Friday, June 11, 2010

How's everybody doing?

There's only 2 1/2 months left and no one has posted a review on here. Have you been reading books with numbers?

Would you prefer a Mr. Linky to link up your reviews?

Check in!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Numbers Challenge 2010 - Info and Signup

To returning challengers: What do you think of the new logo?

The challenge is to read books whose titles have a number in them from Jan 1, 2010 to August 1, 2010. This includes written numbers like 'one' and numbers like 10th or first or even half.

You can pick from different levels this year:

1. Read one book with a number in it
2. Read three books with a number in it.
3. Read five or more books with a number in it.

Need some help picking? See the sidebar.

You can cross-over with other challenges, use e-books or audio books and re-read books.

Since I'm late in posting this any book you read since Jan. 1 that has a number in it can be counted towards your goal, regardless of when you join the challenge.

Want to Join?
Comment on THIS post to join. Please include a link to a SPECIFIC POST on your blog with your book choices. This will be what I link to in the Participants list. If you don't have a blog, just say so. You'll still be added.

If you would also like to be able to post on THIS Blog, leave your email address. I suggest putting it like this to prevent spam: yourname AT yourprovider DOT com If you are already a member of this blog but no longer want to be, you can leave this blog through your dashboard. If you are already on and want to stay on, no need to say anything.

NOTE: If you don't want to be a member of this blog but wouldn't mind your review being cross-posted to this blog, email me your review and a link to your blog and i'll post it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

2009 Information and Sign-Up

*This is a Sticky Post. Scroll Down for newest Entries*


The challenge is to read 5 books whose titles have a number in them from Jan 1, 2009 to August 1, 2009. This includes written numbers like 'one' and numbers like 10th or first.

Need some help picking? See the sidebar.

You can choose up to three that are on lists for other challenges. So two of the choices must not be on any list. You can re-read books but all books must NOT be read until January 1, 2009.

Want to Join?
Comment on THIS post to join. Please include a link to a SPECIFIC POST on your blog with your book choices. This will be what I link to in the Participants list. If you don't have a blog, just say so. You'll still be added.

If you would also like to be able to post on THIS Blog, leave your email address. I suggest putting it like this to prevent spam: yourname AT yourprovider DOT com If you are already a member of this blog but no longer want to be, you can leave this blog through your dashboard. If you are already on and want to stay on, no need to say anything.

NOTE: If you don't want to be a member of this blog but wouldn't mind your review being cross-posted to this blog, email me your review and a link to your blog and i'll post it.

ABOUT TAGGING: If you do decide to post your reviews on this blog (and I hope you will) please note I have changed around some of the tags. Please tag your book with the number in it. If the number is between 1-9, there are tags like this: "1_One" Use those. For over 9, you can just input it either as a number or a word, depending on how it is in your book. Also tag as fiction or non-fiction. Always include your name and use the tag "Lists" for your book choices and "Wrap-Ups" for your wrap-up posts. Sorry to have rules but I'm just trying to make this blog easy to navigate so those looking for book ideas can find them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar

Graphic novel, 144 pages
Hardcover 2008

Translated from the French

Only the second graphic novel I've ever read, they are not my cup of tea it seems. The first was The Rabbi's Cat, which is charming, funny, and beautifully illustrated by France's top graphics artist, and a very good story. This one is the second book with the same characters. About a rabbi and his daughter in Algeria, pre World War II; the rabbi's cat can speak, it even argues Torah, and points out incongruities in people's behaviour. There are two stories here really, one about an old man and his mangy pet lion and a delightful con they have going, which is fun to read.

The second part is about racism but I didn't like it when the arguing got loud and even somewhat physical (perhaps an attempt on the author's part to prove his point?) despite everyone being of the same religion. And the author gratuitously threw in the "f" word-once, it spoiled the tone for me. I'm glad that I wasn't reading it with a child on my lap. This is a book for adults. There's no faulting the artistry or original story but I am clearly the wrong person to enjoy or to judge graphic novels.
Reviewed by Sandra at Fresh Ink Books

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing

Fiction, 133 pages
Hardcover 1988 (UK)

The idea of a mother not loving her own child seems almost taboo as a subject for a novel. Such feelings just aren't possible, or at least they're not natural or normal, are they? That's the general consensus. I wanted to read The Fifth Child because someone said it put them in mind of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin which I also read and reviewed. They are both about having a child who is difficult to love. Let's be honest, even their mothers find them impossible to love. They do try, very hard, over a period of long years, but ultimately admit their true feelings. Both books are well written and I thought at first they were quite different stories. Kevin, in Shriver's book is a teenager who's killed fellow students in a school shooting before the story even begins. Ben, the fifth child to a couple who planned a large family and celebrated each child's arrival, is odd and frightening and difficult to control from the day he's born. We follow his beleagured mother and family from birth through to his teen years.

Then I realized that the only difference in the stories is whether they are related to us before disaster strikes, as in the case of Ben, or afterward, as with Kevin's killing spree. Each book hits tender spots and like most tragedies are not the easiest to read. But I think they both need to be read. The questions raised need to be faced-by everyone. Should these children be drugged? Is psychiatry or behaviour therapy enough? Should they be "put away" in cases where they cannot be controlled? Then there's the issue of blame. People seem to need to point fingers when things go wrong. Are the parents, especially the mothers, ultimately responsible for the monstrous behaviour of their children? I'm glad I read these books. I learned things, empathy being the very least of these. I highly recommended We Need to Talk About Kevin. I recommend The Fifth Child as well.

I have also read and reviewed the sequel Ben, In the World by Doris Lessing.
Reviewed by Sandra at Fresh Ink Books

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon

Edie Swann heads back to her hometown, Redbud, with one intention only - and that is revenge. She has a list given to her by her dying aunt that has the five names of the men that her father had dealings with shortly before his tragic death. Her only problem is that someone starts off-ing these men making her the main suspect in their murders.

Local lawman and the man that makes Edie's heart race - Holt Drennen is handling the death cases of these prominent Redbud residents... but are they accidental deaths or murders? As his feelings for Edie grow so do his suspicions of her somehow being involved.

This book can be emotional when it delves into Edie's insecurities and fears. Although on the outside she might look tough riding a Harley, tattoos all over and wearing leather - she is rather fragile on the inside. She is a strong character that has to overcome her past and learn to live for herself and her future.

While spine-tingling is not a word that is usually associated with romance Annie Solomon makes it so by her masterful descriptions of these crimes. The not over descriptive intimate love scenes are frequent and varied throughout this read - add in a mysterious murderer, and you have a true page-turner.

There were some interesting plot lines, and the narrative was good enough to keep me intrigued, sometimes to push me to go to the next chapter when I know I should stop and go to bed. It definitely had me guessing as to the twists and turns it was going to take and I was never able to guess whodunnit until the very end. Overall, I enjoyed the book as a nice little romantic suspense read and would definitely recommend it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

*Reprinted with permission from A Comfy Chair and a Good Book

Title: One Fine Day
Author: Mollie Panter-Downes
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 241
Date Finished: 19 Jan 2009
My Rating: 5
Challenges: Decades, New Author, Library, Numbers, 100 +

In this beautiful and lyrically told novel Mollie Panter-Downes chronicles a day in the life of the Marshall family, a middle class family living in post World War II England.
While Britain has come out of the war victorious, life has not returned to what it once was and for most, it never will.

The change the Marshall family feels most keenly is domestic. They have been left to manage a house and garden without the servants that they once had.

"And it suddenly struck him as preposterous how dependent he and his class had been on the anonymous caps and aprons who lived out of sight and worked the
strings. All his life he had expected to find doors opened if he rang, to wake up to the soft rattle of curtain rings being drawn back, to find the fires bright and the coffee smoking hot every morning as though household spirits had been working while he slept. And now the strings had been dropped, they all lay helpless as abandoned marionettes with nobody to twitch them."

The gardener who kept Stephen's garden growing and vital was killed in Holland. The maid, nanny and cook left to help with the war effort and won't be returning. Finding new help is all but impossible as the younger generation looks to expanding possibilities that have opened up beyond their country villages.

Flighty Laura is left to keep the once beautiful, now crumbling, house together and keep dinner from boiling over, burning or being eaten by the cat. Stephen is left with only the occasional help of a slow, plodding, half-deaf old man in the garden. Their daughter, Victoria, does not remember much about life before the war and does not understand her parent's present concerns and stresses.

Mollie Panter-Downes created a very powerful, character driven novel illustrating how life has been irrevocably changed on all levels of society following the war. Through following the seemingly mundane day in the life of one family on a hot summer day we see an entire nation coming to grips with a new way of life and a new social order.
While there is a strong sense of what has been lost throughout the novel, there is also a sense of hope and optimism.

"But never, even then, had Laura felt quite this rush of overwhelming thankfulness, so that the land swam and misted and danced before her. She had had to lose a dog and climb a hill, a year later, to realize what it would have meant if England had lost. We are at peace, we still stand, we will stand when you are dust, sang the humming land in the summer evening."

Originally published in 1947 this novel examines the war and it's impact on those left to pick up the pieces of a post war life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Nineteen Minutes is set in Sterling, New Hampshire - a town where nothing ever happens – that is until the day that Peter Houghton walks into his high school and in 19 minutes kills and injures several of his classmates and teachers. The story is told through several perspectives and ranges anywhere from when before Peter is born until about one year after the deadly shooting. We hear from Peter’s parents, his old best friend Josie Cormier, who eventually became part of the popular crowd and abandoned her friendship with Peter, Josie’s mom, Alex - also the judge sitting on the case, Patrick the detective who was able to apprehend Peter after the shooting and, of course, Peter himself.

I was so caught up in this book while reading it - there were just so many emotions that I went through (anger, despair, heartbreak, sadness, etc.) The story is written in a way that helps you relate and even sympathize with all of the main characters. I thought it gave good insight into bullying, and the torture that some kids are put through while in school. The peer pressure, the complicated tumultuous life of teens - was perfectly captured.

This book will stick with me for a while, I think.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Silent Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Bad boys need lovin’ too!

This is the story of Stryker - yes, Strykerius (tormentor of all things Dark-Hunter, Acheron and Nick Gaultier related). Yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading the bad guy’s side of the story.

In this story we were able to get a glimpse of the romance between Stryker (all around Dark-Hunter nemesis) and his first-wife Zephyra (she’s a total bwitch). Upon reading this you see Stryker in a whole new light and why he is the way he is. Yes, Stryker, was human at one point. He was a child, he loved, he made mistakes... he was/is a man. I found myself feeling sympathy for him and understanding a little more of the world that Sherrilyn Kenyon has created.

Although it can be a bit confusing with all the Greek mythology she normally intertwines with her storylines, this book (I think) is like a new era for the Dark-Hunter series. Sherrilyn is involving a lot of new and different characters that I can’t help but anticipate the day when we get to read their stories.

For those of you who are fans of the Dark-Hunter series, this book felt like an intermediate point, where she just filled you in on information that she was unable to incorporate into any of her other stories. If you have not read a Dark-Hunter novel before than this definitely is not the book you want to start the series on (definitely read some of her older stuff and I’m sure you’ll get snagged along with the rest of us into this world).

But intrigued I am! With all the new hotties characters that she is introducing I can’t wait to read the next installment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell

This one is a toughie. I haven’t decided whether I liked this one or not.... yet. I’m leaning towards the not liking direction though.

The story revolves around the lives of the residents of a luxury building on Fifth Avenue. A place that just by living in it or being seen entering or exiting from it - meant wealth and power. Each resident of One Fifth is interconnected somehow and it was neat to see how one of their actions would cause an effect in one of their neighbors’ lives. I also liked that architecture was the center-piece of the story. I will say, that there were a lot of characters (each written in the first person) introduced all at once, which was confusing at first, but once I got passed that and actually started focusing on who was who and what was what it became easier to read and the pages began turning. The writing was very hip and fresh and I loved her comments on 20-somethings, bloggers and the Internet.

But in the end, it just didn’t strike a note with me. I don’t know if it was that I just didn’t connect with any of the characters or that we have no similarities in common, but I found that none of the characters were likeable. There was one character that I did like but she was the one that we barely read about (figures). I got the impression that this book was expressly written to become a movie or tv series.

All in all, if you like reading stories about New York City life, sex, lies and money, (Drama, Drama, Drama), then this is something that I’d recommend you read.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kathrin's Numbers books:

Apparently, I completely forgot to post my list of books here, so there you go:
1) Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries 09 - To The Nines
2) Cameron West: First Person Plural
3) Janet Evanovich: Seven Up

It is not yet complete, as you see, but I will get to it eventually. I'll link the finished books to the reviews here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

NOTICE: On Labelling Your Posts

I'd like this blog to be a simple way to look up books with numbers in them so please label as follows:

your name (so we know it's your post)
fiction or non-fiction or children's or teens fiction or non-fiction
you can add a genre if it makes sense (i.e. mystery, historical fiction)
If it's about the Holocaust, add that as a label
the number in the title*

*if it's between 1-9, the labels look like this: 1_One, 2_Two so it will be one label whether the number is spelled out or it's the numeral. For numbers above 10, please add it as a numeral if it's a numeral and a spelled out word if it's a spelled out word. So if your book says Fifteen, add the label Fifteen. If it says 15, add label 15.

If I see posts that aren't labelled right I will relabel them. I'm not trying to be difficult I just want it to be easy to navigate when looking for books.

NOTE: Look at the labels on the side to see what's already been used, it might give you an idea of something fitting to add to your post.