Friday, October 30, 2009

New Zealand Book Month challenge wrap-up post

Argh, it's the end of October. How did that happen?

It's time for wrap-up posts and, of course, jaffas. If you've taken part in this, leave me a link to your wrap-up post, email me your details at maree_jane30 at hotmail dot com and I will send you chocolate-orange goodness.

I read one (1) book by a Kiwi author this month: Access Road, by Maurice Gee. I'll be doing the review as part of a mini-reviews post soon as I have a couple of other books that I need to review as well.

Thank goodness for Kiwi music, eh?

Hope you guys had fun with this. I know I did. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The reading week

The question, as always, is here:
Wasn't the readathon fun? I got almost nothing read, but had a blast anyway.
The upshot of that is that I'm still reading Regeneration, that I started on Saturday for the readathon. After that? I have no idea, but I FINALLY have Unseen Academicals by Mr Sir Terry Pratchett in my grasp. So possibly that.
Happy reading!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Readathon - the last hour!

Final meme:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Um ... About 4-5pm this afternoon. I was trying to read while Patrick was napping, but kept drifting off!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Oh gosh ... oh! The Knife of Never Letting Go! :D And Mr Roald Dahl's short stories :)
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope. You guys blow my mind with your mad skillz
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Everything. Cheerleader teams. Everything. Team Lost Generation FTW!!
5. How many books did you read?
Erm ... I finished one, started another, and read about three short stories
6. What were the names of the books you read?
I finished The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness, started Regeneration by Pat Barker and read three Tales of the Unexpected short stories by Roald Dahl
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
The Ask and the Answer
8. Which did you enjoy least?
Didn't read enough else to compare
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
Sign up early; get on a team (if they have them) and have fun!
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again?
11. What role would you be likely to take next time?
Reading/cheering, but being better organised

Readathon mini-challenge

Four of my favourite books are:
- The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Freaking Gaiman
- Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Readathon mini-challenge

This hour's mini-challenge is here:

Five favourite childhood books off the top of my head:

1) The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

2) The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

3) A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

4) The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

5) The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper


Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
Regeneration by Pat Barker

2. How many books have you read so far?
Er ... I finished The Ask and the Answer, and started Regeneration.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Oh, gosh ... I don't know!

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
No. Just working around family, like always :)

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Lots. Two-year-old. Reading on the backburner for now.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How MANY of us there are!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope. Organisers doing a great job, like always :D
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
Hmmm ... not sure. Ask me next year ;)

9. Are you getting tired yet?
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Just have fun!!!

Readathon meme

Here we go ...
Where are you reading from today?
Uh ... the dining room table. Which sounds odd, but the laptop, the TV and the cats are nearby. Other than that, bed, and the couch :D
3 facts about me …
Is there anything you good people don't know?
- Uhm ... my middle name is Jane
- Sunday is my favourite day of the week
- My local rugby team - the Stags - WON THE RANFURLY SHIELD this week, which won't mean anything to any of you, but means something to me, even though I don't really follow sport. I just wanted to say that. Again. It's a big deal :)
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
Getting as much reading done as I can :)

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
Have fun!!! And be a cheerleader. Cheerleaders are awesome. Team Lost Generation FTW!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The reading week

It's time for that all-important question: What are you reading on Mondays? Asked here:
Right now, I'm reading The Ask and the Answer, the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. I flailed on Twitter over The Knife of Never Letting Go, and I expect there to be more flailing in my very near future. Gosh darn, Mr Patrick Ness can write!
I finally finished The Year of the Flood, although I've still got to do a review of that one, and Access Road by Maurice Gee (Kiwi author :D) and I need to review that one as well.
Other than that ... I'm stockpiling books and planning my snack list for the readathon. Aren't we all?
Happy reading!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekly Geeks

Your mission, Weekly Geeks, is here:
Um ... I have no tools. No, really. Lately it feels like I've hardly been blogging at all and as of now, I have two reviews to write up.
I do have a Library Thing page, but I never seem to use it. I'm not even sure what it's for!
Probably I use the most to connect with other bloggers. I'm a chatty bird over there, you may have noticed.
Other than that ... I'm extremely boring!
Happy Weekly Geeks!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

I have nothing

This happened: nowhere near me, but the little girl was the same age as Patrick. I can't even imagine it. :(

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Readathon list

Gosh, I can't believe it's nearly time for the readathon again! Go here for details if you don't know what I'm going on about:

Exciting stuff. That's Patrick during April's readathon, having made off with my book!

My pile is - as it was last year - modest. I'm going to use it to catch up on a couple of challenges; specifically this one: and my very own challenge celebrating New Zealand Book Month :) and don't forget the tasty badges that and made for it. (Still time to join. Runs until the end of October).

So. Here's my pile:

The City & The City by China Meiville

Salt by Maurice Gee

The Changeover by Margaret Mahy

The Dark Blue 100-Ride Bus Ticket by Margaret Mahy

Regeneration by Pat Barker

Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

I'm also going to start reading earlier than I did last year. My time, the readathon starts at midnight Saturday. But I'm going to start on Saturday afternoon, when Patrick is down for a nap. The bonus extra of that is, that on Sunday afternoon, once my 24 hours are up, I'll be all over the cheerleading, like a cat on a lap.

Good plan, I think. I hope it holds up ...

Weekly Geeks

We're looking for recommendations from each other this week, geekers. Assignment here:
I love recommendations. Mostly because I always think I'm missing something - some kind of awesomeness that all of the other readers are in on that I'm not. And apart from hysterical romances and westerns, I'll read nearly anything.
If it has a good story, I'm in like a tabby in a box of cat biscuits. Genre-wise, like I say, I'm not fussy, although I'm having a bit of a dystopic moment, with The Knife of Never Letting Go, and The Year of the Flood.
I'm also - thanks to Her Fearful Symmetry - in the mood for some good spine-tingling ghost stories. And I'm always in the mood for a well-written fantasy novel, or suspense novel, or horror novel, or general fiction novel, or ... you get the picture.
As for what I can recommend ...
Here's my post from January, looking back on the 2008 reading year:
For this year's reads so far:
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, obviously. Which, if you haven't read, and found to be awesome ... I can't help you.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearce Which. I can't even tell you. So, so good.
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. In general.
Soldier in the Mist by Gene Wolfe - I'd nearly forgotten about that one!

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
And ... The Source by James Michener. I read it a few years ago, but it's a really, really good book. Oh. And the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough.
That ought to do, right?
Happy Weekly Geeks. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

The reading week

I am STILL reading The Year of the Flood. At this rate, I might be done by Christmas.
Move along. Nothing to see here ... but here - - there's plenty. Books bloggers who are reading!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Short reviews

I was going to do these one of two ways: as Serious Reviews, with separate posts and all, or as fangirly flailing short reviews. Obviously, option B won out.

So. Up first is Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger which is, like, this totally awesome ghost story (um ... my fangirl is from the Valley, apparently). Anyway ... Elspeth - who lives in London - is dying of cancer. She leaves her flat to her twin nieces Julia and Valentina, who she hasn't seen since they were babies. Julia and Valentina are mirror-twins, 20 year olds adrift. They move to London and set off a series of unprecedented events.

You know how you get those books, and even way after you've read them the thought of them raise those tiny hairs on the back of your neck? Yeah. Her Fearful Symmetry is that book. I did kind of have issues with the ending at the time, but thinking about it now, it all makes sense.
Without (I hope) giving too much away; there are characters that are vivid and remain that way (Martin and Marijke come to mind); there are characters that start out vivid and start to fade (Robert) and there are characters that start out a little faded and vague and come in to sharp relief - not always for the right reasons (Elspeth). And ... there's a Little Kitten of Death. And Highgate Cemetery, which is basically another character and really adds to the Gothic/ghostly tone.

9/10 So good, you'd take it to meet your Mum

Next up is ... The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. ZOMG!!!! How did I not know about this?? Seriously. I had this book on my shelf for a YEAR before reading it. And I only read it because so many people were being fangirl/boys about it on Twitter. So you know ... thanks.
Um. It's set in the future, on a world far far away. There are no women, and all of the men left in Prentisstown - where the story begins - can hear each other's thoughts all the time. The narrator is the last boy left in the village - Todd, who is about a month away from becoming a man. When Todd hears something he's not expecting - ie the absence of Noise - he has to get out of Dodge, er, Prentisstown. Plus, there's a talking dog, who is obsessed with poo.

I'm failing to convey how awesome this is. IT IS AWESOME. READ IT.
10/10 Could not be improved on, even by angel dust and a basket of kittens

Last but not least, we have The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes. This one is a little hard to describe to be honest. It's a little whimsical, and a little dark, and chock-full of humour, which is always a good thing. It's narrated by an unseen ... entity and it took me a while to work out just what that entity was. Okay. It took me until the book spelled it out for me.
Um. The lives of the residents of four flats of the same flat block are about to change forever. Mostly in good ways. Some in not so good ways.
It IS better than This Charming Man, which I liked, but ... yeah. It was one of those ... but ... books.
For The Brightest Star in the Sky:
8/10 That movie that you've watched 100 times and you never get tired of