Thursday, September 30, 2010

First October Hop

Is it Friday again already? Wow, time is really flying. I can't believe it's October already! Anyways, lets get to the point of the Hop! Every week Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books hosts the Book Blogger Hop in order for us lovely bloggers to mingle and find other great book blog. 
Book Blogger Hop

This week Jennifer chose a question from Tina, 
"How do you spread the word about your blog?
(e.g. Social Networking sites, Book Blog Directories, comments on other blogs...)"

I much admit I'm not the greatest with this. Really I started off by blogging my reviews on livejournal and cross posting them here and eventually started to direct people over to this blog. It was slow going, and still is. I'm a shy person in real life and on the internet that isn't much different. I use assets like the hop and weekly memes to get to know other bloggers who share my taste in books. Every so often i tell myself i'll really start to use goodreads to it's full potential but I never really do. I did create a twitter a little over a week ago specifically for Loving Books, so I am trying! 

I won't bore all of you with the weekly update today because I'll have a month in review (ok, i already posted it. Follow the link!) post up within the next few hours. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Required Reading

I realized the other day that I've been complaining an awful lot about my required reading this semester. It probably comes across and whinny and inexperienced, which, to be honest,  is really a great defense mechanism of mine but I figure, this is a book blog, talk about books? You following me so far?  

So here, for the last time of my fall semester of my senior year of college I will talk in detail about the reading I'm doing this semester. Here's a list of what I'm reading/should be reading before December 18th.

For Family in Literature I have:

I've already finished this one. Had pretty mixed feelings about it. Was surprised that I'd never heard of Corneille. 

As I Lay Dying 
One of the reasons I was looking forward to this class was because I would be required to read a lot of things I had never gotten around to. Faulkner is one of those things. However I have rarely heard anything good about him, and my best friend hated this book passionately. Oh, and I'm kinda a Hemingway fan and this feels a bit like cheating.

A Streetcar Named Desire 

I've read this previously (who hasn't?), worked on my high school production, seen the movie, seen additional live performances. I'll be happy to get to this because It'll take me all of an hour and a half to read.

Persian Letters
Again, a classic I haven't heard of! Gee this class is making me feel dumb. Ok, not dumb, its just reminding me how many books are out there and how many I've never heard of. 

Things Fall Apart 
I was supposed to read this back at the start of my first year of college and then the class kind of deteriorated into disscosions on the uses of corn and watching Richard Pryer clips on youtube so Things Fall Apart never happened for me. I'm really looking forward to finally reading it. 

Now for Adaptation we have:

The Pope Of Greenwich Village
We're reading this and then watching the movie. I'm not enjoying it. It's not that it's a bad novel, just so far from my go to genre's. 

Touching From a Distance
Haven't started it. Am not interested in it. Am glad that about half the book appears to be lyrics.

Topics in Screenwriting: Modern Family Drama's:
No books, but so far I've read the screenplay for
Ordinary People
The Joy Luck Club
and the next few weeks we'll read
Little Miss Sunshine
A Rose in Winter

So that's my required reading for this semester. I'm still trying to keep up a slew of pleasure books as I'm doing all of this. 

What about you? Do you have books you absolutely have to read in the next few months? Have you read any of the ones on my list? What about any great college reading memories? i'd love to hear about them all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Fictional Couples in Books

For this Top Ten Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to name our top ten favorite fictional couples. 
I'm a big fan of great couples in great books, but for me they usually need to have something a little extra to get me interested. So here's my list. I'm pretty sure quiet a few of these will appear on more lists than mine, but that's ok. They're classic.

1.Beatrice and Benedict - Much Ado About Nothing - While some may go the Romeo and Juliet route, Beatrice and Benedict will always be my favorite Shakespearean couple. They're both quick witted and are so similar that they actually start off hating each other, but I think that growth (and a good deal of trickery) makes them a great couple. 

2. Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy - Pride and Prejudice - I don't even know if I have to explain this. Elizabeth is like the everygirl, especially in the bookish community and Darcy is just...Darcy. They have a tale for the ages and I just love them to pieces. 

3. Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley - Harry Potter - While Harry isn't my favorite character throughout the series, I do love his relationship with Ginny. Ok, it's a little creepy how obsessed with Harry Ginny is at the beginning of the series, but they both grow and she becomes less creepy and really cool. Oh, and who doesn't love "the monster inside Harry"?!?! PS: I didn't hate the epilogue

4.Emma and Dexter - One Day - As you're probably noticing I like couples that have to grow to fit each other, which is yet again the case with Emma and Dexter. They meet the day they graduate from college and go through the ups and downs of friendship before finally getting it right. I love that they're friends. Really and truly best friends. I like that about them.

5. Leo Gursky and Alma - The History of Love - Their story doesn't have a happy ending, and because of that The History of Love exists. I love the flashes of their loving relationship throughout the book and it kills me to see what a life without Alma has done to Leo.

6. Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff Heathcliff - Wuthering Heights - I will preface this by saying they are in no way a healthy couple, but I still love them. I think it's the way Catherine describes them that really gets me "he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire."

7. Claude and Camille - Claude and Camille -   I'm not a fan of Claude Monet's work, but man do I love the young him in this novel. I love both of them. They're both so single mindedly in love with each other and it's refreshing. They're the perfect example of rich girl falling for the starving artist and I love it.

8.Robin and Marian - The Robin Hood Legend - There are to many versions of their story to count, and in every version Robin and Marian are just a little different but I just love them in general. I think their story is so romantic and timeless. Ok, I'm swooning so I'm gonna move on.

9. Catherine and Arthur - The Constant Princess - I love Henry and Anne as a couple, but as this is a book list and I can't remember a single time I read a good account of their romance I'll move to the less thought of but more adorable of the Tudor Couples. Catherine and Arthur are hopelessly in love. Even though they have been betrothed to each other essentially since birth they both give themselves ot each other so completely. It's really such a tragedy that Arthur had to die so young. 

10.Arthur and Molly Weasley - Harry Potter- They just so a loving couple. I think they're a good example for everyone. They don't have much, but that doesn't matter, they love each other and they love their family and that's enough for them. That and they're awesome wizards/witches. Can't forget that. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Cid


I haven't been the best at reviewing things lately, and reading three things at once isn't helping, but here's my haphazard review of The Cid.

Do you remember all of that Shakespeare you had to read in high school? Well imagine that written by a 17th Century French man writing about 12th Century Spain. At it's core we follow Don Rodrigo and Ximena love each other and are from families of equal standing, so of course they should be married. After their fathers, Don Diego and The Count come to this agreement some lofty insults are thrown about and Rodrigo is sent to regain the family honor by killing his true loves father. From here on out the play reads like a grown up Romeo and Juliet, where the main characters realize there are consequences to their actions and will respectfully pay them.

I wasn't in love with this story, or the class for which I had to read it, but I think it's interesting to look at classic literature that I've never heard of before. I'll definitely give Corneille another chance since I have two other plays in this book.

Now I want to hear from you guys!
Have any of you read Corneille? I'd love to hear what you thought of him.
I've also been musing on if it's fair to really dissect a play like The Cid, which has been translated from its original text and still comment on the poetic structure used in the writing. I once had a teacher tell my class not to judge the actual words we were reading because no matter how close they are to the original text, they still arn't the same. At the time we were reading Gogol and while I liked the translation, I really took that concept to heart.  

I'll actually be reading a few novels for my classes in the next few weeks, and David Sedaris and Nicole Krauss both have new books coming out so I'll be pretty busy, reading wise - but that's all the better for all of you, right?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


e-Volving Books is having a 100 followers giveaway. You can find it here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Hop of Fall!

It's the first Friday of fall and of course that means another book blogger hop! The book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books, and for those of you that are totally confused by what I'm talking about, The Book Blogger Hop is a place for book bloggers to mingle and find other awesome book blogs, so if you haven't already hop on over to Jennifer's blog and sign yourself up.
Book Blogger Hop
This Jennifer asks us:
When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

I almost always write my reviews within 48 hours of finishing a book. I like to hold off on any actual musings until I've finished, just in case the end drastically changes my opinion of something, but at the same time I don't like to start writing moments after finish a book because i don't feel I've had enough time to process. 

School work is getting more and more intense this semester and I have a lot of reading to do for class. Luckily most of this reading is of the novel verity so I'm not totally SOL on my book goals for this year. I've been pretty much able to keep a book for pleasure going along with all the other things I have been reading. Right now I'm reading both The Cid and The Pope of Greenwich Village, both of which I should finish by this weekend as well as the screenplay for The Joy Luck Club. I also finished Coco Chanel & Igor Stavinsky this week as my last summer reading fling.

My roommate and I have also been keeping up with our blog dedicated to the world of bad movies. This past week we watched Batman and Robin and Troy. If your interested the site is

Oh, and I forgot when I posted this last night that today is my first blogiversary!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Night Bookmobile

Audrey Niffenegger

I'm sure you've all heard of Audrey Niffenegger from her two previous novels, The Time Travelers Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry. The Night Bookmobile is her latest publication, a short graphic novel based off of a short story she had previously had published.  The story revolves around the idea that each person has it's own personal Bookmobile like their own personal library of everything they have ever read - the catch is it only operates from dust till dawn and you'll only find it when you aren't looking for it.
Niffenegger takes a simple story that would grab any avid reader and illustrates it's beautifully. I tore through the 40 pages like a child would tear through their first Dr. Seuss book. What really makes this a great Graphic book is that the story itself is so interesting. It's a well written fantasy for book lovers and I highly recommend it. It's wroth the half an hour (at most) that you'll spend pouring over its pages.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky 

Chris Greenhalgh

You've all heard of Coco Chanel, the famous fashion designer? Well this is the story of her amorous relationship with the composer Igor Stravinsky. Over the summer of 1913 she puts up the Stravinksy's in her beautiful estate in Grasse and brings an expected level of chaos into their lives.

Having know little of Chanel but her clothes before picking up this gem of a novel I was surprised to learn of her complicated life. After all a bastard  orphan up-starter isn't exactly what I would picture when I pictured Coco but that is exactly how Greenhalgh portrays her. Chanel is the essence of a modern woman, and because of that woman today will relate to her strength and power. Igor is intriguing. He is described as unattractive, but the intensity of which he works on his music is heart warming, and his inner turmoil over his love for his wife Catherine, and Coco is adorable.

This was the perfect end of summer read. Greehalgh has a way of describing places so you  feel your there. And what better place to spend the last days of summer than 1910's Paris? This was a really great read, and while all of the characters were deeply flawed, most were easy to relate to. Not the best book I've read all summer but still fun.

I haven't seen the movie based of the book. Have any of you seen it?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hop around the Block!

Hi everyone! Hope you've all had a great week and are ready for a great hop! As always, thanks to the amazing Jennifer at Crazy-For Books for hosting the Hop!
Book Blogger Hop

This week Jennifer asks us to honor some of our favorite bloggers.
For this I would like to ask everyone to visit Jillian at Random Ramblings for her amazing reviews and picture posts, Becky at Page Turners for everything, seriously, I love Page Turners and Kelly from Fresh Off the Shelf for her amazing historical fiction reviews and insight.

Now for my weekly recap:
I've had a pretty good week. I'm back to reading at a normal pace, which is great after the past few weeks of moving craziness. I finished Running with Scissor's and started reading The Cid for class and Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky for a last summer fling read. I'm really excited to get more into the Coco, but The Cid is already proving more difficult than anticipated and I hate the class I'm reading it for.

I also created a twitter account for Loving Books this week. You can look at my last post or search twitter for LovingB00ks if your interested.

Lastly, My roommate and I have started a side blog project called Camp or Crap, all about bad movies.

This has been a real big self promotion post so I'll end things now. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend as we hop dangerously close to fall!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors

Augusten Burroughs

Welcome to the life of one Augusten Burroughs. He has a crazy mother, an alcoholic father, a boyfriend more than twice his age and is living in a house full of the oddest people imaginable. However in this coming of age memoir, Augusten takes everything in stride. When forced to live with his mothers therapist he grows to love the family, even if they are strange. Really Augusten is a teenage boy doing teenage things, only he has no boundaries.

I had been thinking about picking up Running with Scissors when I realized I haven't read anything truly funny in a while. I'm a huge fan of David Sedaris and thought the logical step, since I have read everything he's currently published, to move on to Augusten Burroughs. I had always heard good things about him, and people seemed to be laughing out loud as they were turning the pages of his books.

Burroughs has a way with words. He writes like an honest man, stating things as they are and not shying away from difficult subject matter. He deals with his mothers numerous breakdowns the same way he deals with his obsessive boyfriend, his deadbeat father and the crazy therapist he is living with. He writes like a straight man in a comedy troop. His scenarios are already funny, but his deadpan style makes them something special.

While i didn't enjoy everything about Running with Scissors, I appreciate it for what it was. Its easy to get caught up in the weirdness of his early life, but once you put all the weirdness (and poop) into perspective it's a really enjoyable read. I think I still prefer Sedaris to Burroughs but I don't regret picking this one up.

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish with the purpose of sharing top ten lists about different topics each week. This week, our lists are compiled of the top ten books we're dying to read. 

1. Great Houses - Nicole Krauss - Ok, it doesn't come out till November and every ARC giveaway I've entered has turned up no results but I still can not wait for the latest Nicole Krauss book. 

2.The Postmistress - Blake - I got this for my birthday and have been meaning to pick it up since 

3.Hunger Games - Collins  - I can't remmber a time in the recent blogging past when a Hunger Games related review hasn't been on my feed. I think I need to see what all the Hypes about. 

4. The Girl Who Played with Fire - Larsson - I read and enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and want to finish the series. So there.

5. Crime and Punishment -  Dostoyevsky - I've got a thing for old, dead, Russian authors and I think it's time that me and Fyodor sat down for some serious reading. 

6.The Book of Dead Languages -  Goodman - I have loved the two other Goodman novels I've read and had ever intention of marathoning her works but got distracted. The Book of Dead Languages was next on my list.

7. 1984 - Orwell - I just finished Brave New World and am in a bit of a Dystopian phase

8.How Did You Get This Number - Crosley - I ordered this almost two weeks ago and am still waiting for it. I am really excited to read it though so I hope it's worth the wait. 

9.Running With  Scissors - Burroughs - I'm not sure if this counts because I am currently reading it, but I'm enjoying it and excited to finish. 

10. Life is Elsewhere - Kundera - I'm a huge Kundera fan and this is one of the few books of his that I haven't read. I own a copy but I've been saving it for an especially bad and philosophical week. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Hey everyone, I just made a twitter account for Loving Books - you can find me here or by searching LovingB00ks on the site. I'll be posting updates about my blog and other reading related events there.

Brave New World

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

(from Goodreads)
"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come.

Huxley has done something interesting. While Brave New World wasn't popular in it's time because the population couldn't see a time when such a world was possible, less then 100 years later we are living in what could very well be the last decades before this civilization - and that's what makes Brave New World interesting.  

Huxley's style makes it easy to see the world he has created, and while the characters are often hard to relate to because of their conditioning, it is easy to see their reasoning. I really liked Lenina and Helmholtz because they were 'civilized' but were also a little off, not as off as someone like Bernard, but they also weren't as manipulative. In a world where Everyone Belongs to Everyone these three are a little off, Helmholtz writes controversial poetry, Lenina is as close to monogamous as possible and Bernard is just, well, he's off. 

Overall I was really impressed with Brave New World, it wasn't as challenge a read as I expected and it really left me thinking. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm Back and Hoppin!

Book Blogger Hop
Thanks to the lovely Jennifer for hosting the weekly blog hop!
This week, Anne @ My Head Is Full of Books has challenged us to post our favorite post or review in the past 3 month.

I'm having a hard time picking a favorite post. I've done so much in the past three months. I think my favorite review would be the one I wrote for The Thirteenth Tale . This may also be because it's my most recent review and I really liked the book, but check it out!

Nothing's really changed since my update post earlier this week. We finally got our internet installed today. I plan on finally getting my Brave New World review posted tomorrow.  I've been kinda sorta not really reading 1984. My hearts not really in it right now so I think I'm going to set it aside and pick up something a little less...depressing....yes, that's the right word.

Thanks for hopping by!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Book Buying Bans and Written in Books

Hi everyone! I just moved back into my apartment in Chicago. I feel like all I ever write about here is moving, work and school, but I guess that's pretty much been what my life has been like the past few months.
I missed my weekly update post on Friday, so here's the past week, a little late but better than nothing!

The start of September meant the start of Brave New World. My friend Kirsten and I had decided to take a crack at reading BNW and 1984 back to back and dove right in. I finished Brave New World yesterday will be calling Kirst to discuss our thoughts and draft up a review later today. As you probably gathered, next on my list is 1984. I got a copy for Christmas that I know my parents bought from I was cool with it because I've gotten tons of completely readable books from them at great prices. When I realized I was about to finish Brave New World last night I went looking for said copy. What I found can only be described as a tragedy to books everywhere. Now i don't have an issue with writing in books, but every single page of my copy of 1984 is underlined, boxed, crossed out, and showered in stupid notes and sad faces. I can usually put up with most underlining, I like to see what other people found striking when they were reading, but this was way out of hand. Do you write in or underline things in books you own?  I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts on this subject because I know to some it is a huge taboo.

Lastly, my self imposed book buying band is going terribly.
Since my last post I went over the deep end. I got 6 books this past week. They were -

I obviously had to get a new copy of 1984, and since I know I'll be reading this immediately I am not as upset about it. I already own a copy of Wuthering Heights, but have been in love with this edition for over a year. 

My excuses for these two? I had a gift card and there are few places to hang out in my hometown besides the local Barnes and Noble
I got both of these on a discount, but I don't need either of them. Regardless, I'm super excited to read How Did You Get This Number. I loved Sloane Crosley's other book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake.

I also had to buy school books this week and spent an obscene amount of money on used copies. I am determin to get back on wagon and use lots of metaphor's to signal me not buying any more books. 

Hi, My name is Sarah and I'm a book addict. I buy books I don't need and don't have time to read. I will do better. I will go to the library. 

I'm sorry about the lack of blog action lately, I should be back to normal blogging and commenting around Thursday. 

Happy Labor Day