Monday, November 30, 2009

2010 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2010 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

If you are interested in this challenge go to The Royal Reviews blog to sign up.

At this point I decided to participate at the Fascinated level. I will list these six books by January 2010.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ALL ABOUT THE BRONTES CHALLENGE

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Do you enjoy a good gothic novel? Do you wonder what it would have been like to be a part of a trio of three gifted sisters living a lonely existence in the moors? Then you will enjoy the All About the Brontes Challenge!

Challenge Details

1. The All About the Brontes challenge will run from January 1st to June 30, 2010. You can post a review before this date if you wish.

2. You can read a book, watch a movie, listen to an audiobook, anything Bronte related that you would like. Reading, watching, or listening to a favorite Bronte related item again for the second, third, or more time is also allowed.

3. The goal will be to read, watch, listen, to 3 to 6 (or beyond) anything Bronte items.

4. Please sign-up by posting your blog entry on the number of items and what items you would like to do for this challenge below in Mr. Linky (Don't just post your blog's URL). Don't worry, you can do different things than you have listed. I myself am not always good at sticking to lists!
5. On January 1st (or slightly before), I will have a post on this blog where reviews of each Bronte item can be linked in.
6. Enjoy!

What Bronte items can you read/watch/listen to? There are plenty! Here are a few suggestions.

The Original Works
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte*
Villette by Charlotte Bronte*
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte*
The Professor by Charlotte Bronte*
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte*
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte*
Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell
Juvenilia by Charlotte Bronte
-The Secret
-Mina Laury
-Orgins of Angria
-Marian vs. Zenobia
-Mary
-Mina Laury
-Elizabeth

Biographical Works/Literary Criticism
The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell*
Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life by Lyndall Gordon*
The Art of the Brontes by Christine Alexander and Jane Sellars
Selected Letters of Charlotte Bronte edited by Margaret Smith
Charlotte Bronte: A Writer's Life by Rebecca Fraser
Charlotte Bronte: Unquiet Soul by Margot Peters
Bronte by Glyn Hughes
The Three Brontes by May Sinclair
The Brontes by Juliet Barker
The Brontes: A Beginner's Guide by Steve Eddy*
The Oxford Companion to the Brontes by Christine Alexander
The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller
In the Footsteps of the Brontes by Ellis Chadwick
Spin-offs/Modern Reworkings/Brontes as Fictional Characters/Etc.
Emma Brown: A Novel from the Unfinished Manuscript by Charlotte Bronte by Clare Boylan*
The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fford*
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman*
Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Bronte Sisters by Denise Giardina
Jane Eyre's Daughter by Elizabeth Newark
Jane Airhead by Kay Woodward
Jillian Dare by Melanie M. Jeschke
The Taste of Sorrow by Jude Morgan
The Heights by Brian James
Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler
The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne Du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (an original work inspired by Jane Eyre)*
Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier (an original work inspired by Wuthering Heights)*
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (definitely a gothic tale in the vein of Jane Eyre)*
The Brontes went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson
Coldwater by Mardi Mcconnochie*
Being Emily by Anne Donovan
The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte by James Tully*
Heathcliff: The Return to Wuthering Heights by Lin Haire-Sargeant
Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant
Return to Wuthering Heights by Anna L'Estrange*
Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shi


Movies/Mini-series
Wuthering Heights (1939 - starring Laurence Oliver)*
Wuthering Heights (1970 - starring Timothy Dalton)
Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights (1992 - starring Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes)*
Wuthering Heights (Masterpiece Theatre 1998)
Wuthering Heights (2003 for MTV)
Wuthering Heights (Masterpiece Theatre 2009)*
Jane Eyre (1934)
Jane Eyre (1944)*
Jane Eyre (BBC - 1970)
Jane Eyre (1983 miniseries starring Timothy Dalton)*
Jane Eyre (1996)*
Jane Eyre (1997 A&E movie)*
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996 - Masterpiece Theatre starring Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens)*
Villette (1970 BBC mini-series also adapted in 1999 as a BBC Radio production)
Rebecca (1940)*
Rebecca (2003 DVD - Masterpiece Theatre)*
Jamaica Inn (1939)*
Jamaica Inn (1983 TV Movie)
Devotion (1946 - highly fictionalized account of the Bronte sisters lives)

A couple of great blogs to check out for more information about the Brontes and related works are:
Bronteana


I have chosen to read three books for this challenge.

1. The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne Du Maurier
2. The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell
3. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

SOUTH ASIAN AUTHOR CHALLENGE 2010


What is the South Asian Author Challenge?

This challenge is to encourage people to read books by South Asian Authors – South Asia being India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Please not that it does not include the Middle East! The books can be from any time period, contemporary or classic. If you want to talk about the challenge on Twitter or tweet your reviews, use the hashtag #saac.

What books qualify for the South Asian Author Challenge?

There are two requirements for a book to qualify for the South Asian Author Challenge, both of which must be met:

1) The author must be of South Asian descent. It doesn’t matter if they’re third or fourth generation, or are only half South Asian – I’m pretty flexible on this issue.

2) The book must be about South Asia in some way. It doesn’t have to be set in South Asia, as long as it’s about the culture or history in some way. On the other hand, it can be set in South Asia and not be about South Asians.

As an example, The Blue Notebook is an amazing book about India by James Levine. But because James Levine isn’t from South Asia, the book wouldn’t qualify for the challenge.

Another example: Amulya Malladi is a South Asian author, but her book The Sound of Language wouldn’t qualify because it’s about a girl from Afghanistan.

However, the book The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar would qualify because, although it is about non-Indians, it’s set in India.

If you’re still confused on this point, please feel free to contact me and ask if a particular book would qualify for the challenge, or leave a comment on the list of South Asian authors page.

What are the dates of this challenge?

January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010

How many books do I have to read for the South Asian Author Challenge?

There are four different commitment levels:

3 books

5 books

7 books

10 books

You can sign up at any of these levels, but please specify which level you’re participating at in your sign-up post.

Do you have a list of suggested authors or reads for this challenge?

Definitely. Here is a list of some of the books that will qualify for the challenge, and here is a list of South Asian authors (sorted by genre) that you might want to consider.

Do I have to make a list of books when I post my sign-up post?

No, definitely not. Part of the point of this challenge is to discover new authors through other’s reviews. Being forced to create a list at the beginning would be counterproductive!

Do I have to review every book I read for this challenge?

No, you don’t. I really hope you’ll choose to review the books you read, but it’s not a requirement!

Can I participate even if I don’t have a blog?

Absolutely!

Are there any prizes for this challenge?

YES! There will be a prize for those who sign up before January 1, and another for those who complete it. Additionally, I hope to host some South Asian Author Challenge-exclusive giveaways while the contest is going on. Unfortunately, I will be up front about the fact that most of these giveaways will be U.S. only, with some including Canada, because I can’t afford to send books internationally.

Can I use books I read for this challenge for other challenges? (Are crossovers allowed?)

Yes, definitely!

Can I change challenge levels after January 1?

You can’t move down (change from 10 to 7 – that defeats the purpose of it being a challenge!) but you can move up if you find you just love South Asian authors and want to read more of them than you expected!

Why join this challenge?

Because there are a lot of great Indian authors out there! While I love Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri, some people don’t find their work accessible. I want to show people that Indian authors write every genre – non-fiction, YA, chick lit, historical fiction, as well as literary fiction!

Can the books I read be in translation?

Yup, definitely!

Do re-reads count?

Absolutely! The point of the challenge is to read South Asian authors – if you’re reading a book you’ve already read, you’re still reading a book by a South Asian author!


I have decided to start out with just three books which I will identify later. I hope I can read more during next year.

Thriller/Suspense Challenge 2010

Anita Blake Button 1


I have decided to join the Thriller/Suspense Challenge for 2010. I absolutely can't resist
reading suspense books. This challenge goes from
January 1, 2010 to December 31. 2010.

The only requirement is to select and read 12 books during this time.

The Challenge Details:

• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront then you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

• If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others, please make sure you add a link back to this post so others can join in.

• You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

• There will be a place for you to link your reviews, but this is optional

To sign up go to Book Chic City and use Mr. Linky.


Night of Flames by Douglas W,. Jacobson

Title: Night of Flames

Author: Douglas W. Jacobson

Published: October 1, 2008

Page Count: 384

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Rating: 5/5

In 1939 the Germans invade Poland, setting off a rising storm of violence and destruction. For Anna and Jan Kopernik the loss is unimaginable. Anna’s father is deported to a death camp, and Anna must flee to Belgium where she joins the Resistance. Meanwhile, Jan escapes with the battered remnants of the Polish army to Britain. When British intelligence asks him to return to Poland in an undercover mission to contact the Resistance, he seizes the chance to search for his missing wife.

Night of Flames is an excellent book that kept me enthralled from the very beginning. The book is rich with historical details while still focusing on the characters and their relationships with each other, the historical details of the annihilation of the Jews and the resistance efforts( from local to national) to rid their country of the Nazis.

In addition, the reader gets a perspective of what happened in Poland and with its people with the Nazi invasion. Poland is a country that has been conquered and reconquered over the centuries and this is just one more time that the Polish people lose their identity to a conquering country. What was unique here. though, is that the people had a scapegoat to blame it all on, the Jewish population. I knew that the initial actions of the Nazi's were often met with little if any resistance at the beginning of World War II. However in Night of Flames, you get a real feeling of the chaos, lack of understanding and belief in their own vulnerability, and eventual personal devastation that occurred within families.

There are many subplots within the main story and each subplot has its own set of characters. Jacobson's control of the plot lines made is easy to follow along with the story. It is a complex storyline but it never drags. Jacobson keeps the reader engaged with the story and always eager to keep moving along in the book.

Night of Flames is excellent historical fiction. It pulled me in from the beginning, and I found myself completely immersed in the historically accurate action from page one– not to mention the incredible set of characters! I would highly recommend Night of Flames to any reader who loves historical fiction especially regarding World War II.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Colorful Reading Challeng

The Colorful Reading Challenge

At the request of some of the participants of this year's Colorful Reading Challenge, Lost in Books is hosting it again for 2010.

UPDATE:
If you participated in 2009 or read the post before this update, the challenge had a requirement of 9 books with 9 different colors in the title, six required colors and three freebies. Well, I decided to let everyone explore the color selections a little more and change up the rules.

You still need to read 9 books with 9 different colors in the title, but this time you get to choose all 9 colors for your books! You may be wondering how many books are there really out there with colors in the title? You may be surprised. To help you out and inspire your reading list, I created a reading idea list for sixteen or so different colors. So be sure to click over if you aren't sure what you can read.

As always, there is no need to make a list of books if you'd rather play it by ear and if you do make a list you may change it at any time. The challenge runs from January 1- December 31, 2010. If you would like to participate, please sign up using the Mr. Linky.

Click here if you'd like to see the titles and reviews by this year's participants.

The point is to challenge yourself but to also read some great books and have fun!

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Reading from My Shelves Project

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After reading about this Challenge on Bibliophile by the Sea, I decided to join in and try to lessen the weight on my bookshelves, by reading books from my shelves, and then passing the books on to someone else: a friend, relative, the library, used book store, swap them, just as long as the book leaves my house once it has been read. I'm setting a goal of (20 books).

Does this sound like something you'd like to do as well??? If so, feel free to join in and follow these guidelines as defined at Bibliophile by the Sea:
  • grab the challenge button
  • decide how many books you want to read from your shelves (minimum of 20 - no maximum)
  • find a new home for the books once you read them
  • post the titles and the authors of books you've read and passed on
  • project runs from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010
  • crossover challenge books are allowed
Go to Bibliophile by the Sea to sign up on Mr. Linky. My list of books that I will read will be added here:

1. The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes
2. Amigoland Oscar Casares
3. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
4. Base 10 by Maryann Lesart
5. From Wonso Ponds Kang Kyong
6. Bone Woman by Cleo Koff
7. So Into You by Sandra Hill
8. Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara
9. Madam Curie Complex by Julie des Jardin
10. Pillow Talk
11. Zeleika Dobson
12. The Sisters: Family Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary Lovell
13. Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
14. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrud Undset
15. American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit by Paula Uruburu
16. The Sinner by Tess Berritsen
17. Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
18. Pictures of Perfection by Reginald Hill
19. Circle of Honor by Carol Umberger
20. Luxembourg and the Jenisch Connection by David Robinson

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Sea of Books: Audiobook Giveaway: A SEPARATE COUNTRY by Robert Hicks

A Sea of Books: Audiobook Giveaway: A SEPARATE COUNTRY by Robert Hicks

Set in New Orleans in the years after the Civil War, A Separate Country is based on the incredible life of John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army--and one of its most tragic figures. Robert E. Lee promoted him to major general after the Battle of Antietam. But the Civil War would mark him forever. At Gettysburg, he lost the use of his left arm. At the Battle of Chickamauga, his right leg was amputated. Starting fresh after the war, he married Anna Marie Hennen and fathered 11 children with her, including three sets of twins.

If you want details on how to get a copy of the audiobook, go to A Sea of Books Audiobook Giveaway.

The Bibliophilic Book Blog: Because I'm in a Good Mood! GIVEAWAY TIME!

The Bibliophilic Book Blog: Because I'm in a Good Mood! GIVEAWAY TIME!: "Covet by: J.R. Ward."

The Bibliophilic Book Blog is appreciative of her followers and wants to give away one copy of Covet. Check out the blog site for entry details.

The Bibliophilic Book Blog: Book Review and Giveaway: Knight of Pleasure by: Margaret Mallory

The Bibliophilic Book Blog: Book Review and Giveaway: Knight of Pleasure by: Margaret Mallory Currently Reading...
Want a great romance novel to read? Then enter to win Knight of Pleasure.
The plot is good It occurs in the time of King Henry V with no crazy twists of history. It moves at a pretty good pace and there was no waiting around or gratuitous love-making inserts. The characters are amazing.

Check out the details for entering the giveaway at Bibliophililic Book Blog.

Mommy Goggles » Holiday Feast for 8 at Walmart for $20! *Two $30 Gift Cards Giveaway* (12/11)

Mommy Goggles » Holiday Feast for 8 at Walmart for $20! *Two $30 Gift Cards Giveaway* (12/11)

Enter to win a gift card to assist you in supplying a holiday meal from Walmart. Mommy Goggles found out she could feed her family for $20 when she choose Walmart.
Check out the details on the blogsite so you can win a gift card for the winter holiday meal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Women On Wednesday Wednesday November 25, 2009



Women on Wednesday~ Thank you Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell!

Susan at Rocks n' Reads West of Mars hosts Women on Wednesday.

WOW — Women on Wednesday.

Every Wednesday, write about a book you loved that’s written by a woman. Celebrate a woman author whose books you love. Talk about a book you’re dying to read.

This is a new meme to spotlight favorite FEMALE authors, as Publisher's Weekly has recently published their Best Reads of 2009, without a single female writer on their list.

So now we get to give the Women a Weekly Meme!

Susan says:

"WOW — Women on Wednesday.
Every Wednesday, write about a book you loved that’s written by a woman. Celebrate a woman author whose books you love. Talk about a book you’re dying to read.
"

This week I want to focus on a newly discovered female writer for me, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. I was introduced to Cranford this past September and absolutely fell in love with her writing. This book is filled with humor, close examinations of relationships, unrequited love, and classisms. I can hardly wait to read more of her novels.

Cranford is the best-known novel of the 19th century English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. It was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine Household Words, which was edited by Charles Dickens. After being overshadowed for a little, it has taken its place finally among the masterpieces of English fiction, along with Jane Austen and the Vicar of Wakefield. There has never been a more delightful and tender study of English village life, or one in which insight is so joined with kindliness.

This is a witty and poignant look at the market town of Cranford where women are the majority of the population. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the village from Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order. The arrival of handsome young Doctor Harrison causes yet further agitation, not just because of his revolutionary methods, but also because of his effect on the hearts of the village’s ladies. Meanwhile Miss Matty Jenkyns nurses her own heart following her forced abandonment of the man she loved since she was a young girl.

Some of her other novels include




I look forward to reading these other books and enjoying Elizabeth's humor and observations of 19th century England. Also Cranford is going to be on PBS soon as a rebroadcast for Masterpiece Theater. I can hardly wait for this to happen.
Join in the Women on Wednesday Fun by linking to today's post

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday 11-24-2009

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. It asks you to:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations and they can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please avoid spoilers!

My Teasers

" But Boris was unpersuaded. I just remember three of them, he insisted. I am positive he had just three daughters."


Monday, November 23, 2009

Come Along for the Ride:--Amazing Book Signing Weekend and BIG CONTEST

A SIGNED hardcover of Sarah Dessen's Along for the Ride, and an ARC of Will Grayson, Will Grayson signed by David Levithan.
Plus all of this sweet swag from the day!
(as seen in a picture of all the books Donna got)

- set of four Leviathan postcards (middle, left, far right)
- Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks pin (right)
- Sarah Dessen magnets (bottom left)
- Liar bookmark (bottom (far) right)


Check out the blog: The First Novels Club for more details.

The Bookworm's Giveawy and Review: Willoughby's Return

A lost love returns and rekindles the passion between the two old lovers.

This is reflective of several of Jane Austen's book plots. You will need to read the book to find out what happens. Check out The Bookworm blog site for details on how to enter the giveaway and learn more about the author and novel's plot,

The Burton Review: GIVEAWAY & GUEST AUTHOR: KATHRYNE KENNEDY, HISTORICAL ROMANCE

The Burton Review: GIVEAWAY My Unfair Lady by Katheryne Kennedy

Remember that story "My Fair Lady" with Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins? This is the same concept with a blend of both America and England and a larger dash of a southern accent. If this sounds interesting, go to The Burton Review to read more about the book and sign up for the giveaway.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shawn's Sharings: Bella Basset Ballerina Book Giveaway

Shawn's Sharings: Bella Basset Ballerina Book Giveaway

bella basset

Bella Basset is a pup when her mother takes her to see the famous Royal Borzoi Ballet for the first time. At the ballet, a dream is born: Bella wants to become a dancer! But in Bella's world, only Borzois can dance, so she has many obstacles to overcome before she can realize her dream. This is a story about dedication and perseverance, which may give children (and grown-ups) the inspiration to pursue their dreams.

Go to Shawn's Sharings to sign up soon!

Ramblings of a Bibliophile: Bookizzle's FIRST EVER Giveaway!

Ramblings of a Bibliophile: Bookizzle's FIRST EVER Giveaway!: "
"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

J. Kaye's Book Blog: The 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge: "The 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge



1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--The Mini - Check out and read 25 library books.

--Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.

--Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.

--Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.

(Aim high. As long as you read 25 by the end of 2010, you are a winner.)

3. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – any book as long as it is checked out from the library count. Checked out like with a library card, not purchased at a library sale.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

6. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

I selected the level of The Mini: To read 25 library books.
A list of these books will be added to this post in the near future.

Holiday Gift Guide Frosty Friends DVD Giveaway:

Wishing Penny


Bundle up with your favorite preschool pals in these fun-filled wintertime tales. Join Barney™, Bob the Builder™, Pingu™, T homas & Friends™, and Kipper™ as they enjoy playful adventures in the snow. Learn the true meaning of Christmas with your best friend, Barney, build a snowman with Bob, go sledding with Kipper, whistle down the tracks with Thomas, and laugh along as Pingu plays hilarious tricks on his friends.


This movie is really fun!


Episodes include :
Thomas & Friends - "Percy's New Whistle"
Barney - "Gift of the Dinos"
Bob the Builder - "Snowman Scoop"
Pingu - "Pingu and the Hose"
Kipper - "The Big Freeze"

Sounds fun huh?

GIVE IT!!!

I highly recommend this DVD for any little one. Great for before the holidays or for wrapping up and putting under the tree.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

World Religion Challenge 2010

Announcing the World Religion Challenge 2010

World Religion

The Challenge runs from Jan 1st 2010 to Dec 31st 2010. There are four categories or Paths (Tao means “way” or “path”) to Reading Challenge Enlightenment:

1. The Bare Bones Path (Also Know As: The *Technically* There’s Only Three Path): Read something about what are *technically* the only world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. (These are considered, by some scholars, to be the only World Religions because while Judaism and Hinduism have the numbers, they don’t proselytize or really invite other people to join, making it more of an ethnicity).

2. The Penthouse Path (Also Known As: The Five Biggies Path): Read something about the five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

3. The Universalist Path (Also Known As: The Above and Beyond Path): Read something by all five of the major world religions PLUS more books about any or all of the following: Shintoism, Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wicca, Mythology, Atheism, Occult, Tribal Religions, Voodoo, Unitarianism, Baha’i, Cults, Scientology, Mysticism, Rastafarianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Satanism, Manichaeism, Deism, Comparative Religion, Religious Philosophy, Jungiansim, Symbolism, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., etc. etc. (you may also read about another aspect of one of the 5 Biggies)

4. The Unshepherded Path (Also Known As: The Don’t Tell Me What to Do Path): Read as many books as you would like about whatever religions you want.

What to read?

Nonfiction
fiction
religious texts
poetry

and if your eyeballs are ready to fall out of your skull:
watch a movie
see a play
listen to some music
attend a service
celebrate a holiday
perform a ritual
open the door when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to call

Need some inspiration? Do the following:

Go to this post on Bibliofreak's blog, and see where it is tagged “religion?” Click on the tag and it will take you to all of the myriad books I’ve tagged as “religion”. In the next month and a half, I’m going to try to review a lot of other books I’ve previously read so as to add to the list.

Go to the bookstore, and browse around

Look up religions on Wikipedia

Ask me for advice

Steal from other participants’ lists

Audio books and cross-overs from other challenges are encouraged.

Do you have to have a blog to join? Of course not! I’d be happy to post on here for you…or you can just leave a comment with the book you read.

Soo…Go make your lists!

And this list is totally subject to change as I come across more and more books that fit the theme (and remember, I tend to find themes of religion in most things I read).

Here are some suggestions by religions:

Hinduism:

Baksheesh and Brahman: Asian Journals – India by Joseph Campbell
The Namesake by Jumpa Lahiri

Buddhism:

The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World by the Dalai Lama
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by by DT Suzuki
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
The Life of Milarepa: A New Translation from the Tibetan translated by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa
Buddha’s Wife by Gabriel Constans

Judaism:

Night by Elie Wiesel
Sarah: A Novel by Marek Halter
Samson’s Walls by Jud Nirenberg

Christianity:

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen
James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Robert H Eisenman
Pope Joan: A Novel by Donna Cross
The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong
The Monastic Journey of Thomas Merton by Thomas Merton
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Baudolino by Umberto Eco

Islam:

Saffron Dreams by Shailah Abdullah
Leap of Faith : Memoirs of an Unexpected Life by Queen Noor
The Koran translated by A. J. Arberry
The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid
God Dies by the Nile by Nawal El Saadawi
God Has Ninety-Nine Names by Judith Miller

Mythology:
Hrafnkel’s Saga and Other Icelandic Stories translated by Hermann Palsson
Gilgamesh translated by Stephen Mitchell
The Histories by Herodotus translated by John M. Marincola

Comparative Religion:

The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong
A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
What Is God? by Jacob Needleman
The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America by Don Lattin
Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools and Rascal Gurus by George Feuerstein

Taoism:

The Wandering Taoist by Deng Ming-Dao

Tribal Religions/Animism/Shamanism:
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
The Valley of Horses by Jean Auel

Wicca/Occult/Paganism:

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Atheism/Agnosticism:

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins


My level and books are yet to come.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

vvb32 reads: Bright Star (2009) movie

vvb32 reads: Bright Star (2009) movie

Before watching the film, I picked up Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne with introduction by Director Jane Campion.

Just like the movie, exquisite.
vvb32 picked up a second copy for some lucky soul out there in the blogosphere.

Interested in receiving a bundle of Keats love letters? Check out the blog site for further details on entering the giveaway.

Sweeps4Bloggers: Giveaway - Affordable Scarves - Ends 11/23/09

Sweeps4Bloggers: Giveaway - Affordable Scarves - Ends 11/23/09

Scarves for Fashion and Function - All Under $20.

Yes, you read that correctly. ALL of the gorgeous scarves on this site are priced at less than $20! :)

The selection is fabulous - you could easily pick up a bunch of them as Christmas gifts and make people happy without breaking the bank.

The site is easy to search by color, material (pashmina, silk, cotton, cashmere), shape (loop, skinny, wrap...), size (extra long, extra wide, short...) and trend (animal print, metallic, floral, embellishment...).

I had fun looking at all of the pretty pictures and saw several that I liked, but when I went to the pashmina scarves section, I knew I had found the absolutely perfect scarf for me.

The Reagan Striped Pashmina is beautiful - love the colors and the design. It's lightweight and very soft - 55% pashmina, 45% silk. I can easily wear it with jeans or with a dressier outfit and it's reversible, if I want a little different look.

DEAL ALERT - All scarves are under $20 - Free shipping on orders of $30 or more - 100% Money Back Guarantee.

PRIZE ALERT - 1 of you will win a scarf - your choice! :)

All About the Brontës Challenge

Christy's Book Blog: All About the Brontës Challenge

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Do you enjoy a good gothic novel? Do you wonder what it would have been like to be a part of a trio of three gifted sisters living a lonely existence in the moors? Then you will enjoy the All About the Brontes Challenge!
Challenge Details

1. The All About the Brontes challenge will run from January 1st to June 30, 2010. You can post a review before this date if you wish.

2. You can read a book, watch a movie, listen to an audiobook, anything Bronte related that you would like. Reading, watching, or listening to a favorite Bronte related item again for the second, third, or more time is also allowed.

3. The goal will be to read, watch, listen, to 3 to 6 (or beyond) anything Bronte items.

4. Please sign-up by posting your blog entry on the number of items and what items you would like to do for this challenge below in Mr. Linky. Don't worry, you can do different things than you have listed. I myself am not always good at sticking to lists!

5. Enjoy!

Audiobooks
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
2. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

I have really enjoyed listening to Jane Austen on audiobook and want to discover how the Bronte novels sound on audiobook. It's time to reread these novels, so I'm going to spice it up by listening to them this time around.

Books
1. The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James (I've been meaning to read this since I first heard about it and can't wait to read it!)
2. The Wide Sargasso Sea by by Jean Rhys (I've been meaning to read this for years and a friend just passed me a copy . . . I think it is meant to be!)
3. Emily's Ghost: A Novel of the Bronte Sisters by Denise Giardina
4. Jillian Dare by Melanie M. Jeschke
5. The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne Du Maurier (I've had this book for at least a decade and Du Maurier is one of my favorite authors. Now is a good time to finally read it!)

Movies
1. Jane Eyre (BBC - 1970)
2. Wuthering Heights (1970 - starring Timothy Dalton)
fore. He has been going through the motions and trying to move on with his life with his young son Jonah. He meets Jonah’s new teacher Sarah and suddenly starts to love and live life again. A tragic set of circumstances sets Miles back to a dangerous obsession with trying to find his wife’s killer and threatens to destroy his new relationship with Sarah.



Friday, November 13, 2009

Win The Best Books of 2009

Valerie at Valeriewrites is giving away ARCS! And here's the best part, it's INTERNATIONAL! That means, if you win, she will ship your book anywhere in the world.

Here's what you can win:

These are ALL ARCs - not hardcover copies.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Maze Runner by James Dashner

If I get 50 entries, I will add another ARC. (After by Amy Efaw)
If I get 100 entries, I will add another ARC again! (Candor by Pam Bachorz)

Please go to the blog site to check out the entrance criteria.

2009 Holiday Book Challenge!!

All About {n}: 2009 Holiday Book Challenge!!

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Hey everyone, I'm joining Nely's 2009 Holiday reading challenge. I love this time of year...the snow, eating a big fat turkey and most important: the Holidays. What sounds better than a hot cup of chocolate by the fireplace, curled up with a lovely holiday book!!! Here's some info for the challenge and you can sign up at All about N

Challenge Requirements:

1.Challenge will start Friday, November 20 and will end Thursday, December 31.
2.You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books
3. And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.............

You can find the rest of the info at All about N.....
So Im shooting big and setting my goal for 5 books, here's my list:

1. The Christmas Bus by Melody Carson
2. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
3. An Irish Country Christmas by Melody Evans
4. Tidings of Comfort & Joy: A Classic Christmas Novel of Love, Loss, and Reunion by Davis Bunn
5. The Christmas Glass: A Novel by Marci Alborghetti

Thursday, November 12, 2009

BlessedwithGrace: Two Children's Christmas Books Giveaway

BlessedwithGrace Review and Giveaway of Two Children's Christmas Books

Blessed With Grace has reviewed two books: The Berenstain Christmas Tree Book and Come and See Baby Jesus.
Enter the giveaway by November 19th to have a chance to win one of these books.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shawn's Sharings: GiveAway: The Book "Seven"

Shawn's Sharings: GiveAway: The Book "Seven"

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Author:Jacqueline Leo

Full Description From Website:

What is it about the number seven that has such a hold on us? Why are there seven deadly sins? Seven days of the week? Seven wonders of the world, seven colors of the spectrum, seven ages of man, and seven sister colleges? Why can we hold seven numbers or words in our working memory--but no more? Author Jackie Leo explores everything about this mystical, magical, useful, and fun number in her new book.

SEVEN REASONS YOU NEED THIS BOOK

1. SEVEN is a tool to improve the quality of your life. It is a way to define time, synthesize ideas, and keep your mind performing at top speed in an era of distractions.

2. SEVEN is culturally significant. It pops up everywhere, structuring our world in ways so fundamental, we notice them only when we pause to look. Across the ages and across cultures, the number has acquired a huge scientific, psychological, and religious significance.

3. SEVEN is intriguing. Why, out of hundreds of recipes in a cookbook, do people return to the same seven, over and over? Why, when asked to choose a number between one and ten, does such a large majority of people choose seven? Why does it take seven rounds of shuffling to obtain a fully mixed deck of cards?

4. SEVEN is influential. You'll learn how the number seven shapes our thinking, our choices, and even our relationships.

5. SEVEN is practical. Throughout this book are Top Seven lists covering the best ways to get someone's attention, to build your personal brand, and to put yourself in the path of prosperity and good luck.

6. SEVEN is fun. You'll encounter surprising facts, intriguing puzzles, and hilarious anecdotes.

7. SEVEN is wise. You'll hear stories about the meaning of seven from Mehmet Oz, Sally Quinn, Liz Smith, Christina Ricci, and many others.
Artfully designed and full of enough insights to keep you engaged in conversation at the water cooler for years, SEVEN will provoke, enlighten, and amuse.

Would You Like to Win Your Own Copy? Shawn's Sharings is generously offering five copies of Seven to five of my lucky readers.

Bibliofreak – The Great Kindle Giveaway

Bibliofreak – The Great Kindle Give

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Bibliofreak is giving away 1 Kindle II in the giveaway. She also has 14 others that can be given away depending on additional requirements explained on the blog. Please check this out if you want to have a Kindle II.

Book Reviews by Jess: Contest! Blue Bloods Book 1 – 4 by Melissa De La Cruz

Book Reviews by Jess: Contest! Blue Bloods Book 1 – 4 by Melissa De La Cruz

ne winner will receive the gently used copies of:




Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz





Masquerade (A Blue Bloods Novel) by Melissa de la Cruz





Revelations (A Blue Bloods Novel) by Melissa De La Cruz





The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, Book 4) by Melissa De La Cruz

Blue Bloods is a paperback edition but the last three are hardback.
RULES:
  • Entries will be accepted until Midnight, November 29 ET
  • Entries are open to US & Canada only, sorry. NO P.O. Boxes.
  • The winner will be randomly selected via BuzzMyBlog Contest Winner Picker.
  • The winner will be announced on November 30 (or soon thereafter)

Book Giveaways

Book Giveaways
With the holiday season soon upon us, Book Giveaways is giving away two fabulous holiday books: Christmas Magic and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Got to the blogsite for further details on how to enter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Literanista: 25 Books Every Latina Should Read Challenge



Literanista is proposing a new book challenge for bloggers (perhaps for 2010?), based on "the compilation of the best literature every Latina should check out put together by Latina Magazine: 25 Books Every Latina Should Read"

The "25 Books Every Latina/o Should Read" Challenge:
  1. The House of Spirits Isabel Allende
  2. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  3. In The Time of the Butterflies Julia Alvarez
  4. When I Was Puerto Rican Esmeralda Santiago
  5. Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
  6. Kiss of the Spider Woman Manuel Puig
  7. Death in the Andes Mario Vargas Llosa
  8. Hopscotch Julio Cortázar
  9. The Labrynth of Solitude Octavio Paz
  10. The Death of Artemio Cruz Carlos Fuentes
  11. Like Water For Chocolate Laura Esquivel
  12. The Alchemist Paolo Coelho
  13. Las Peliculas De Mi Vida Alberto Fuguet
  14. The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros
  15. The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  16. Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara by Jorge G. Castaneda
  17. A People's History of the United States Howard Zinn
  18. The Aleph Jorge Luis Borges
  19. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in the United States Juan Gonzalez
  20. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair Pablo Neruda
  21. The Brief & Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz
  22. Dreaming in Cuban Cristina Garcia
  23. The Decapitated Chicken and Other Stories Horacio Quiroga
  24. Pedro Paramo Juan Rulfo
  25. Men of Maize Miguel Angel Asturias
What's the challenge? To track, blog, share, and discuss the 25 books listed above with other members of the challenge. Some people may also choose to set their own personal goals to read more books, or more non-fiction, or newer books.

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Gofita's Pages: Fifty Followers Giveaway!

Gofita's Pages: Fifty Followers Giveaway!

Gofita's Pages has reached 50 followers and is sponsoring a giveaway in appreciation of the many followers. For the lucky winner, he/she will get a book of their choice from Amazon.com sent to their front door! This giveaway ends Friday November 13th at Midnight Mountain Standard Time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mom - Musings: November Giveaway: Your Choice out of 4 Books

Mom - Musings: November Giveaway: Your Choice out of 4 Books

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Mom-Musings is hosting a November Giveaway. She is feeling eclectice and want to giveaway a book from her “Four B00ks That I Want To Read In November List”.
Check out her website for further details.

Original TBR (To Be Read) Challenge

For this challenge you should…

** Pick 12 books – one for each month of the year - that you’ve been wanting to read (that have been on your “To Be Read” list) for 6 months or longer, but haven’t gotten around to.

** OPTIONAL: Create a list of 12 “Alternates” (books you could substitute for your challenge books, given that a particular one doesn’t grab you at the time)

** Then, starting January 1, read one of these books from your list each month, ending December 31. )

(for more information, please read the challenge FAQs)

By the end of the year you should’ve knocked 12 books off of your TBR list! (of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have added *at LEAST* 12 more to the ever-growing pile by then! LOL).

The good news is, though, that you’ll be making some progress! ;o)

Additional rules/guidelines for this challenge:

* the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months — you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it.
* you should have a list posted somewhere for others to see
* you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, of the current year!!!
* you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
* audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
* re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren’t TRUE “TBRs”
* you CAN overlap with other challenges
* OPTIONAL: you can join the Yahoo! Group created for participants of the TBR Challenge, if you want to have a place to keep your list, or ju
2010TBR_2
st to share with others about how you’re doing!

Here is my list of 12 books:



1. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
2. Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
3. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
4. Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh
5. Sugar by Bernice McFadden
6. World Without End by Ken Follett
6. Adam by Ted Dekker
7. The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen
8. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
9. Who Killed King Tut by Patterson
9. American Eve, Evelyn Nesbit by Paula Uruburu
10. Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
11. Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
12. The Different Drum by M. Scott Peck

It's Monday! What are you reading? (November 9, 2009)

It's Monday! What are you reading? (November 9, 2009)

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This is a weekly to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to join in this weekly event if you'd like.

Hosted by J. Kaye

I had a slow reading week but I did manage to finish the following books:

Night of Flames by Douglas W. Jacobson. This is a novel focusing on the lives of common people in Poland during World War II; what occurred in the lives of the Jews when Germany conquered Poland and the strength of individuals to resist the extinction plans of Hitler.

Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. The story of Nephertari, niece of Nefertiti, as she matured from a child to Queen of Egypt, wife of Ramseses II.

This week I am reading:

The Apple by Penelope Holt

The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn

American Eve, Evelyn Nesbit: The Birth of the It Girl and The Crime of the Century by Paula Uruburu

The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon

Have a great reading week everyone!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Christy Awards Challenge: Announcing the Christy Awards Challenge!

Christy Awards Challenge: Announcing the Christy Awards Challenge!

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Chances are when you hear the words Christian Fiction, you have a definite impression. Clean. Hopeful. Preachy. Boring. The only thing you read. Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Amy from My Friend Amy and Deb have been working hard to make this a great challenge....for both newbies to Christian fiction and old veterans. They will be featuring author interviews with Christy winning authors and nominees, hosting giveaways of Christy books, and some guest posts as well. And spotlighting reviews!

There are several ways you can join in and many different levels to choose from:

Total Christian Fiction Newbie:

This is only for those who have read no Christian fiction before...the challenge is to read one book from any of the Christy Awards Winners!

Baby Steps

1st Tier - 2009 Favorite Category Read All Nominated Books 3-4 books
2nd Tier - Any ONE Years Favorite Category - 3-4 Books or mix 3-4 winners from any category

It's All in the Winners
3rd Tier- 2009 Winners - 9
4th Tier- Any ONE Year's Winners 7-9 or mix'n'match 7-9 winners

Dedicated

5th Tier - Read 2009/or ANY Year All Books 36-40 Books

Hardcore

6rd Tier - Read all the nominees in your favorite category
7th Tier - Read all of the winners in every category

The Christy Challenge--Perpetual Challenge
Read all of the books nominated and awarded the Christy challenge throughout the course of your lifetime.

You can check out the book lists and decide at which level you'd like to join in! Don't hesitate though! If you sign up by November 15th, you'll be eligible for a drawing for one package of the following books!

Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
You Had Me at Good-bye by Tracey Bateman
Dogwood by Chris Fabry
Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
From a Distance by Tamera Alexander
The Rook by Steven James
Vanish by Tom Pawlik
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke

As you can see this is almost a complete set of this year's winners! Many thanks to the publishers for donating these giveaways.

Now...how do you join?

Just write a post on your blog announcing your intentions to join. State which tier you'll be joining and the books you'll be reading. You can see all the nominated and awarded books here. Then drop a permalink to your post in the Mister Linky on the Challenge Page. If you do all of this by November 15th, 2009, you'll be eligible to win the aforementioned bundle of books. But don't worry! You can join in at any time.

The challenge officially November 1, 2009 and ends December 1st of 2010. Unless of course you're doing the perpetual challenge in that case, it lasts just as long as you do. :)

I choose to do the Baby Steps Tier 2 and read from the 2008 category of Historical, the following 3 books:

2008 Historical

A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin – WINNER
Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
Tendering the Storm by Jan Kirkpatrick

What a kick this challenge will be!!