Living With Don Johnson

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

So, I sat down at the computer tonight to write a blog, and I was faced with writer’s block. I knew I wanted to write something, but I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. Usually when I publish a post, wordpress will give some prompts but having prompts AFTER I publish a post just doesn’t work for me. Yes, I am aware that I could save some of those prompts on my desktop to use at a later date, but that thought never occurs to me until I actually want to use a prompt.

As I sat here on the couch enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree lights and the sound of Don Johnson playing xbox, I looked over at the pile of books stacked up on the edge of the couch and decided I could write a post about the books I am currently reading or my favorite books. Truth be told, this will probably be a combo of the books I am currently reading and my favorite books. I have tried to include links to the authors pages or information about the authors where possible.

Let’s start with the books I am currently reading (or have lined up to read).

  1. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini – Inheritance is the final book in the Eragon series. I truly enjoyed the first two books in the series; I believe that I finished reading them in just about a week. It took me a year to read the third book in the series. Don’t get me wrong, It was a good book, but I just had a difficult time sitting down and getting started on the story. I’m hoping that this last book reads more like the first book.
  2. The Queen’s Fool by Phillipa Gregory – Phillipa Gregory also wrote The Other Boleyn Girl. While I didn’t read that particular book, I did watch the movie. And I found it to be pretty good. When I saw this book for only a dollar at work, I decided to go ahead and pick it up. The story deals with a young girl, Hannah, who finds herself in the Royal Court as the Queen’s fool. I can’t tell you how the story ends because I haven’t reached it yet. However, it is a fairly intriguing read and when I have time to sit down and read it, I don’t want to put it down. Right now, it is in my drawer at work so sometimes I get to read it at breaks if it is quiet.
  3. Tainted and Torn by Julie Kenner– These are books one and two of the Blood Lily Chronicles. These fall into the fantasy type books. I’m only a few chapters into Tainted. It is starting off a bit on the slow side, but it is fairly similar to an upcoming book on the list as well as a series I just finished reading, so that maybe why I’m not as into it yet.
  4. Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance– This books is in my ‘to read’ stack. I really liked the Cassie Palmer series that Chance wrote, so I am hoping that this will be along the same lines. The Blook Lily Chronicles do feel similar to the Cassie Palmer series.
  5. The Servants Quarters by Lynn Freed– Another book in my ‘to read’ stack. I picked this up at Borders when it was going out of business. I bought it because it looked like it had promise, and it was only a couple of bucks. I figured if the story was terrible at least I wasn’t out a lot of money.
  6. This is Where We Live by Janelle Brown– In the ‘to read’ stack and purchased at Borders. I had high hopes for this book based on the cover. Yes, I am aware that you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover. I read the first several chapters, and it never drew me in the way I had hoped. The story just seems to plod along. I’ll finish it eventually, but it will probably move its way down to the bottom of the stack.
  7. Being Polite to Hitler by Robb Forman Dew- Another ‘to read’ book and Borders book. Not sure why I picked this one up. Probably because it was cheap and looked like it could be interesting. I haven’t read any part of it yet.
  8. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austen)- I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice as a tween, and it seemed to get pretty decent reviews, so I figured I’d give it a try. This is at the top of my ‘to read’ stack.
  9. Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong– This is one of the books that seems similar to the Blood Lily Chronicles and the Cassie Palmer series. Don got it for me at Borders. I’m about half way through and, to be honest, I can’t tell you what happened in the book because it has been so long since I sat down to read it.
  10. The Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay– Yet another entry in the ‘to read’ stack and purchased from Borders. The cover drew me in, so let’s hope it is entertaining at least.

Books I am looking forward to reading.

  1. The new Stephanie Plum book by Janet Evanovich– Book number 18 was supposed to come out in November, but I haven’t seen or heard anything about it. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t out. It just means that I’ve been busy with work and life that I haven’t bothered to look up the publish date or title. I enjoy the Stephanie Plum series. They are a lighthearted series and they don’t require a lot of my brain space. It is always interesting to guess how many of Stephanie’s cars will blow up and how many times she will have to be rescued by Ranger.
  2. The new Sue Grafton book- To be honest, I don’t even remember what letter she is on now or what the last one I read was titled. I think U was the last one I read. Kinsey Milhone is a great female lead for the series, and I have grown rather attached to her over the years. I almost think I like her more than Stephanie Plue, but Kinsey doesn’t have Ranger, so I guess it is a draw for the moment.

Books that I will read over and over again.

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott– I adore this book, and without a doubt, it will always take the number one spot in my favorite books list. I think I’ve gone through several copies. I even have it on my eReader! I love the March sisters and Marmee. I still cry when Beth dies. There isn’t anything about Little Women that I don’t love. Josephine was always near the top of my list of names for potential children, but that never panned out. Although, our toothfairy’s name is Josephine.
  2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery- I can’t think of a girl who didn’t read Anne (with an E) growing up. We had a copy come into the store today, and all of the girls who work with me were fawning over it because it was such a pretty book.
  3. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling– It’s a great series in my opinion. I find the story to be well told. It’s entertaining and an all around good series.
  4. The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss- I first read this when I was only a little bit older than Wendy, I believe. I read my mom’s copy. The book is about Helen and her husband, Carl, and their journey to have a family. They wind up adopting 12 ‘unadoptable’ kids. The story never gets old.
  5. Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth– Another one I read as a pre-teen. It’s the story of the Gilbreth’s. It’s been years since I read it, but it will always hold a spot on my list.
  6. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand– Finally, a book that isn’t a young adult book! There are lots of different opinions about Atlas Shrugged. I could go into the politics aspect of it or even the business and financial aspects of it, but I won’t. While there are parts of the book that are heavy on the descriptions and light on action, I still enjoy it. I’ve read it so many times now that I generally just skip over the parts that I know are going to be overly descriptive.
  7. Any book by Katherine Paterson– Yes, another juvenile literature selection, but really, can you argue with Bridge to Terabithia or Jacob, Have I Loved?

One author that you will NEVER (and I do mean never) see me read is Nicholas Sparks. Even typing his name makes me want to gag. He’s so formulaic and sappy. Ugh and blech

That’s all I’ve got for the moment. I look forward to the day when I can start to make a dent in my ‘to read’ pile. What about you. What books are stacked up in your ‘to read’ pile? And what are your favorite books that you can read over and over again.

 

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When Wendy was little, we made sure to teach her how to treat books. When she was at Head Start, how to treat books was a lesson that was reviewed every day. I’ve noticed a trend going on inside bookstores.

I was at a bookstore the other day (not my store. It was Borders). A mom wanted to walk around and look at books without dragging her kiddo along. So, she said the kiddo down in the kids section and pulled a book off the shelf for the kiddo to look at. Kiddo looked through the book and dropped it on the floor. He then grabs another book off the shelf and does the same thing. This goes on for 10 minutes or so. The mom comes back, grabs the kid and walks off. She just left all the books sitting on the floor! I couldn’t believe it. It isn’t that difficult to put a book back on a bookshelf. If you pull a book off, there will be an empty spot on the shelf just big enough for that book. You can’t take 10 seconds to put the books back up?

So, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I work at a used bookstore. I adore the written word, and I will take the written word in any way, shape, or form.

That being said, I absolutely love my eReader. I got it as a gift last year for helping a friend with some English classes. The best thing about my reader is that I can store a bunch of books and not have to worry about actually storing a bunch of books. I live in a small apartment, and my bookshelf space is severely limited. I can load 9 or 10 books onto my reader and take them on the airplane with me, and it only takes up the space of one small book versus trying to find the space for 9 or 10 books. Not to mention that eBooks are a hair cheaper than purchasing a hardcover book.

I still read and love actual books. My mom buys books and then sends them to me when she is done reading them. But, again, I have that storage problem. I’ve got books stacked on top of books in my bookshelves.

There is a definate debate about eBooks versus bound books. I don’t quite get it. The bound book advocates talk about the feel of the book in their hands and turning the pages. They like to talk about how the literacy rate is going to decrease because of eBooks and eReaders. They talk about how they can read books anywhere.

I, however, do not feel this way. Like I said, I love my eReader. I can hold it in my hands. I can actually hold it in one hand if I so desire. I have a cover on it to protect it, but the cover also serves to make it feel more like a book. To be honest, when I’m reading, I usually take off the cover because it bugs me. I can still turn pages, but I can do it with the flick of a finger. One of the things I think is fantastic is that I never have to look for another bookmark ever again. My reader automatically saves my spot. My reader isn’t backlit, so I can read it in all the same places that I’d read a book. If the power goes out, and I don’t have a flashlight, I can’t read a bound book either. The only time I have a problem is if the battery dies while I’m reading. And so far, I seem to have a pretty decent amount of time for each battery charge. I won’t lose all my books if my computer crashes since I can sign into my Reader account on any computer and have my books right there. And the Los Angeles Library offers eBooks. I just need to get a library card for the LA Library system.

As far as the literacy rate, I have no control over that. But, here’s my opinion on it. Reading is reading is reading. It doesn’t matter if you are reading the back of a cereal box or the Grapes of Wrath. Reading a comic book is considered reading to me. Reading those stupid Manga/anime books (can you tell I don’t understand them?) is reading to me. It doesn’t matter what you are reading as long as you are reading. I don’t think that eBooks will damage the literacy rates. Let’s think about it for a moment  shall we? We already have kids graduating high school who can’t read. How will giving them a book in a new format change that? Will we have more kids graduating without knowing how to read. We live in a techno world, and we need to be able to adapt. Kids today have a love of technology, so it makes sense to offer books to them in a way that fits in with their lifestyles.

The book people like to talk about the “smell” of old books. Can I share something with you? That smell that you love about old books? More than likely, it’s some sort of mildew. At the bookstore, we don’t take books that have the “old book smell” because they don’t sell.

You should have seen the reaction I got when I mentioned eReaders at work. It was something. You’d have thought I was talking about killing puppies. It should be interesting when I actually bring in my eReader today to read at my lunch break.


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