Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters

You know the kind of sleep where you are so out that everything is part of the dream you're having. The alarm clock, the dog pushing you out of your own bed, and you're father shaking you awake at 3:45 in the morning. It snowed last that's putting it lightly. We got a small blizzard last night and therefore I don't feel comfortable driving to work on these types of days. One way to know you've got too much snow in Indiana is when there are mounds of snow blocking the turn lanes. My dad gets up to prayer with a few men from church on certain days of the week. They must be more dedicated then I am. I was a zombie at work today and I can barely keep my eyes open right now to type this.

Speaking of zombies, I come to the Waiting on Wednesday book: Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters
Release date: March 12, 2009

Amazon lists the title as Generation Dead: Kiss of Life and the author as Dan Waters. I guess Amazon and Daniel are good friends [hints the shortened name :)].

The phenomenon that's been sweeping the country seems to be here to stay. Not only are the teenagers who have come back from their graves still here, but newlydeads are being unearthed all the time. While scientists look for answers and politicians take their stands, the undead population of Oakville have banded together in a group they're calling the Sons of Romero, hoping to find solidarity in segregation.

Phoebe Kendall may be alive, but she feels just as lost and alone as her dead friends. Just when she reconciled herself to having feelings for a zombie -- her Homecoming date Tommy Williams -- her friend Adam is murdered taking a bullet that was meant for her. Things get even more confusing when Adam comes back from the grave. Now she has romantic interest in two dead boys; one who saved her life, and one she can't seem to live without.

Why am I waiting?

I read Daniel Waters first book, Generation Dead, despite my mother's upraised eyebrow at the cover and content matter. The book is more than just a book about zombies. It is about high school, peer pressure, and standing up for your rights against the prejudices of those around you. I enjoyed the book a great deal. I will be honest and say I cried. Yes I cried. That to gives a book an instant 5 star. At least until you have time to truly think the book content over. After thinking it over I still give it a 5 star. I really like the cover art too. I will say though, at first glance I had my doubts, but then reading the book made the cover more appealing to me. I can't wait to read Kiss of Life!!!! If you haven't read Generation Dead, go get it right now! Oh before I forget Daniel Waters has an author blog and a blog that the characters of his book write post's about their zombie lives, go check them out.
Fact for the Day:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was first published today in 1813 in Great Britain.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bookstore Snob

I had planned for my next post to be about patriotism, after the politics post I thought it appropriate. However, books are what is gnawing at the brain right now. (A funny picture)
I woke up this morning in my normal Saturday mood. It is time to be a hermit! Let’s face it. After an entire work week where you are forced to wake up and drive 20 miles into the ‘big city’ you’re ready to be a home body for the weekend. The rest of my family, dad excluded, feels differently. They’ve been home the entire week. Thus, they’re scourged with cabin fever. This most often puts me in a grumpy mood that I have to be drug out of the house to traipse around running errands. Today was no different.
My sister saw an ad in a small local newsletter we get about a bookstore in North Manchester and called to find out their hours. We had planned to go there in the morning, but we didn’t get around soon enough. The bookstore owner said he was open until noon and then goes to lunch. I’ll be honest, the owner closing up shop to go out for lunch, red flags go up right away. At least for me. What kind of bookstore closes up during a Saturday? What kind of bookstore in a small town can afford to close up to go get lunch? As my dad put it, you better go get lunch and bring it back with you. Red flags went up because I thought, "Oh great this is going to be some whole in the wall bookstore. The kind that has three bookshelves with the most obscure titles you’ll ever see in your life. Each priced astronomically high and you can’t figure out why." Are you catching onto my lack of enthusiasm for this bookstore yet?
Of course I stand corrected. I’ve been proved wrong. The bookstore was small, but nice. My only complaint would be he needed more shelves to spread out better. Many of the books were hard to get a good close up view of. Finds for the day included:

- The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
- Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon
- Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Magnificent Ambersons because I loved the movie* and have wanted to read the book forever. I’m stingy about the copies I purchase. This copy was an old, in very good condition, hardback edition for a great price. Booth Tarkington is an Indiana author. I need a good biography about him to read, still searching. I would like one reminiscent of the style of biography I read about Beatrix Potter.
Twelfth Night because it is a great play and the copy I found was this small endearing** edition.
Anna and the King of Siam because the actual account has always made me curious to know more. I wasn’t really in search of a copy, but I just happened upon it. Don’t you just love happening upon books?
Sword at Sunset because I collect Rosemary Sutcliff books. This copy is an old hardback edition with its dust jacket still in great condition.

All in all the bookstore was a success, although I do have one question to pose to you. Why does it seem when you find a bookstore run by a man (an elderly man to be specific), he is the kind of man who is grumpy and you’re too scared to approach him with a question for fear he’ll bite you? This was what happened today at the bookstore and this isn’t the first time it has happened to me. My mother believes it is because men who own bookstores are very intellectual, spend most of their time reading, and this causes them to be introverts’***. Therefore not good with people. Excuse my language, but why ever the bloody hell not?! You’re running a bookstore. Your soul purpose in life is to sell books to people. That is, if you are good at what you do. For those of you men or women who experience such occurrences, please know that when I have my bookstore, you’ll be begging me to settle down and help someone else. :) Oh and by the way note to my future husband wherever you may be, if you like books (and you had better) please don’t be unapproachable.

* You can't help liking a movie that Jonathan Rhys Meyers is in even if he does play a spoilt brat.
** Some books it is just a must that they be endearing copies.
*** I like my computer’s definition for an introvert - Psychology a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings.

Poem/Quote of the Day:

Curse On A Book Thief
(or for modern times Book Borrower)
For him that stealeth a Book from this Library,let it change to a serpent in his hands and rend him.Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Membersblasted. Let him languish in Pain, crying aloud forMercy and let there be no surcease to his Agony tillhe sink to Dissolution. Let Book-worms gnaw hisEntrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, andwhen at last he goeth to his final Punishment letthe Flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.

P.S. After hours and I mean hours this post is finally going to be posted. I don't care if it has mistakes. I'm so sick of my computer right now. Sorry.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Know Much About Politics

I'm not trying to be the cute blonde who giggles and pretends stupidity to gain attention. When I titled my post 'Don't Know Much About Politics,' I mean I don't know much about politics. Much is being kind, what I know couldn't amount to a piece of printer paper. Politics hold no source of value to me or I guess that's what my right brain creative side is saying. My left side pleads with me to show some sense and start caring. I've begun to feel guilty at my lack of enthusiasm for the topic. Most often I crave knowledge. I'm the person who after a long conversation about the origin of bookmarks, goes home, researches, and reads anything and everything about bookmarks. *

I can hear my grandmother now, if she read this, "Madelyne you need to know about politics. It is your right as a woman. It is your duty to arm yourself with knowledge." I can also hear her and other people I know telling me I’m an anti-feminist (very warped view of things) because I don't take this amazing power privilege I have access to. It has nothing to do with whether or not I'm a feminist. I choose not to tell you which one I am.

I do understand part of politics is wanting your voice to be heard. It's wanting your opinion to be out there for all to hear. That takes a brave, willing person to have people take your opinion and attack it much like buzzards attack and pick at their prey. Of course their prey is dead. Let's give your opinion a little more credit (and hope) than that though.

I love my opinion being out there, granted I'm always fearful of what others will think and/or say. If you lived at my house you'd say I was a liberal, can't keep her mouth shut, voice is never below a scream type of girl. I can understand looking back in history why women wanted such rights as the right to vote. ** It wasn't so much the vote as that they didn't want to be tossed to the corner where they’re forced to never speak above a whisper. They didn't want to argue they just didn't want to scream like banshees in order to be heard. I'm sorry that my temper gets the best of me most often and at that point I'm more willing to scream and shout my opinions than to discuss them diplomatically. (I'll forewarn you, if you didn't notice already, I'm horrible about going off on rabbit trails.)

Back to politics . . . When people ask questions like "Have you heard what Savage said?", I think to myself whose Savage? Maybe an author with a good new book out? (Ok I know that it is annoying how I can bring books into almost any conversation.) I put myself in this place of ignorance that I find that I am settled in at this point in my life. Shove me out though, go right ahead. I do need to know more. If you can recommend a good book for someone like me, oh let's say, The Very Unwilling and Stubborn Idiots Guide to Politics in Laymen's Terms by A Very Well to Do Educated Genius Whom Doesn't Mind Toning it Down for Some of Us Little People, please do so. I'm serious, as I always say I try very hard to read what is recommended to me.
I think if I know more about politics I won't be the type of person who hears one little tid bit of something and rides it like a $2.00 bus ticket. ***

For you out there who talk to me on a daily and/or weekly basis I appreciate the time you take to pause, explain, or even share with me things going on in the political world. Thanks for explaining it to me in a way that I can understand, book analogies and all. ****

Quote of the Day:

The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
- Frank Herbert

* History of Bookmarks
** This is not my entire opinion on the subject. I only share that with certain people.
*** A situation like this happened not too long ago. There are a few people who know about it and even tried to smooth things over, but I'm still hesitant to believe differently.
**** I didn't take much time to go over this post. I'm sure there are many spelling and grammar mistakes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bibliophile Tendencies and my personal dilemma of going crazy. . .for books.

Snow, snow, snow, and more snow. I stopped liking snow this year for a number of reasons. My car accident because of the snow is foremost in my mind. I do however; think it also largely due to the fact that I’m no longer young enough for a 2-hour delay of school cancellation to allow me the joy of playing in snow. Otherwise the snow causes butterflies in my stomach as I drive to work. Not the pretty fluttering kind, but the kind that dive bomb at your stomach attacking any reserve of calm you might have been trying to hold up.

My Amazon wish list works not only as a list of books I want to buy, but a list of books to read. As of today the list has 105 books I want to read. About an eighth of these books are books I have read and want to own. Honestly 85% of the list if not more are books that I judge the cover for the level of reading appeal it held for me. I know that is not good, but I’ve only been wrong a few times. Once I read a book (I remember the title, but I won’t say it in case someone else may have loved this book) that looked like a scrumptious bit of reading. I read 11 chapters into the book and decided forget that, if it’s not going anywhere in 11 chapters it’s not worth my time. If an author wants a book to not go anywhere for a while they need to choose a lower of number chapters to do it in. For example I tried reading The Hobbit years ago and the first 5 chapters were torture….to me at least. My friend convinced me a few years later to give it a try again. I did and after those first 5 chapters it was great! While 5 chapters is still a lot to read through and not like, especially since they were long chapters it is much better than 11 chapters.

That aside I decided to indulge my craving yesterday at Walden Books (this craving never goes away) to buy a book from my wish list. I bought Sovay by Celia Rees. I’ve only read one other book by Celia and that was Pirates!. Just the title alone told me I would love this book and I did. Sovay has a cover that has me eager to pick it up right now and read it ahead of all the books in line before it (and there are many). I didn’t read the back of the book or inside flap. I only know it is about a girl and involves thievery.

I can’t help myself and know I should probably read about books before purchasing them. Is it the book editor that writes the back cover summary or inside flap? Well let me tell you, is it your goal to basically summarize every major event in the book? That way after reading those few paragraphs you’ve basically read the book. Come on! I want enough to make me sque
al with anticipation, but not so much that I don’t need to read or buy the book. Okay maybe squeal was a little over the top…for in public. My sister doesn’t mind reading the summary. She doesn’t like that it gives too much away, but she can’t stand not to read it. She knows my reading tastes very well, probably second only to myself. If I really want to read the flap, but can’t bring myself to do it I pass the book to her. Then she gives her yah or nah opinion for if I will like the book. Obviously I trust her immensely J. In a way it is like trusting your child with a stranger, although my sister is certainly not a stranger.

I also purchased the book Queen, Empress, Concubine: Fifty Women Rulers from the Queen of Sheba to Catherine the Great by Claudia Gold. Royalty is one of my favorite subjects to read about.

Aside from the 2 new books I bought, I also bought (guilty blush) a few from Goodwill as well. I know, I know, I don’t know when to stop buying. Actually I don’t how to stop. As you can see from my LibraryThing tag ‘To be read’ books now is almost 400 books. Remember my previous post about striving to read more books from my on personal library, well that undertaking keeps getting bigger no thanks to yours truly. Maybe I need to rethink my idea of placing another large book order with Independent Publisher Group. Rats! They just came out with their 2009 catalogs too.

An appropriate quote of the day, that I may have posted before, is below.

Quote of the Day:

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
-Henry David Thoreau

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