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Sunday, January 9th, 2005
9:51 pm - "The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists!"

name of book: The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
author: Gideon Defoe
length or # of pages: 144 pages

quick plot summary: I can't do any better than the jacket summary: "Not since Moby-Dick...No, not since Treasure Island...Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain, who, although he lives for months at a time at sea, somehow manages to keep his beard silky and in good condition.

Worried that his pirates are growing bored with a life of winking at pretty native ladies and trying to stick enough jellyfish together to make a bouncy castle, the Pirate Captain decides it's high time to spearhead an adventure.

While searching for some major pirate booty, he mistakenly attacks the young Charles Darwin's Beagle and then leads his ragtag crew from the exotic Galapagos Islands to the fog-filled streets of Victorian London. There they encounter grisly murder, vanishing ladies, radioactive elephants, and the Holy Ghost himself. And that's not even the half of it."

rating: 10 out of 10!

what makes this book worth reading: Everything -- it's short and very, very sweet!

what could the author have done differently to make it better: I can't think of a think.

would you recommend it? Most definitely! Go out and buy this book or get it from Amazon.com -- it's worth the $15!

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Thursday, December 16th, 2004
9:30 am

I'm sure most of us have heard of the hunger site [you click everyday to give free food to charity] but they recently came out w/a literacy site. If you have some free time, check it out:


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Friday, December 10th, 2004
7:10 pm - Good books for Winter Break

Can anyone reccommend some great reads for winter break? I have a lot of free time on my hands and I'd love to read some good books. =)



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Saturday, November 20th, 2004
12:32 pm - The Contortionist's Handbook

Hey, has anyone read The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger? If so, can you tell me if it ended with "Dear Johnny," and then just a whole bunch of blank pages? Because my mom bought the book and just finished it but she thinks her book is flawed because that's how it ended in her copy, and we're trying to see if it's a flaw or just how the book is supposed to go.

I haven't read it yet because I have two books I need to get through, but if I had read it I could tell if it was the style or a mistake, but since I haven't, I need y'alls help, lol.

So if you can help us out I would be very much obliged. Thanks!

X-posted just about everywhere.

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
9:48 pm

So I have a friend who is getting married on Saturday, and taking off with her new husband for a honeymoon in Hawaii (lucky girl!). She sent me the following email today:

"Hey, you got any "beach" reading i can borrow? anything appropriately mindless or trashy would be awesome. Will you bring a couple things to the rehearsal dinner if you have any? Thanks!"

I have a book or two that fits the description, but I wanted to stop by the bookstore and pick up a few more. She's a great friend, and as a [sort of] member of the wedding party, I want to do something nice for her.

So - anybody have any suggestions for anything I can pick up for her? Bestsellers, non-bestsellers ... just something that fits her description - an easy read, entertaining, not depressing, and appealing to most people (or at least most women). Thanks!

[cross-posted to bibliophilic and hip_domestics.

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Thursday, November 11th, 2004
3:48 pm - Out Of iT

name of book: Out Of It
author: Simon Hattenstone
length or # of pages: 250 pgs
quick plot summary: Ok, I hope you don't mind me stealing from amazon...:S
Aged nine Simon Hattenstone one day woke up with a headache. By ten he had lost half his body weight, talked baby talk and looked retarded. The medical profession labelled him a malingerer. When he resurfaced it was to an alien environment every bit as terrifying as the one he'd just escaped from. He survive only due to his obsession with glam rock, deluded ideas that he's a world class poet and the idea of friends.
rating: I'd say about an 8 out of 10
what makes this book worth reading: I personally enjoy reading about people's personal battles and how they manage to overcome serious issues and problems and survive. The way Hattenstone writes about himself makes it seem vividly real and the reader can almost feel what he is feeling.
what could the author have done differently to make it better: The book ends with us finding out Hattenstone is being returned to mainstream school I think the book could have explained how mainstream education went and about life after the illness.
would you recommend it? Yes, anyone wanna read it, go for it!

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Thursday, November 4th, 2004
11:00 pm

Riiight I'm a newie :)...just thought I'd let you all know a bit about me, and I hope you don't mind me being here. I'm Beth, I'm 17 and from England. I adore reading and work in a library *woo go me* as well as being an English Language and Literature Student
Some of my favourite writers are: Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, Willy Russell, JK Rowling, Gunter Grass, Dylan Thomas, Nick Hornby, Irvine Welsh and James Joyce...
I'll write my first little review thing soon, I promise!

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Thursday, October 28th, 2004
6:46 pm - OSCAR WILDE

I just got through reading "The Importance of Being Earnest" and LOVED it!!! I have also read some of "The Picture of Dorian Gray". I need to finish that one as well! I have to do a presentation on Oscar Wilde next week, and I get to be him! ;)

What other works by Oscar Wilde do y'all recommend? I'd love to hear y'alls input! THANKEE! :) *huggles*

current mood: curious

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
12:31 am - Without a doubt, one of the best books I have ever read.


name of book: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
author: Susanna Clarke
length or # of pages: 782 -- daunting, but well worth it!

quick plot summary: The rise and fall of England's preeminent magicians during the 1807-1817. There's no quicker way to summarize this thing -- it's about magic, yes, and honor and love and so many other things that I can't recall precisely right now. It's about a lot of things and a lot of people and you should just read it because there's no way I can summarize it all.

rating: On a 10-point scale? Cheesy as it is, this book gets an 11. It is better than anything I have read this year and better than most things I've read in recent years.

what makes this book worth reading: Everything. The prose is beautiful, the story is beautiful. It lacks nothing.

what could the author have done differently to make it better: Nothing. It is perfect.

would you recommend it? YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

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Saturday, October 2nd, 2004
11:21 pm - Hi! I'm a newbie! *waves*

'ello! I am a newbie! I love SO MANY different authors! Some of my favorite authors are: Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, S. E. Hinton, J.K. Rowling, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and of course Poe!

Some of my favorite books are: "The Outsiders", "The Client", "PoA", "The Door to December", and "There Eyes Were Watching God"


current mood: chipper

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Wednesday, September 29th, 2004
12:06 pm - Banned Book Week

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
NPR and KUOW's The Conversation with Ross Reynolds.
1 PM Pacific
4 PM Eastern
KUOW 94.9 fm Listen to past shows in The Conversation archive

Call-in numbers
206 543 5869 (Seattle)
800-289-5869 (Toll Free)

It's banned book week, an annual event to remind Americans about their freedom of speech and expression. The types of books banned over the ages are widely varied. A school district banned a picture book of "Little Red Riding Hood" because it depicted Little Red bringing bread and wine to her grandmother. "Huckleberry Finn" has been banned because of its racial language. There is a legal ban against child pornography. Are there times when publications should be banned? What if someone wanted to gather all the publicly available information about average citizens, including you, and publish it? That might be very popular with marketers and identity thieves. Does free speech trump your privacy? Is there the publishing equivalent of shouting fire in a crowded theater, publishing factually incorrect information that creates a panic? Should publishing the name of undercover CIA agents or undercover drug agents be banned? We'll talk about banned books. We'll ask should anything be banned and if so, what?

GuestCollapse )

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Tuesday, August 24th, 2004
2:29 pm - xpost : Library cataloguing software


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Wednesday, August 18th, 2004
8:08 pm - "The Leopard" by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa


name of book: The Leopard
author: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
length or # of pages: 190

quick plot summary: This is the story of the end of the aristocratic house of Salina, set in the 1860s, 1890s, and 1910s. The book revolves around Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, though the real story is about his nephew Tancredi. The story moves from Palermo to the rural town of Donnafugata and back, allowing the reader to see how Garibaldi's invasion and the unification of Italy impact the Salina family.

rating: 9.5

what makes this book worth reading: Almost everything. It's well written and has a beautiful style. However, unless you read Italian, be prepared to have to deal with a poorly-translated version. My copy, which I purchased in Rome, was full of little errors in grammar and spelling that distracted from the flow of the story. But then, I'm an English major and things like that really bug the hell out of me.

what could the author have done differently to make it better: There are certain gaps in time that could have been bridged better. For example, it jumps from 1883 in the seventh chapter to 1910 in the eighth very abruptly.

would you recommend it?: YES! If you can find yourself a copy, you'd do yourself a favor by reading it. It's a really touching story with excellent political insight.

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Thursday, August 12th, 2004
1:37 pm - "Tipping the Velvet" by Sarah Waters


name of book: Tipping the Velvet
author: Sarah Waters
length or # of pages: 472 pages

quick plot summary: The history of Nan King's love affairs, from the time she first laid eyes on Kitty Butler to the day Nan settles down with the love of her life.

rating: 8.5

what makes this book worth reading: The masterful command of the English language displayed by Ms. Waters. She draws the reader in on the deepest of levels, a thing most books strive for and few accomplish. This is a wonderful story -- it makes you react viscerally in more than one way. This book will make you angry, but it will also make you laugh, and the ending could not be more perfect.

what could the author have done differently to make it better: There is a lot of very explicit, graphic sex in this book -- all of it between two women. I, personally, had no problem with most of it, but at times it was simply too graphic, too often. If you are offended by lesbian relationships, don't bother reading this book.

would you recommend it?: Emphatically yes.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
12:32 pm

Name of book: Luna

Author: Julie Anne Peters

Number of pages: 248

Brief summary: Liam is a transgender boy who decides to come out to the world as Luna, a woman. His story is told by his sister, Regan, who must calm the struggle within herself over the pain of Liam becoming Luna.

Rating: 9

What makes this book worth reading: The message, morals and blunt reality of the story.

What could the author have done differently to make it better?: She could have changed the preview on the back of the book. It tells a bit too much of the story at first, and could scare people who are frightened of transgenders away, and thus she would be "singing to the choir". The story, however, is wonderfully constructed.

Would you recommend it?: yes.

current mood: contemplative

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1:39 pm - .Queen of Angels by Greg Bear.


name of book: Queen of Angels

author: Greg Bear

length or # of pages: 420

quick plot summary: Los Angeles 2047, a city on the eve of the Binary Millennium. Public Defender Mary Choy faces her toughest assignment: to bring back Emanuel Goldsmith - acclaimed poet turned mass killer - from the heart of a Caribbean island about to explode in revolution.

rating: 5 so far

what makes this book worth reading: writing style, imagery

what could the author have done differently to make it better: used the comma more often, more character background

would you recommend it? yes

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current mood: blah

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Wednesday, July 21st, 2004
6:33 pm

after reading a wonderful book as well as being charmed by the idea of making a small community of my own, i've decided to make one dedicated to the mitfords.

four of the seven children produced best-selling books so i felt like this would be a relevant post here. the most well-known of their writings would probably be the pursuit of love, love in a cold climate- both by nancy mitford and the american way of death, hons and rebels- by jessica mitford.


my review of said bookCollapse )

current mood: cheerful

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Wednesday, July 14th, 2004
11:22 am
darling_etoile Name of book: The Nanny's Diaries: A novel
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
Length or # of pages: 305
Quick plot summary: (Courtesy of Amazon) Wanted:
One young woman to take care of four-year-old boy. Must be cheerful, enthusiastic and selfless—bordering on masochistic. Must relish sixteen-hour shifts with a deliberately nap-deprived preschooler. Must love getting thrown up on, literally and figuratively, by everyone in his family. Must enjoy the delicious anticipation of ridiculously erratic pay. Mostly, must love being treated like fungus found growing out of employers Hermès bag. Those who take it personally need not apply.

Who wouldn’t want this job? Struggling to graduate from NYU and afford her microscopic studio apartment, Nanny takes a position caring for the only son of the wealthy X family. She rapidly learns the insane amount of juggling involved to ensure that a Park Avenue wife who doesn’t work, cook, clean, or raise her own child has a smooth day.

When the Xs marriage begins to disintegrate, Nanny ends up involved way beyond the bounds of human decency or good taste. Her tenure with the X family becomes a nearly impossible mission to maintain the mental health of their four-year-old, her own integrity and, most importantly, her sense of humor. Over nine tense months, Mrs. X and Nanny perform the age-old dance of decorum and power as they test the limits of modern-day servitude.
What makes this book worth reading:This is another book you won't be able to put down. Everyone will sympathize with Nanny as she attempts to tolerate Mrs. X's ridiculous behavior. The book is hilarious and well written.
What could the author have done differently to make it better: I think the authors did a good job. I wouldn't change anything.

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11:03 am
darling_etoile Name of book: Mirage
Author: Soheir Khashoggi
Length or # of pages: 350
Quick plot summary: (Courtesy of Amazon) Amira, a girl from a wealthy and powerful family, expects to be sold into marriage and to never step outsider her house without being swathed in black veils. But she's not prepared for the savagery of the husband she first meets on her wedding night. In a daring attempt to save her own life, she escapes with her baby to start a new life in the United States. But her past--and her powerful husband--won't give her up so easily...
What makes this book worth reading:The book teaches a lot about Middle Eastern culture and the main characters are wonderfully created. The book is a thriller and impossible to put down. The author's writting style is amazing. This was truly a wonderful book.
What could the author have done differently to make it better: I don't want to give away anything but I didn't like the ending. Also, there are arabic words thrown in the book that some people may not understand.

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2004
1:38 am

name of book: love warps the mind a little
author: john dufresne
length or # of pages: 336 pages
quick plot summary: a disgruntled writer leaves his content marriage for an analyst who becomes stricken with cancer.
rating: 8 out of 10.
what makes this book worth reading: dufresne has a unique writing style, unlike any i've ever read. the plot isn't the most entralling, but the characters are well painted, and there is a tender humor.
what could the author have done differently to make it better: nothing
would you recommend it? yes. you should read it for the stylistics. just like we read the bible, and shakespeare, and dante, and chaucer, and then wilde, and austen.

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