Sunday, November 29, 2009

Free stuff!

The Bibliophilic Book Blog is having a wonderful giveaway.

There will be 3 winners. The first winner will get a Sony Pocket Ereader. The second winner will get a surprise book prize pack. And the third winner will get to choose a book from The Bibliophilic Book Blog's library.

You must be a follower to enter so make sure you sign up if you haven't already.

To enter leave a comment with your email address and the answer to the question, "What is the one thing you are most thankful for this holiday season?"

Additional Entries:
+ 1 for twitter, facebook, myspace posts (please link)
+ 1 for a comment on the "Knight of Pleasure Feature or Review" (+ 1 for each)
+ 2 for a sidebar blog post (link please)
+ 2 for new followers (note what kind of follower you are)
+ 3 for people who are already following
+ 5 blog post (on your personal blog) on its own for this giveaway (please link)
+ 5 for referrals both you and the referral...just mention who referred you (blog post referrals count)

Please remember to do all of these things over at The Bibliophilic Book Blog. (As opposed to here.)

Deadline to enter is December 15th.
Open internationally.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Friday 56, The Tale of Despereaux

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week's book is The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. It's a cute story that I managed to finish is one day. I have also seen the movie which turned out to be quite a bit different from the book. But I guess that's the way it usually works so I shouldn't be surprised.

The sentence:

And this time, he did not whisper the word. "I am not sorry. I will not renounce my actions. I love her. I love the princess."

Good for Despereaux. He's not going to be pushed around. Even if he does tend to faint all the time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More Vocabulary

Once again I have failed to make it to the end of several books without the aid of a dictionary. I do like to learn new words but if this keeps up I might have to start reading more kids' books to make myself feel smarter.

Vanishing Sculptor by Donita Paul

Obstreperous : marked by unruly or aggressive noisiness stubbornly resistant to control


Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Chinoiserie : a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also : an object or decoration in this style


Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

Diaphanous : characterized by such fineness of texture as to permit seeing through

Faience : earthenware decorated with opaque colored glazes

Porphyry : a rock consisting of feldspar crystals embedded in a compact dark red or purple groundmass

Calcareous : 1. resembling calcite or calcium carbonate especially in hardness b : consisting of or containing calcium carbonate
2. growing on limestone or in soil impregnated with lime


Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

Arrondissement : the largest administrative division of a French department, comprising a number of cantons


Do-Over by Robin Hemley

Perspicacity : keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment; penetration

Dressage : the art or method of training a horse in obedience and in precision of movement

Ashram : 1. the art or method of training a horse in obedience and in precision of movement
2. the persons instructed there

M├ętier : 1. a field of work; occupation, trade, or profession
2. a field of work or other activity in which one has special ability or training; forte.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Win The Dolphin People

At Home with Books is giving away 2 copies of The Dolphin People by Torsten Krol.

To enter leave a comment and make sure it has your email address so she can contact you if you win.

For extra entries:

*Blog
*Subscribe to Alyce's rss feed, follow her on blogger or subscribe via email
*Tweet on Twitter
*Stumble, digg it, or technorati fave it

Each one you do will get you another entry but make sure you leave a separate comment for each one.

It is open until December 6th.
Open to the US and Canada.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Hunger Games Review

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

From the book jacket:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


Collins does a great job of making you feel Katniss’s world with her. You can feel her desperation, resolve and strength as she fights to feed her family and to keep her little sister safe in a bleak and dangerous world. You can feel her frustration at the way things are and her inability to do anything about it. You can feel her fear, confusion and conflict when she is thrust into an impossible situation where she will have to literally kill or be killed but she can’t help but admire the food, beautiful clothing and all the wonderful sights she has never seen before. Or knowing that the only one who may know how she feels is a boy who will be in the same life or death struggle so she is afraid to befriend him. The characters all around Katniss are interesting too. They somehow manage to be well developed even though some of them have only small parts. And the people that are helping to run the Hunger Games are so real and quirky that you can’t hate them even though you feel like you should. Even Katniss can’t help but like a man who is dressing her for her death. The very world that these people live in where the government is really out to get you, where trying to feed your family can get you killed, and where The Hunger Games can go on and people treat it like a holiday makes your skin crawl. You want to see them rise up and take their lives back but at the same time you can see why it would be impossible for them to do that. You can understand Katniss’s turmoil because sometimes you feel it yourself. Katniss knows that the way things are is wrong but she does not know what the best thing to do about any of it is. The book is bleak and dark. Horrible, hard things happen. If you have read what the book is about it shouldn’t really come as a surprise but it is still something to think about before reading it yourself or giving it to too young a child. The ending is slightly abrupt. It does bring this chapter in the characters lives to a close but there is obviously more to come. And though I think you will want to know what happens to them next the story has enough of an ending that it will not feel incomplete when you finish the book.

Drey's Library Blogoversary Celebration

Drey is celebrating her blogoversary! And that means we all get a chance to win some wonderful books. In fact there are so many to choose from that I'm not going to list them here so you'll have to go over to Drey's Library and check them out for yourself. For every 10 entries another winner will be chosen up to 10 winners in all.

To enter leave Drey a comment telling her your feelings about extra entries for giveaways. And remember to leave your email address and list the books you want to win in the order of preference.

For an extra entry become a follower. But please remember to tell Drey how you follow and how she can tell it is you because she will check and she has to be able to find you.

This one is open to the US only - no PO boxes.
Ends December 4th 6:00 PM CST.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lynne's Book Reviews Giveaway

Lynne's Book Reviews is giving away books! Up for grabs right now are:

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
1776 by David McCullough
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

To enter become a follower of Lynne's Book Reviews and then leave Lynne a comment with your email address, which book you want to win (you have to choose one), and if you are a new follower or an old one.

It is open to the US and Canada.
Winners will be picked on December 2nd so get your entries in before then.

Good luck! And make sure you go back to visit Lynne because there are more giveaways coming.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Friday 56, Mistress Shakespeare

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime With Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


This week's book is Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper. I haven't gotten very far yet so I don't have much to say about it. I like the idea of reading about a young William Shakespeare though so I have high hopes for the book.

The sentence:

"Heard tell there's three of them now," he said, when I fumbled for its name.

Okay, so that is not a very exciting sentence. I even thought about cheating and going to get a different book but I was too lazy for that. So this is the sentence you get. I'm sure the rest of the book is more exciting. At least I hope it is.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Skulduggery Pleasant Review

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

From the inside flap:

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant, ace detective, snappy dresser, razor-tongued wit, crackerjack sorcerer and walking, talking, fire-throwing skeleton
- as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old. These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil. The end of the world? Over his dead body.



It was much funnier than I thought it would be. I admit that there is something cool about a fire throwing skeleton who walks around in well tailored suits solving crimes and making wise cracks and I was sold before I knew any more than that. But Landy makes Skulduggery more than just a flashy gimmick and develops him into a wonderful character. He is undoubtedly one of the good guys but he isn’t all sunshine, there is a darkness to him and his past is not pretty.

Stephanie Edgley, the 12 year old who helps Skulduggery, is sarcastic and quick witted without becoming obnoxious and the quick back and forth between her and Skulduggery is what brings much of the humor to the book. It was refreshing to see that she is not neglected or unloved by her parents and they notice that she is acting weird and take an interest in her life.

There are interesting ideas about how Skulduggery became what he is and the effect that had on him, about the nature of vampires, and about the magic having consequences, to get something from it you have to give something up. There are a lot of old ideas that are given a new spin and it makes them feel fresh and unique.

The secondary characters had a lot of potential. Stephanie’s extended family is contemptible, her father quirky, The Elders pompous and self important, and the people who help along the way driven and with a past of their own. They all could be very interesting but most of them were not developed very much and I hope some of them come back in future books so they can be rounded out and used more.

The bad guy is truly creepy, in large part due to how much he enjoys what he does, being evil and inflicting pain. I was slightly surprised at how dark it could sometimes get. I know it is about the possible end of the world as we know it and dark magic and betrayal are to be expected but murder, torture and the horrible stories from the past might not make this the best choice for those who are easily scared. But the darkness does add depth to the book. It makes for true danger to the characters and the evil they fight is a true force to be reckoned with which makes the story more suspenseful and interesting.

There are a few twists and turns and you don’t always know what to believe or who to trust and you can’t always tell what is going to happen next but it was a lot of fun finding out. I’ll definitely be reading the others in the Skulduggery series.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free book! And you get to choose!

Looking for a great gift for someone? How about a book? Or is there a book you have been dying to get? Then you should head on over to La Femme Readers where they are having a pre-holiday giveaway. There will be two winners and they will get to choose any book they want (that is under $25) and La Femme Readers will order it from Amazon and send it right to your door. Sounds great, doesn't it? So here are a few more things you should know.

For entries:

+1 Comment
+1 Please write your e-mail
+3 New Follower
+5 Already an old follower
+1 Twitter about contest (Leave Link)
+1 Subscribe by e-mail
+1 Subscribe to my RSS Feed
+2 Sidebar about contest (Leave Link)
+10 Make an actual post on your blog (Leave Link)

This one is open to the US and Canada and you have until midnight on December 20th to enter.

Sesame Street is 40

Well, Sesame Street has turned 40 and to celebrate this historic occasion someone has written a book about it. And to celebrate that A Bookworm's World is giving away a copy. Do you want to win a copy of Sesame Street by Louise A Gikow and learn all sorts of neat stuff about the show? If you do you should rush over and check out the giveaway. To enter leave a comment saying who your favourite character is, (muppet or human). There will be an extra entry for followers or subscribers. Open to both Canada and the US. Closes Sunday December 13th at 6 pm EST. Good luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Friday 56, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

I'm nice and early today and still waking up. Thank goodness for spell check or this would be unreadable. Anyway...
The closest book this week is The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. I have to tell you. If a ghost showed up and led me to their dead body I don't think I would handle it well. But I guess I can understand why Laurel feels she needs to find out what happened. I'd kind of like to know myself. But no one tell me. I wouldn't want to ruin the ending.

The sentence:

At Laurel's baffled look, he explained, "It's a voice-over IP application. Gamers use it to coordinate attacks."

Ahhh... No, wait. I still don't know what he's talking about.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Books and Needlepoint Giveaways

Books and Needlepoint has several giveaways going on. You should head on over and check them out.

For White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner go here. Comment with a Christian fiction book that you have read this year. Open to the US only. Ends November 24th.

For the audio book Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species are Being Rescued From the Brink by Jane Goodall go here. Comment to enter. Extra entries available, read the rules to find out how. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends November 27th.

For It Happened One Night by Lisa Dale go here. Comment to enter. Extra entries available, read the rules to find out how. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends November 27th.

For the audio book Cheating Death:The Doctors and Medical Miracles that are Saving Lives Against All Odds by Sanjay Gupta, MD go here. Comment to enter. Extra entries available, read the rules to find out how. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends December 1st.

For the audio book What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell go here. Comment to enter. Extra entries available, read the rules to find out how. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes. Ends December 1st.

Monday, November 9, 2009

J. Kaye's Giveaways in November

Once again J. Kaye's Book Blog has an impressive list of giveaways going.

For The Broken Road by Keifer Bonvillain go here.

For the audio book What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell go here.

For Pollen and the Ring of Harmony by Francis T. Perry Williams go here.

For the audio book This Book is Not Good For You by Pseudonymous Bosch go here.

For The Cart Before the Corpse by Carolyn McSparren go here.

You must be 18 years or older
US and Canada residents only
Winners will NOT be notified by email.
The winners will be posted on November 28, 2009.
Read the rest of the rules here.

The list keeps growing so make sure you check it out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Friday 56, The Hunger Games

Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
*Post a link along with your post back to Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Almost forgot my Friday 56! The closest book to me right now is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Children fighting to the death on live TV. Sounds grim. And it is grim but it is also very interesting. And it reads very quickly. I'm already sure I'll be reading the next book.

The sentence:

Haymitch hasn't paid much attention to his platter, but he's knocking back a glass of red juice that he keeps thinning with a clear liquid from a bottle.

Three guesses as to what's in the bottle. I can't really blame him for getting drunk. Things are kind of bleak.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mini Reviews

These two books have nothing in common so don't bother trying to figure out what the connection is. They just didn't seem like a whole post all by themselves so I put them together.


The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Towner Whitney comes back home when her aunt disappears. She is a lace reader, someone who can see the future in a piece of lace. She is also kind of physic. I like how that is said like it is normal. Like we should have expected it, or maybe even known it already. She also has a bunch of holes in her memory. And although she came home to find out what happened to her aunt she ends up learning more about herself and filling in some of those holes. I did figure out what was going on before I was told and someone who actively tries to figure out the mystery in a book would probably have figured it out before I did but that did not lessen the impact on Towner so I was not sorry I wasn’t surprised. At times I almost thought that there was too much going on and we had to shift our focus off of Towner and her past a lot so I wasn’t really sure where the author was putting the emphasis but it wasn’t hard to follow so I didn’t mind too much.



The Shack by William P. Young

It was interesting. I think Young raises some interesting points and explains some things well but there were a couple of times when some of the ideas struck me as just strange (yes, stranger than meeting God in a shack). It will make you think so I think it's worth reading but at the beginning I was a little bored with the story (it did pick up though) and the dialog sometimes sounded staged, they just didn't talk like anyone I've ever met would talk. It's a quick read and though I had no interest in reading it when I first heard about it and I don't know that it has changed my life I'm glad I gave it a shot.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free books!

At Home With Books is having a shelf cleaning giveaway.

Up for grabs are:

Fire by Kristin Cashore - Paperback
The Maze Runner by James Dashner - Paperback advance copy
Shadow of the Sword by Jeremiah Workman - Hardcover
An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell - Paperback advance copy

To enter leave a comment telling Alyce which books you would like to win and make sure you leave an email address.

For extra entries:

*Blog about the giveaway
*Subscribe to the RSS feed, via email, or follow on blogger
*Tweet on Twitter
*Stumble the giveaway, digg it, or technorati fave it

Make sure you leave a separate comment for each one.

You have until November 29th to enter. It is open to the US and Canada.

Pirate Latitudes

The Tome Traveller is giving away 2 copies of Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Extra entries? Of course! Here's how:

+1 become a follower of The Tome Traveller
+1 tweet giveaway on twitter or blog about it (note that you did in your comment)
+3 fave The Tome Traveller at Technorati
+3 subscribe via Feedburner to The Tome Traveller

You have until midnight on November 20th to enter. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

The Book Faery Reviews is giving away ONE copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange to one lucky commenter (thanks to SourceBooks).

Leave a comment on who your favorite classic hero/heroine is for your first entry.

For additional entries you can do the following:
*Tweet (make sure you add in “@farrah1230 #tbfr”)
*Technorati The Book Faery Reviews MAIN page (http://tbfreviews.net)
*Stumble The Book Faery Reviews MAIN page (http://tbfreviews.net)
*Post about the giveaway on your blog or other social networking site and leave the link
*Be an e-mail subscriber of The Book Faery Reviews
*Be an RSS Reader subscriber of The Book Faery Reviews


This giveaway will run until Friday, November 13th. Open to the US and Canada, no PO boxes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Books Read in October

Slow month. I only made it up to 8 books.


Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley

The Terror by Dan Simmons
Long. Mostly I liked it but at times I did think it went on too long.

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

Unquiet Dreams by Mark Del Franco
Second in the series. I really like the characters in these books. They are a lot of fun to read.

The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
Not my kind of book. I kept waiting for the point and never really got one.

Assassin by Rye James
Nothing here you haven't seen before.

Pompeii by Robert Harris
Nice sense of tension and anticipation because you know about the volcano when the people you are reading about do not.

Do-Over by Robin Hemley
Pretty funny. Hemley knows how to tell a story.