I enjoyed being in a Italian mindset for a week, I just wasn't buying the story.

I've spent this past week kinda sorta reading Lolita, The Lady and the Unicorn, and thumbing through various other books. I'm really excited to start my Summer at Hogwarts program tomorrow and hopefully that will motivate me to get back in the reading game. While my main focus for June and July will be Harry Potter I do hope to squeeze in maybe one or two other books through those two months. I've been reading Lolita for months now and would really like to finish it. 

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Last May Hop!

Hello Fellow Hoppers! Thanks for stopping bye! As always thank you to Crazy-for-Books for hosting. I always have a hard time coming up with things to say here. If you're new to loving books take a look at my Summer at Hogwarts program, starting next Tuesday in which I (and whoever else wants to) will be spending June and July Reading through JK Rowlings Series. Other than that, Welcome, Have a great weekend and if you're in the States a happy and festive Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A very lovely award from a lovely blogger

Today I received this  wonderful award from CMash

And the rules for accepting this award are:
When you receive this award, you must share seven things about yourself and then pass it on to 15 blogs you have recently discovered that you enjoy!
Since I had to list 10 things about myself with yesterday's award, I won't bore you again today.
So without further ado, here are my seven (possibly boring) facts:
1.I had a fish called Ophelia till she went crazy (read: something happened to her swim bladder), swam upside down for a year and a half and died. 
2. I'm American but ever since my best friend showed me an episode of Qi when I was in high school I have been obsessed with British Panel Shows. 
3. I love to bake, but I rarely eat what I've made.  I have been using this as a reason for why I can't live alone. 
4. I was a theatre geek back in high school and had every intent on directing plays for a living. Now I'm in film school. I've dabbled in directing, production design, producing. None of these positions were for me. The only thing that really fit was screenwriting but that is still a bit of a stretch.
5.One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone picks at their nails. To  me they might as well be running them over a chalk board.
6.I love Diet Pepsi
7. My least favorite season is Summer. I hate how hot it gets and how much drama comes about. My favorite seasons are Winter and Spring.

There, I hope I haven't bored you to much with that. 
And here are the 15 new blogs that I have recently found and who I am passing it on to:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


On Sale 8.17.2010

Anne Fortier

The story begins with one Julie Jacobs. Julie has been entranced with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet her entire life. When her Aunt dies and leaves her a letter explaining that she is in fact Giulietta Tolomei and that her mother died while investigating a family treasure Julie/Giulietta leaves on the first plan for Siena, Italy. While in Siena she learns that family ties run deep, and that no only were Shakespeare's most infamous lovers real, she is related to the real life Juliet.

When I got Juliet in the mail last week I was both excited and a little concerned for what it would turn out to be. The story itself seems forced. Julie is not likable. Having her goals in live grow from her desperate need to be different from her sister Janice made them both petty and unrelateable.

The story of Siena, and the flashbacks to 1340 were helpful and interesting, but they felt like, with a little more detail they could have been their own novel. This was also a case where I would get to an end of a chapter and be upset that there was a drastic change in time and situation. It would only take a few pages to get back into the groove of that specific story but still, it's never fun to "suffer through" a chapter just so you understand what is going on. I was frustrated all through the middle of the novel, when there was little being discovered and much whining and disbelief.

The romantic elements were definitely the strongest in both storylines. The Romeo and Juliet love through time was less creepy then I thought they would be. In a way modern day Giulietta's journey to love is sweet and understandable, and while it's hard to get into a 1340's mind frame, the original Romeo and Juliet story has its own charms.

All in all, a good summer read, but it took far longer and a lot of suspension of disbelief to get through.

My Rating:

A huge thanks to the LibraryThing early review program for the copy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer at Hogwarts Reading Schedule

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - 309 pages
Start: Tuesday June 1
End: Saturday June 5

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 352 pages
Start: Saturday June 5
End: Thursday June 10

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 448 pages
Start: Thursday June 10
End: Wednesday June 16

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 734 pages
Start: Wednesday June 16
End: Saturday June 26

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - 896 pages
Start: Saturday June 26
End: Friday July 9

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - 652 pages
Start: Friday July 9
End: Sunday July 18

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - 784 pages
Start: Saturday July 18
End: Saturday July 31

Something Wicked this Way Comes

Hi Everyone!
A week from today starts my Summer at Hogwarts read-a-thon/bookclub/magic fest. Starting June 1st I, as well as anyone else interested is welcomed in reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling with me. This is a two month project, with discussions, quotes and reviews for each book.

This is my first time organizing anything like this, and to keep it easy on everyone I'm not going to post a sign up sheet. I'll keep track of comments of people interested, but if you fall behind or the two months proves to overwhelming, no worries. Page wise it works out to reading around 70 pages a day and I'll post a reading schedule on my sidebar.

If you don't have time to read or have recently reread feel free to take part in the discussions. I'm really excited to see what everyone has to say as well as reemerging myself in the Harry Potter story.

I welcome all input and questions!

PS: I know my blog has been more or less stagnant these past few weeks, with finals, job finding, moving and some minor personal emergency I've fallen behind in my reading. Expect a new review in the next few days.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Welcome to everyone hopping by! It's the second to last Friday in May and I hope you all are doing well. A week from next Tuesday my Summer at Hogwarts program starts, so if you're interested you should definitely check out the link on my sidebar. Happy Friday to all my fellow hoppers!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Beginning on Friday

Book Beginnings on Friday is a new meme hosted by Becky at Page Turners. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. If you'd like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.

I just started Juliet by Anne Fortier a few days ago and haven't been my usually speedy reading self. 

Here's the opening sentence:
They say I died.

I'll admit, not the most intriguing opening sentence I've ever read, but it did carry the necessary push to keep me reading. Like I said I just started the book and look forward to finishing it. More than anything I look forward to seeing how this sentence from the prologue relates to the rest of the story. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Claude & Camille

Claude and Camille

Stephanie Cowell

You've probably heard of Claude Monet, the painter, does lots of flowers and lily pads? Well this is the story of how he became the impressionist that is known and loved. He struggles with his art, with his friends and of course with his love life. He meets Camille, who turns out to be the love of his life, but does she have a secret? Though they come from different classes and have a difficult life today they are truly in love.

I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, and if you share that love this is most likely a story for you. Told entirely from Monet's perspective you get a real feel for the life of a poor artist in Paris. It was interesting to see the interactions of Monet with his other artists friends, like Renoir, Cezanne, Dega's and Manet.. Monet is a flawed character, and his drive to paint nearly costs him everything on several occasions. While this isn't the most original story it was good and engaging. Like i said, if you're a fan of the likes of Chevalier and Vreeland this is a novel for you.

My Rating

Thanks to Jen at The Introverted Reader for the ARC copy

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hop into Summer!

Ah, I'm sick and slept so late that I forgot to put up a new hop blog! Hi to all who have and will hop by on this lovely Friday!

I'm done with school for a few months now, so my time will be fully devoted to reading, and blogging and fun things instead of excavating fish fossils and writing papers. Because my summer has official started I though i'd pose a question to all of you - What are some of your favorite summer time reads? Do your tastes change with the seasons?

My next review on Claude and Camille should be up shortly, now that I actually have time to read and more information on A Summer at Hogwarts will be posted closer to the June 1st starting date.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Summer at Hogwarts (Part 2)

For those of you who read my last Harry Potter post, you'll know I'm trying to do a summer reading of the series.

The biggest concern that people voiced was that a month was to short to read the entire series. I agree, a month probably would be to short and cause way to much stress to read all 7 books. So here's what I've come up with:

Starting June 1st all people interested in participating are encouraged to pick up the nearest copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers (Philosopher) Stone. I'll post weekly (and sometimes more frequent) discussion posts as well as get to know the other readers activities. I know that many of the people interested have already read through the Harry Potter series, but one of the things I love about it is how I find new things each time I read them.

I've cross posted this over at the bookish community on livejournal as well as mentioned it to a few friends.

For those of you interested in my inspiration, and far more elegant set up you can find my original post here.

I hope some of you are interested in reading with me, and even if you're not feel free to join in the discussions as they happen, so long as you know what's going on.

One last thing, if you want to read the series for the first time let me know if you want me to institute a no spoliers (within reason) policy.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Welcome all hopper from Crazy-for-Books Friday hop! Let me know you've stop by.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Top Ten - Love Stories

Top Ten Picks is a meme hosted by  Random Ramblings! Every week, there will be a different and specific topic given.For this week, the topic is on our all-time favorite love stories. For this topic, we can include love stories from multiple -- and unlimited -- sources; books, TV, films, plays, etc. So in no particular order, here are my picks!
Top Ten Favorite Love Stories Of All Time
Books and Plays :

Beatrice and Benedick
By nature I'm sarcastic, and so are these two. They are one of my favorite couples of all time. The fact that they go from absolutely hating each other to being tricked in to love serves as a reminder that sometimes others can see what is better for us than what we really think. Plus Shakespeare's great, and these two are hilarious. 

Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy 
What girl hasn't wanted of being Elizabeth Bennett? What has always struck me about Pride and Prejudice is how drastic feelings can change. Even as a reader it is hard to like Darcy the first time you meet him. They're both so proud that they destroy almost all chances of having a real relationship but somehow end up together in this happy world where he saves her sisters and she overcomes her negative perceptions of him. They're really just adorable, and Darcy's proposal is one of my favorite speeches ever

Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger 
I'm a huge Harry Potter Fan. Ron has always been one of my favorite characters. I love how their relationship develops. I love how hurt he is when he sees her with Krum and how upset she gets when he is with Lavender. It's the perfect transition from friends to lovers. I think the one thing that really puts them on this list for me is how different they are. Ron is pretty lazy, into sports and by all accounts and purposes average. Hermione is smart, accomplished and and always nagging.

Landon and Jamie
This is the first book that ever made me cry, and I can garentee that wouldn't have happened had Jamie and Landon been anything but ordinary. They're young, They find themselves in love. What I love the most about A Walk to Remember is how Jamie brings out the best in Landon. She teaches him that he can be more than just one of the cool kids. If you've just seen the movie I really recomend the book, it's a million times better and also one of the only Nicolas Sparks novels worth reading (also, if you must read Nicolas Sparks, avoid the Notebook.)

Leo Gursky  and Alma
Without them, The History of Love doesn't exist. Their story is all told in the past. However, nothing is more romantic to me than the fact that Leo wrote The History of Love for her.  I think this passage will describe it better than I can.
 "He died alone, because hew as too embarrassed to phone anyone.
 Or he died thinking about Alma.
 Or when he chose not to.
 Really there isn't much to say.
 He was a great writer. 
He fell in love. 
It was his life."


Jim Halpert and Pam Beasley
PB&J! Watching Jim hopelessly love Pam from across the office for three full seasons was heartbreaking. These two could not catch a break. When they were finally able to get together it was so obvious that they really are perfect for each other.  Their pranks, turbulence and occasional run ins with Dwight put them on this list. 

Robin and Marian
I'm not a big fan of the actual folktales but I love how they were portrayed in the BBC series. They both want the same things out of life. They both want to help others. The only difference is how they go about doing it. Marian is Robin's Achilles heel. He loves her more than anything, and that is always apparent. Best Scenes: End of Season 1 when Robin declares his love for the supposedly dead Marian. All of Season 2. 


Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak
She's damaged, he's reasonably normal. She's a little crazy and he's infatuated. Who couldn't love Holly Golightly? Their story isn't about mushy love, but he learns from her and she from him.  I love that they run around doing things they've never done. I love that he is willing to let her go because he can't reason with her, but that she goes back. Really I just love the rain scene at the end. 

Guy and Girl (Once)
They're both poor, they're both still in love with someone else and they never kiss. None of this matters, I think they have one of the best love stories of all time. She inspires him to record his music and get his girlfriend back, he inspires her to contact her estranged husband but really they do love each other. I think that's what makes their story so great. The best love stories are the ones where no one kisses, no one confesses their love or makes a huge, outrage romantic gesture, they're the ones that are all about the feeling, and because it's just about the feeling they don't need to be together. That doesn't mean it doesn't kill me every time I watch, but still. 

Amélie Poulain and Nino Quincampoix
I love that Amélie's attempt to bring happiness to others is what leads her to Nino. I love that they're both slightly crazy but mostly I love that Amélie is just like me. She's painfully shy, slightly weird but still a hopeless romantic. I like that her games don't deter him.  They're both so odd that they're a perfect match. 

Alright, I'm done being slightly vague for now!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Katerine Howe

Connie Goodwin has just completed her orals and as her PhD in sight. If only she didn't have to spend the summer cleaning out her grandmothers old house. The house, covered with vines and mostly hidden, contained many secrets. The first which is discovered is the name Deliverance Dane and a key inside of an old bible. Connie. Connie's research leads her to the Salem Witch Trials and to meet Sam, a church restoration specialist with a tough side. Connie's quest to find out more about Deliverance turns into an obsession with the book she left behind, but she isn't the only one who wants it. Told from alternating perspectives of Connie and Deliverance (and sometimes her children), Howe offers a new perspective on the Salem Witch Trials.

I was intrigued by the story being told here. It seemed fresh and interesting. The further in I got the writing style and all of the unnecessarily long interludes sections where Deliverance and her children live made it difficult to stay interested. Connie's story is more interesting, she has several important historic discoveries and is an all around likable character. The introduction of real magic is a bit much, given the academic background the story originally had. Other than that, the villain was the most transparent character I have read in ages, but the rest of the supporting, modern, cast is delightful.

I really wanted to like this book, and was willing to overlook some of the weirder aspects of it. However it didn't live up to my expectations, and was really a bit of a disappointment.

My rating

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It was the weekend before finals and all through the apartment -

I'm right in the middles of finals right now. Needless to say life has been hectic. I feel bad that all of my blogging this week has been less about what I'm actually reading then about other, random things. I do keep an addition day to day blog on livejournal (part of a documenting my life project, on year two). In a funny, almost universal occurrence both mine and one of my roommates room's are horrid messes. I always forget how quickly cleaning goes out the window when one has a five projects due on the same day. Plus two of my roommates and two of my best friends have had birthdays in April, which has been a exciting but still unfortunate drain on my book funds. 

I know, I know. I'm babbling. This blog is about my unadulterated love for books. I doubt I'll finish The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane tonight, but that is what I'm currently reading. I'm not sure if I've got to much on my mind or if the book really isn't captivating but I'm having to force myself to read a few pages a day. Thankfully it's short, and homework will let up for a day or so on Monday.

Which brings me to the reason for this entry. I got another Award today! Though I feel like I've totally been neglecting Loving Books, I'm still very appreciative. 

This Award is from the amazing Cat at  Tell Me a Story 

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

A Thousand Books with Quotes
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