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Bookworm Blurbs

I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth - a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. (source)

 

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The Titan's Curse

The Titan's Curse  - Rick Riordan

IT'S NOT EVERYDAY YOU FIND YOURSELF IN COMBAT WITH A HALF-LION, HALF-HUMAN.

But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive... (source)

 

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The Sea of Monsters

The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan

The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan's amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a "half blood" whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan's series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book's drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come. (source)

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The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. (source)

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SPOILER ALERT!

Monster

Monster - Walter Dean Myers

This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives. (source)

 

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The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. (source)

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2015 Reading Resolutions

As I wrote in my post yesterday, 2014 was a really fantastic reading year for me. I'm hoping that 2015 will be as well! I don't think that I'll be able to read too many books just for fun, but I'll be reading a lot for school, so that's good at least. My overall goal for the year is to read 150 books. That's 43 more than I read in 2014, but I think the goal should be pretty attainable, since I have to read 60 just for one of the classes that I'm taking this semester. 

 

I also would like to make more time to read at least one book for me each month. I don't know how realistic that is. Last semester, by the time I was done with all the reading I had to do for school, the last thing I wanted to do was read some more. It's definitely possible that that will continue, in which case I won't be doing much reading for myself until August. But I'd like to make more time to read books that I actually want to read. 

 

I also want to make sure that I keep up with my activity on here. If I don't, it's not a big deal - between grad school and my personal life I'm pretty busy and legitimately don't have too much time these days to be on - but I miss the community on here a lot when I'm gone, so I really would like to make more time for booklikes when I'm able to. Hopefully, while I'm in school, I'll be able to write at least one post a week. It's not as frequent as I'd like, but that's probably as much as my schedule will realistically allow. 

 

Finally, I need to start introducing the baby to books. For those who don't know, my husband and I are expecting our first baby on June 2 - so baby still is quite a long way off from making his/her appearance, but I'd like to get started with reading to him/her. My mom and my mother-in-law have both spoken to me about how important it is to begin reading to babies even before they're born. I feel kind of awkward just reading to my bump, haha, but I want to do what's best for the baby. And of course, once he/she is born, I'll be reading to him/her all the time. So, if those of you who are parents have any advice about what kinds of books are good for babies before they're born, please send it my way! Or if you have advice about how to feel less weird about reading to my baby bump that would be very welcome, too, haha. I want the baby to love reading just like I do (of course, if he/she doesn't that's fine but it's an interest that I'd love for us to share). 

 

I hope all of you have a wonderful 2015, both as far as books go and with the rest of your lives! Happy New Year! 

Annie on my Mind

Annie on My Mind - Nancy Garden

"If you don't put that ring on this minute, I'm going to take it back," Annie whispered in my ear. She leaned back, looking at me, her hands still on my shoulders, her eyes shining softly at me and snow falling, melting, on her nose. "Buon Natale," she whispered, "amore mio."

"Merry Christmas, my love," I answered.

From the moment Liza Winthrop meets Annie Kenyon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she knows there is something special between them. But Liza never knew falling in love could be so wonderful... or so confusing. (source)

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2014 Wrap Up

Voyager - Diana Gabaldon Seventeenth Summer - Maureen Daly Persuasion - Jane Austen The Fog - James Herbert Outlander - Diana Gabaldon The Beet Fields - Gary Paulsen Ashfall - Mike Mullin Songs of Willow Frost - Jamie Ford The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America - Allison Pataki Legacy - Cayla Kluver

2014 has been a great book year for me! I exceeded my goal of 100 books, finishing out the year with either 106 or 107 books read (I'm still reading one so I may or may not finish it before midnight tonight). I fully expect my rate to be higher next year, as I have to read 60+ books for school by April alone. I'm really happy because the quality of books that I've read this year has been great, too! I've encountered my share of duds, but overall, this has been a really great book year for me. 

 

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November/December Round Up

The Breadwinner - Deborah Ellis, Rita Wolf Chasing Vermeer - Blue Balliett The Girls of Gettysburg - Bobbi Miller The Disappearance of Childhood - Neil Postman, Marty Asher Uglies - Scott Westerfeld Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk Etiquette & Espionage  - Gail Carriger Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick Let the Right One in - John Ajvide Lindqvist Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

I was so busy with school in November that I didn't get a chance to make a post about the books that I read that month, so I'm combining my November and December books here! I'm pretty proud of how much I was able to read with everything that I had going on. I wasn't quite at the rate that I was at over the summer, but I was able to read more books than I've been able to since school started, which is wonderful!

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Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska - John Green

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same. (source)

 

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SPOILER ALERT!

Forever

Forever - Judy Blume

Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love.

It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...

"Forever" is written for an older age group than Judy Blume's other novels for children. It caused a storm of controversy when it was first published because of its explicit sexual content.

It was a book ahead of its time - and remains, after thirty years in print, a teenage best-seller. America's No. 1 children's author has written some of the best books of our time about real-life issues - family stress and pressures, what happens when your parents divorce, the problems of growing up and sexual awakening, bereavement - with insight, sensitivity and honesty.

The response of readers all around the world continues to make her one of the best-loved writers ever published. (source)

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The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War - Robert Cormier

Jerry Renault ponders the question on the poster in his locker: Do I dare disturb the universe? Refusing to sell chocolates in the annual Trinity school fund-raiser may not seem like a radical thing to do. But when Jerry challenges a secret school society called The Vigils, his defiant act turns into an all-out war. Now the only question is: Who will survive? First published in 1974, Robert Cormier's groundbreaking novel, an unflinching portrait of corruption and cruelty, has become a modern classic. (source)

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The Outsiders

The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. (source)

 

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Seventeenth Summer

Seventeenth Summer - Maureen Daly

Until the summer before college, Angie Morrow didn't really date. Her mother didin't like her to go out much. But no one -- not even Angie's mother -- can resist the charm of strikingly handsome Jack Duluth. His good looks grab Angies's attention from the moment in June when Jack throws Angie a smile at McKight's drugstore. And on their first date sailing under the stars -- when Jack leans in and whispers to Angie, You look nice with the wind in your hair, the strange new feeling s begin. Tingles, prickles, warmth: the tell-tale signs of romance. It's the beginning of an unforgettable summer for Angie, full of wonder, warmth, tears, challenge, and love.Maureen Daly had created a love story so honest that it has withstood the test of time, winning new fans for more than six decades. Today, this classic is enjoyed by many who think of it as the quintessential love story, and as a glimpse of love in the 1940's; a refreshing alternative to modern love stories, reflecting the beauty and innocence of new love. (source)

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Voyager

Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

“He was dead.  However, his nose throbbed painfully, which he thought odd in the circumstances.”

Thus begins the third book in the OUTLANDER series, in which we learn that–despite his best efforts–Jamie Fraser did not die on the battlefield at Culloden.  He isn’t pleased.  Back in the 20th century, Claire is equally shocked by the revelation of Jamie’s survival–but much more pleased about it.   We hear Jamie’s story as he moves forward, trying to forge a life from the bits of his soul and his country that are left, and hear Claire’s brief recounting of the twenty years since she left him at Culloden, while Roger MacKenzie and Brianna (Claire and Jamie’s daughter) draw close to each other as they sleuth through the clues of the past, in an urgent hunt for Jamie Fraser.  Can they find him?  And if they do, will Claire go back to him?  And if she does…what will happen then?

To be honest, it would be easier to describe what doesn’t happen than what does.  The story moves from the ghosts of Samhain in the Scottish Highlands to the streets and brothels of Edinburgh, to the turbulent open sea and the adventures of the West Indies. Printing presses, sedition, murder, voodoo, Chinese foot-fetishism, kidnapping, turtle soup, and a number of other things.   Behind them all, though, is Jamie’s question:

“Will ye take me, Sassenach?  And risk the man I am, for the sake of the man I was?” (source)

 

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