Month: March 2010 (page 1 of 4)

2010 Book Challenge – So Far

I have a confession to make, bookworms. I’ve been a bad reader in 2010 thus far. We’re officially one-quarter of the way through and I only have six completed books and one in progress. It’s a sad day here at the Librarian Next Door. I’d like to blame all sorts of things – work, exciting television, the Olympics – but really, I only have myself to blame. I’ve gotten lazy and let my reading slip.

Well, not anymore! It’s (almost) a new month and with that comes a new opportunity to dedicate myself to the wonders of reading. So here, for what it’s worth, is my meager offering for my 2010 Book Challenge so far. I hereby resolve to have much more to show for when I make it through the end of June.

1. The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson
2. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
3. Midnight Sons, Volume 3 by Debbie Macomber
4. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo
5. Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
6. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
7. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins *

* = in progress

As for my never-ending “to read” list, here’s a peek at some of the titles I’m going to tackle this spring: Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel); The Magicians (Lev Grossman); the rest of Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia books – The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and The Conspiracy of Kings; the third and fourth Gallagher Girls novels by Ally Carter, Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover and Only the Good Spy Young; an annual Jane Austen re-read with Emma and perhaps Sense and Sensibility; Ted Kennedy’s memoir True Compass; and the second and third (final!) books in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay (technically, I’ll have to wait until August for Mockingjay but as you can see, I’ll have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime).

What’s on your reading list, bookworms? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know! Leave a comment or feel free to email me at: librariannextdoor [at] hotmail [dot] com.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Book News Round-Up

Greetings once again, bookworms. Today is yet another lazy Sunday – my favorite kind of day where there’s nothing to do really except read. And if you’re going to read something, it might as well be this week’s book news:

  • Never fear, Reading Rainbow fans! From the mouth of LeVar Burton himself, rumors abound that Reading Rainbow 2.0 might be in the works. After a lot of ups and downs with the program itself, it finally went off the air in 2009. But now Burton has tweeted about the possibility of starting up a new, web-based version of the show, possibly aimed at adults. We’ll have to see how this develops, but I hope it works out. Reading Rainbow was one of my favorite ironic TV shows growing up.
  • In my post about my favorite book blogs, I highlighted The Millions as one of my go-to blogs for all things literary related. I neglected to mention that The Millions is now seven years old! To celebrate, creator and editor C. Max Magee wrote about some of his favorite moments over the past seven years, including the daunting task to trying to determine the best books of the millennium, so far. Here’s to seven (and more!) years of fabulous literary-ness!
  • There’s opera, then there’s a large-scale full cast sing-along on the beaches on Dunkirk. According to the U.K’s Telegraph, Ian McEwan’s best-selling novel (and Oscar-winning movie) Atonement is being made into an opera. McEwan himself is involved in the process and says he thinks the story lends itself to the operatic formula quite well, especially the aforementioned Dunkirk scene. Having loved the book and the movie myself, I’ll admit to being intrigued. But considering much of McEwan’s novel is about the idea of a story and who controls it, I wonder how the literary themes of the book can be translated to live stage.
  • Last, but certainly not least, Harry Potter fans have something new to get excited about. Earlier this week, Scholastic unveiled its new Harry Potter website, complete with detailed information about each of the seven books, tons of wizarding trivia and a Sorting Hat quiz (I’m a proud and intellectual member of the House of Ravenclaw). The site comes a few months in advance of the opening of the new Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. Five of the Harry Potter books have also claimed spots on School Library Journal’s Top 100 Children’s Books countdown. With 11 still to go, odds are pretty good at least one more will claim another spot.

Book Blogs Bonanza!

I spend a good amount of time reading various book blogs, trying to stay in touch with the literary world as best I can. Reading blogs can be very much like reading a book; sure the medium is different, but the idea is the same – the desire for information of some kind. Here are a few of the book-related blogs that I enjoy the most.

Austenprose, Jane Austen Today, Austenacious — Everyone needs a little Jane Austen every now and then and the ladies behind these three wonderful blogs fill the space quite nicely. Jane Austen Today focuses on the Jane Austen of the modern world – how Austen and her novels make their presence known in contemporary society, whether it’s from JA-inspired novels, movies, “sequels” or other sources. Austenprose declares itself to be a daily celebration of Jane Austen and her brilliant writing, which works for me just fine. In addition to updates about JA adaptations and novels, Laurel Ann also writes about other Austen-era books and authors, writes reviews and offers giveaway contests. Both Laurel Ann and Vic have Twitter accounts and post regularly – they were two of the driving forces behind the Twitter / viewing parties when PBS aired Emma, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey earlier this winter. My newest discovery of the bunch, Austenacious is run by a group of friends who use Austen to stay together. They’re the masterminds behind the Jane Austen March Madness, which alone earns them a gold star in my book (I mean really – who cares about basketball when you can pit Mr. Darcy against Captain Wentworth?)

Omnivoracious — The official book blog for, Omnivoracious offers an incredible array of book-related news, interviews and reviews. There are regular features, like “End o’ the Week Kid Lit Round-Up,” “Reviewing the Reviewers,” and “Graphic Novel Fridays.” They have a daily news digest that’s helpful to getting a quick overview of the important stuff and they always offer links back to the original story. It was the first book blog that I grew attached to and so, if only for sentimental reasons alone, it remains a favorite.

Inkwell Bookstore Blog — So few independent bookstores remain. Fewer still know and internalize the importance to reaching out to their customers and making connections to help ensure those customers keep coming back. Inkwell is one of those stores. Though they’ve been a bit silent lately as they’ve been moving physical locations, Inkwell has consistently been one of my favorite blogs to read. They’re snarky, funny, cheeky and informative, all at the same time. The news they share is always just a little bit off-beat and you truly get the sense that these are people who love their job(s), love books, and love connecting with like-minded people. Plus, they once posted a tweet of mine on their blog, which gave me a feeling of importance out of proportion with my actual importance.

The Millions — Technically, The Millions is “an online magazine offering coverage on books, art and culture” but whatever. For me, it’s a book blog. Most of their content revolves around books and reading and they do it oh so well. It reminds me of a mix of NPR, the New York Times and McSweeney’s – informative, intelligent and just a little bit crazy. They are the folks who decided to come up with the “Best of the Millennium, So Far” and as outrageous as it sounds, it does seem to be working. Perhaps most importantly, though, they have book lists. Lots of and lots of book lists. And we all know how much I enjoy a good list.

Libba Bray, Neil Gaiman — I really like getting a glimpse into the lives of my favorite authors, but very few of them actually have blogs, Twitter / Facebook accounts or the like. And I understand – most authors are focused on writing the actual books (also, a good number of my favorite authors are dead and therefore unable to communicate. At least without the help of a medium). But I have a lot more respect and admiration for those authors who take the time, at least some of the time, to write a blog post or send a Tweet as a way of staying in touch with the fans who buy the books they (the authors) work so hard to write. In my opinion, Libba Bray and Neil Gaiman are two of the best. They are both active Tweeters, but they also have great blogs. Bray doesn’t update as much, but when she does, it’s worth the wait. Her posts are always laugh-aloud hilarious and really offer great insight into what her life is a like as an author. Gaiman will blog more frequently and has incredible resources on his website – he includes details about events that he’ll be at, regularly answers questions that readers and fans send him and talks frequently about his work, his family and his travels. Easily, in my mind, these two have two of the best author blogs around.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Older posts