Day 19

IMG_2975DAY 19. – A favourite author.

Kelly

Oh boy I can’t pick just one favorite author.  It’s simply impossible but I can list several: Jan Karon, Laurell K Hamilton, MaryJanice Davidson, Betty Hechtman, Nora Roberts, Robyn Carr, Emily March, Jill Shalvis, Sherryl Woods, Susan Mallery, Lois Lowry, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Lloyd Alexander.  Ok better stop there.

Amy

Just one??  Can’t do it.  Can I at least give a top 5?  Even that’s too hard!  Let me try…

Stephen King, Curtis Sittenfeld, Tom Perotta, Jen Lancaster, and J.K. Rowling (even as Robert Galbraith).

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Day 18

IMG_2975DAY 18. – A book you wish you could live in.

Kelly

Harry Potter, well post Deathly Hallows that is.  I really don’t want to live in the Magical world during the time of Voldemort.  I would love to go to Hogwarts though as a student or a teacher.  I could teach Muggle Studies after all I am a teacher.  I think it would also be interesting to live in the world of Anita Blake, our world but with vampires out in the open and as productive members of society, well some of them anyway.  What can I say I love vampires, it would be cool to be friends with one.

Amy

Don’t we all want to live in the world of Harry Potter??  She stole my answer!!  I guess I’ll have to pick Austenland.  Austenland is about a woman who also wants to live in a world of books – those written by Jane Austen.  That’s not something I’ve ever wanted, but I identify with Jane, the main character, who is really wanting to get lost in a good book.  Austenland is a getaway for all those women who have dreamed of living in Regency-Era England, the biggest of Austen’s fans.  She doesn’t exactly find her own Mr. Darcy, but what happens there is definitely fun, and gives Jane a greater appreciation of the world she does live in.

Day 17

IMG_2975DAY 17. – Author I wish people would read more.

Kelly

I seem to read a lot of books by well known authors.  Books that are on order at my library as soon as a publication date is released so I had to really think about this one.  I finally came up with two, both mystery authors: Betty Hechtman who writes the Crochet Mysteries and Yarn Retreat mysteries, I love them both.  Also Jenn Makinlay who write the Library Lovers mystery series.  I came across those by accident and have really enjoyed them.  I’m pretty sure I’ve written reviews on books by both authors.

Amy

Last year I was introduced to Amanda Hocking by a friend.  She’s a relatively young author, and has created an imaginative world of fairies and trolls in her Trylle series.  The Trylle series were some of her first books, and she actually started out by publishing them herself.  Since the success of the series, she has written a number of other books, and has been picked up by a publisher.  I really enjoyed reading the Trylle series – and I wish more people were familiar with her work.  She’s been working on a follow up to the series – The Kanin Chronicles picks up where Trylle left off, and I can’t read it!!

Day 16

IMG_2975DAY 16. 

Here we are at the halfway point of the challenge.  The challenge has been fun so far – getting us thinking and talking about some of our favorite books, authors, and characters.  Today’s challenge – the most thought-provoking book.

Kelly

Fiction – Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice, this book left me looking over my shoulder but really had me thinking too.

Non-Fiction – Repair Kit for Grading by Ken O’Connor.  This was an eye-opener for me as a teacher.  Made me look at my grading practices in a whole new light.  I finished the book with a changed perspective.  Made me think so much it was the reason I started my own blog.

Amy

1984, and though this book was written years ago (first published in 1949).  60 + years ago it was hard to imagine a world like the one George Orwell had created.  Now in 2014, our world is much more like Orwell’s fictional world than we’d probably care to admit.  In one of the first dystopian novels, 1984 examines what life would be like in a communist society, one in which the state controls everything.  In our lives now, with the Patriot Act, and what the CIA has been up to, and the Edward Snowden scandal and what it uncovered, it’s not so hard to imagine this world.  There’s a reason people are still referring to “big brother”.  The only thing we’re missing is the thought police, or are we…

Day 15

IMG_2975DAY 15. – A character who you can relate to the most.

Kelly

I think in many ways I relate to Hermione.  I was the bookworm in school, and relatively intelligent though nowhere near as smart as she. Up until I went to high school I didn’t have many friends.  The friends I made there though became lifelong friends much like the friends she made at Hogwarts.

Amy

There’s one particular character that comes to mind, whose role in her story was heartbreaking.  I loved Sarah, and though she and I only have a few things in common, I could so relate to her.  She’s a stay at home Mom and unhappy in her marriage.  She’s highly educated – but feel that her talents are wasted as a SAHM.  She gets involved with the Dad of one of her daughter’s friends.  The guy just happens to be a young lawyer, taking a break from his career to be with his son.  None of this I relate to – other than the SAHM thing – it’s the feeling she gets when she’s with him.  He’s handsome, funny, and smart, and though she is all those things too, she doesn’t believe it.  She doesn’t believe she’s worthy.  I loved the movie version of the book – starring Kate Winslet at Sarah, who gets lost in this character.  Tom Perotta is one of my favorite authors, and he creates some of the best characters.  I’ve read all of his books, and Sarah I think is my favorite.

Day 14

IMG_2975DAY 14. –  Book that made you cry.

Kelly

The first one that comes to mind is The Giver.  Warning for anyone who has not read the book or seen the movie this is a SPOILER, actually my whole answer here is a SPOILER just so you know SPOILER ALERT, don’t say you haven’t been warned 🙂 .  The first year I taught the book after I had my son when Jonas learns that release is human euthanasia while watching the video of his father kill the smaller of two twins.  I couldn’t even read it to the kids.  I was bawling and the Title 1 teacher who co-taught with me had to take over and read.  I have always struggled with that section but this was worse.  I am an easy cryer when it comes to books though so the list of books that have made me cry could go on and on.  I did the same thing while reading the beginning of Night by Eli Weisel to my class, when the Nazis use babies as target practice, yep again couldn’t read it I was crying too much.  When Johnny dies in The Outsiders, when Fred dies in HP, and Tonks and Lupin, well almost the whole Battle of Hogwarts outside of cheering for Molly Weasley when she takes on Bellatrix.

Amy

Before mentioning a book that made me cry, I must warn you that I cry at everything.  Just the other day listening to a Michael Buble Christmas CD in the car (per my daughter’s request), Silent Night made me cry.  Of course I was thinking of my husband, and how he won’t be home for Christmas this year, but the tears came and I know it won’t be the only time I cry before the holidays are over.  Tuesdays With Morrie is one of the best books I’ve ever read.  There was so much life, and wisdom that Morrie had to give – Mitch Albom (a popular sports writer), wrote story about his favorite teacher and mentor.  We all need someone like that in our lives. I also cried reading The 5 People You Meet In Heaven – and I recommend reading both of them, with a box of kleenex within reach!

Day 13

IMG_2975DAY 13. – A book that disappointed you.

Kelly

Well the newest in the Angel Island series like I said on Day 1.  While I liked the very end of Allegiant by Veronica Roth the middle of the book was a bit of a disappointment to me.  Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card was a disappointment because I thought it was to be the book that tied the Ender books to the Shadow books, the story was good. I own it and have reread it but I was waiting for that culmination of the series and it has yet to come.

There was another book I read recently that disappointed me.  The newest in the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton.  I usually love her books but something about A Shiver of Light that felt rushed, maybe a bit forced, it just didn’t seem to read as smoothly as her previous Merry books.  Things were repeated in the book itself not just information that was in a previous book but from an early chapter in a later chapter.  A lot happened but still I just felt kind of meh at the end and that made me sad because I so look forward to Laurell’s books.  OK WAIT biggest disappointment in a book the adult Sweet Valley books.  I was so excited to see them on the shelf at the library and so let down when I read them.  I’m not going to say more bc I think I said it all on June 16.

Amy

I’m calling out a book that got a lot of great reviews but I didn’t like it at all.  Dare Me by Megan Abbott was about two teenage girls with some really dark secrets.  So it’s a dark story, I knew that going in.  I’m not the type of reader who expects a happy ending in every book.  These two girls, who happen to be cheerleaders, were lying, backstabbing, and very competitive.  I kind of get it – girls can be mean, especially the cheerleader type.  This story takes that over  the top – with a possible murder (possible suicide), and a hinted-at affair between one of the cheerleaders and a much older man.  If the title refers to the daring behavior of teenage girls – or a truth or dare game – it’s one I hope most girls won’t play.