Wednesday, September 29, 2010

banned book list

in honor of banned books week, bloggers all over the world are writing posts and doing giveaways. i'm not doing either of those, however; i am just going to do exactly what the not-really-southern vamp chick did.

although, before i get to that, i'll say that i did see a GREAT school library display to celebrate this week. they had several banned books on a circular display, and they had wrapped the display with bright yellow CAUTION: DO NOT ENTER tape. i couldn't get close enough to take a picture, but i loved the idea of it. if i ever have my own classroom, or work in a library, i'm borrowing their idea!

on to the list.

the bolded & italicized books below are the ones i've read.

Top 100 banned/challenged books: 2000-2009:

1. Harry Potter (series). J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War. Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three. Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men. John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series). Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series). Philip Pullman
9. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series). Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels. Walter Dean Meyers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal. Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series). Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye. Toni Morrison
16. Forever. Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple. Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice. Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye. J.D. Salinger

20. King and King. Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series). Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver. Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen. Maurice Sendak

25. Killing Mr. Griffen. Lois Duncan
26. Beloved. Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead. James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia. Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton. Caroline B. Cooney

30. We All Fall Down. Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know. Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima. Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars. David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things. Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging. Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World. Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing. Robie Harris
38. Arming America. Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy. Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny. E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk. Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground. Avi
43. Blubber. Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts. Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady. Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainboy Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve. Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins. Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me? Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves. Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier. Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom. Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate. Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World. K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean. Kevin Henkes
60. Speak. Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star,. Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series). Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist. Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here. Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried. Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill. John Grisham
68. Always Running. Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me. Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series). Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon. Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book. Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones. Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series). Lois Lowry

76. A Prayer for Owen Meany. John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel. Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex. Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room. Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die. Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Bo. Richard Wright
82. Deal With It! Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy. Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove. Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Chris Crutcher
86. Cut. Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes. Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights. H.G.Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time. Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves. Jean Graighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face. Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night. Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series). R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children. Garth Nix
96. Grendel. John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits,. Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau. Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel. Frank, E.R.

Monday, September 27, 2010

new design

remember when i had posted about a giveaway of a free blog makeover from Ashley?

well, i won the giveaway! i got a free blog overhaul courtesy of Ashley, and let me tell you, she was great to work with! i gave her some ideas of what i wanted, including a photo of my own. she took all of my random ideas and turned them into a consistent theme, including a button, a custom header with avatar, and a rating system. it's so perfectly ME, based on what she figured of my personality. i just love my new design from Ashley!

if you are reading this blog in a reader, you should click over NOW and see my new design. and then, since i know you'll really love it, you should head to Ashley's blog to check out her designs and pricing. my blog makeover was free from a giveaway, but she is very affordable, compared to some other blog designers i have seen out there. she is accommodating, creative, and fast, all for a low price. go check her out! and if you decide to use Ashley for your own blog overhaul, let her know that i sent you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review: Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons.

A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists.

But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born.

I received a free ARC of this book for completing a read-a-thon back in August. I didn't rush to read it, as I wasn't reviewing it for the publisher. I started off being really excited to read this book, which wore off a bit as time went on and I still hadn't read it. Luckily, I ended up liking it a lot!

Age recommendation: 13+

I love the way this book started. The action, the mystery, the foreshadowing... Right away, secrets are hinted at and Finn is introduced as the main character. I had to go back and reread several parts twice, because of all the secrets and double meanings. I figured out the biggest secret (Finn) easily enough, but I didn't get the Warden's secret (Claudia) until shortly before he revealed it. And as for Sapphique, that had me guessing up until the end.

There were two major things I didn't like about this book: First, it took forever for Claudia to actually DO something to try to save Finn. She was all talk, no action. I like Attia much more than Claudia. And second, the ending was so weak! So incredibly anti-climatic. I mean, the Queen just walked away. No way in hell I would have let that happen if I had written the book. Finding out that there is going to be a sequel only comforts me a slight bit. A sequel wouldn't be needed if there had been a better ending.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoƫ at his side.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it. [Source]
I borrowed this book from the library and read it because it was highly recommended by several colleagues of mine. There are several of us that all trade books often, and I trust them when they say that I'll enjoy a book. I was told that this particular book is both funny and sad. Funny, I like. But I can't handle sad. I don't like crying over books. In the end, I decided that it was more amusing than funny, and more aggravating than sad. But I don't want to give away the ending.

Quick summary: Enzo is the narrator of this story, and he is a dog. He has a great owner, but he's not too keen on his owner's love interest. Until they make a baby, that is. Enzo becomes the baby's protector, but there is only so much he can when he is not allowed to follow her everywhere she goes. And there is the impending end; dogs don't live forever. It's up to Enzo to keep his owner true to himself, and to help him fight for what's right.

Age recommendation: 17+

Yea, I loved this book. Enzo is SUCH a lovable character, despite the fact that he's a dog. I think he is so lovable because he's a dog. I liked seeing life through his eyes, experiencing life in a dog's body. And it's a very honest book view. Enzo doesn't sugarcoat life or shy away from embarrassing topics. His perspective is refreshing; it's one that more people should adopt. It's a shame that the other characters in this book aren't more like Enzo. They are more like real people - pushy, greedy Americans who refuse to see that their way isn't necessarily the best way. That part aggravated me to no end.

The only part that I didn't like about this book is the constant racing analogies. Enzo's owner is a car racer, so Enzo is a racing aficionado, so to speak. Throughout the book, he relates life to racing. At first, it was clever and amusing, but after several chapters, I got sick of it. I couldn't keep up with the racing lingo, and I had to resort to skimming the pages to get to the end of the wordy comparisons. I would have finished the book a lot faster if I hadn't been struggling to understand every other chapter.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

september 9 - btt

Booking Through Thursday is a blog about questions. Once a week, a question is posted, and we answer it. That's all!

this week's question is: You’ve just dropped your favorite, out-of-print book into a bathtub, ruining it completely … What do you do now?

oh gosh... cry?? i would probably run to my laptop, hit up b&n and amazon, and maybe even ebay, to try to find it again. if that didn't work, i would definitely start my used bookstore loop to search for it by hand.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

september 8 - blog redesign giveaway

Ashley over at Ashley's Bookshelf has opened her etsy shop and giving away a FULL BLOG REDESIGN! pretty cool, eh?! you should CLICK HERE to read more about it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

september 2 - HUGE giveaway

meg from in which a girl reads has a stack of 25 books that she is giving away. and i want 13 of them. here's the full list:

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
2. The Duff by Kody Keplinger (ARC)
3. You by Charles Benoit
3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
4. Linger by Maggie Steivafater
5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
6. Candor by Pam Bachorz
7. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
8. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
9. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
10. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
11. Hold Still be Nina De LaCour
12. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
13. Sea by Heidi R. Kling
14. Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan
15. Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
16. Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
17. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
18. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
19. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
20. Paper Towns by John Green
21. Need by Carrie Jones
22. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
23. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
24. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
25. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

there are some hugely popular titles in there!

first winner gets to pick 3 books, second winner gets to choose 1 book, and third winner gets to choose 1 book.

CLICK HERE to enter... or don't... because if you do, then i have less chances of winning.

september 2 - btt

Booking Through Thursday is a blog about questions. Once a week, a question is posted, and we answer it. That's all!

this week's question is: do movies made out of books make you want to read the original?

yes! usually, if i am excited about a movie based on a book, i try to read the book first. but if i don't have time, then i definitely add the book to my TBR list, whether or not i enjoyed the movie.
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