29 Jan 2008

Between the Sheets - Robin Wells

It's chick-lit with a capital C and absolutely delightful. I highly recommend Between the Sheets as a very pleasant escape from reality.

28 Jan 2008

Cross-Stitch (Outlander) - Diana Gabaldon

I finished my first chunkster way ahead of time. I was supposed to just read 3 chapters a week, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down and read 600 pages over the weekend ;) This is the first time I've read Cross-Stitch (UK version) rather than Outlander (US version) and though the changes were small and insignificant, they were still large enough for me to notice. I might just pick up Outlander soon and read the scenes I know were changed.

26 Jan 2008

The Realm of the Gods - Tamora Pierce

By reading The Realm of the Gods I've finished the Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce. Probably my least favourite of the quartets, but still worth reading.

23 Jan 2008

Emperor Mage - Tamora Pierce

It's a testimony to Tamora Pierce's writing that I enjoy even her weak books. Emperor Mage is one of those as my review (see link) shows.

22 Jan 2008

Such a Time as This - Rebecca Velez

Such a Time as This is a gorgeous retelling of the Book of Esther. Very recommendable :)

20 Jan 2008

Wolf Speaker - Tamora Pierce

My favourite in the Immortal quartet would have to be Wolf Speaker. The last two aren't nearly as good as the two first, but still worth reading.

19 Jan 2008

Two more books read.

Thanks to a lazy Friday evening I managed to get another 2 books crossed off my list :)
Sue Barton, Staff Nurse by Helen Dore Boylston and Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce :)

18 Jan 2008

Heidi - Johanna Spyri

There's nothing better than a good, old-fashioned, feel-good novel, and in that category, Heidi is one of the best. I was almost sad to have finished it.

Sue Barton, Neighborhood Nurse - Helen Boylston

After having read the second to last Sue Barton book I'm almost through both the series and the first challenge of the year. Not too shabby :-)

16 Jan 2008

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert O'Brien

After having had it on my to-read list for several years, I finally finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH earlier today :-)

15 Jan 2008

13 Jan 2008

Sue Barton, Rural Nurse - Helen D. Boylstore

Another Sue Barton book read. I'm rushing through these, but they really are quick reads and good comfort books for a lazy weekend.

12 Jan 2008

Sue Barton 1-3 - Helen Dore Boylston

I've read the three first Sue Barton books - the reviews are here, here and here. They're quick comfort reads.

8 Jan 2008

Two more reviews

I finished another two books yesterday: Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (for the Celebrate the Author, 888, Whitcoulls, Reading through the Decades and TBR-challenge) and The Stormcaller by Jacob Grant and Mark Russel (for the Winter Reading and 888 challenges). Good stuff :-)

7 Jan 2008

Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne

Unfortunately not nearly as good as I remembered it, still it is a classics and thus good to have read :) Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne fits 4 challenges - cool :)

4 Jan 2008

Around the World in 80 Books

Goal: Read 80 books set in 80 different countries of the world. There's no time frame, so just plod along at your own speed. Since there's no time frame, I'm going to include books already read in 2007, and just keep adding to this list, whenever I read a book set in a new country. Without a doubt the majority of books I read are set in USA, England or a fantasy country, but perhaps this will make me more conscious of choosing books set in other countries as well.

Updated December 4th, 2008: 38 countries.

Europe (16 countries)
Greece: Nights of Rain and Stars
Ireland: Quentins
England: Famous Five
Scotland: Wild Mountain Thyme
Denmark: Kald mig prinsesse
Sweden: Jerusalem
Switzerland: Heidi
Turkey / Hungary / Bulgaria / Romania: The Historian
Holland: Far Above Rubies
Poland: Those Who Trespass Against Us
Germany: The Book Thief
Bosnia: A Grave Breach
Italy: Under the Tuscan Sun
France: The Girl with the Blue Bicycle
Spain: People of the Book
Serbia: Den serbiske dansker

Africa (7 countries)
Ethiopia: A Man Called Blessed
South Africa: God Has A Dream
Egypt: Prophecy
Marocco: Stolen Lives
Congo: The Poisonwood Bible
Somalia: Infidel
Botswana: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Asia (8 countries)
Palestine: Burned Alive
Lebanon: Taken on Trust
Japan: Geisha of Gion
India: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
Afghanistan: The Kite Runner
Israel: The Red Tent
China: Wild Swans
Iran: Reading Lolita in Tehran

America (3 countries)
USA: White Oleander
Canada: Anne of Green Gables
Brazil: Frit fald over Amazonas

Oceania (2 countries)
New Zealand: The Bone People
Australia: Thunderwith

Unknown (2 books)
Swiss Family Robinson
The Millionaire's Proposal

The Chunkster Challenge - DONE

A chunkster is a really nice, thick book - at least 450 pages normal type. The challenge will run from January 7th-December 20th 2008, but any book started after January 1st counts. In this time frame read at least 4 chunksters (one each quarter).

There are a number of chunksters on my to-read list already, so for this challenge I've picked for of those:
* Wild Swans - Jung Chang (617p)
* A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth (1379p)
* The Clan of the Cave Bears - Jean M. Auel (542p)
* Cross-Stitch - Diana Gabaldon (863p)

2 Jan 2008

Celebrate The Authors Challenge - DONE

This challenge is designed to "celebrate" author birthdays. For each month of the year, choose one author whose birthday is in that month and read a book by him/her. The book does not have to be read in the birthday month. Alternatives are in brackets.

* January: A.A. Milne: Winnie-the-Pooh
* February: Jules Verne: Around the World in 80 Days (LIW)
* March: Howard Pyle: Robin Hood (Libba Bray)
* April: Anne McCaffrey: Dragonflight
* May: Francine Pascal: Sweet Valley High #2 - Secrets (L. Frank Baum: The Emerald City of Oz, Susan Cooper: The Dark Is Rising)
* June: Johanna Spyri: Heidi
* July: E.B. White: Charlotte's Web (J.K. Rowling)
* August: Edith Nesbit: The Enchanted Castle (Orson Scott Card, Enid Blyton)
* September: Roald Dahl: Mathilda
October: Jackie Collins (Ursula LeGuin) Trudi Canavan: The Magician's Guild
* November: Madeleine L'Engle: A Wrinkle in Time (C.S. Lewis: Prince Caspian, LMM: The Alpine Path, Frances H. Burnett, Astrid Lindgren)
* December: George MacDonald: The Princess and the Goblin (Stephenie Meyer)

In Their Shoes - DONE

In 2008 read memoirs, autobiographies and/or biographies. You pick the number of books and which books to read - simple, eh?

My books:
The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
Those Who Trespass Against us - Katherine Lanckorosta
The Alpine Path - L.M. Mongtomery
Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela
Stolen Lives - Malika Oufkir

Medical Madness - DONE!

The challenge runs from Jan 1st-Dec 31st, 2008 but start whenever's good for you. Read books that have to do with hospitals, doctors, illnesses... anything medical. It can be non-fiction or fiction but no mysteries or thrillers.

I already have 8 medical books on my to-read list, so these choices are easy:
Sue Barton, Student Nurse - Helen Boylston
Sue Barton, Senior Nurse - Helen Boylston
Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse - Helen Boylston
Sue Barton, Rural Nurse - Helen Boylston
Sue Barton, Superintendent of Nurses - Helen Boylston
Sue Barton, Neighbourhood Nurse - Helen Boylston
Sue Barton, Staff Nurse - Helen Boylston
Nothing Lasts forever - Sidney Sheldon

2 New 2 U Challenge - DONE

Between Feb 1st and May 1st read 2 books by authors you've never read before, OR read 2 books outside your reading "comfort zone".

I'm not sure I have a reading "comfort zone" (no, that's not true, of course I do, but I stray outside it often), so I chose two books by authors I've read nothing of before, and that I wouldn't read ordinarily.
* Stolen Lives - Malika Oufkir
* The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Unread Author Challenge - DONE!

The Unread Authors Challenge runs from September 2007 to February 2008 (both months inclusive). In this time, read 6 books by authors you've never read before.

September: The Book of Lost Things - John Connelly
October: Inkheart - Cornelia Funke
November: Noughts & Crosses - Malorie Blackman
December: Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes
January: Those Who Trespass Against us - Katherine Lanckorosta
Feburary: Stolen Lives - Malika Oufkir

Romantic Reading Challenge - DONE

Choose 5 romance novels and read them in 2008. Note that "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels, but can also be contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspence etc. At long as the story has romantic love between two main characters, it will fit this challenge. You can change your choices at any time.

My picks:
Cross-Stitch - Diana Gabaldon
Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse - Helen Dore Boylston
Avalon High - Meg Cabot
The Host - Stephenie Meyer
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne

Themed Reading Challenge - DONE

Between January 1st and June 30th read 4 books that share a theme. This theme can be books set in a particular country, books all with animals as their main characters or whatever. The sky's the limit.

My theme is 4 books with an animal in the title and the books are:
The Clan of the Cave Bears - Jean M. Auel
Water for Elephants - Sarah Gruen
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert O'Brien
Wolf Speaker - Tamora Pierce

1 Jan 2008

Personal Challenge

I want to make it crystal clear before I even start that I do not expect to complete this challenge in 2008. I just took a look at the amount of owned unread books I have and said to myself "I have to do something about this!". So by mixing the 888-challenge and the TBR-challenge I've come up with this personal challenge.

No time-frame, just some sort of structure to my to-read shelf so I have an idea of where to start and where to end. I've structured it similar to the 888 challenge by having 8 categories of 8 books. The numbers are totally arbitrary, I just figured I'd give my self a bit of lee-way by 'only' using 64 of the 96 books I have. I want to get through at least half of these this year, but we'll see how it goes. It's not a 'proper' challenge, so it won't be listed in its entirety in the sidebars.

  1. Chick-lit
    1. Monday's Child - Louise Bagshawe
    2. When She Was Bad - Louise Bagshawe
    3. Where Rainbows End - Cecelia Ahern
    4. Hollywood Husbands - Jackie Collins
    5. Last Chance Saloon - Marian Keyes
    6. Little Earthquakes - Jennifer Weiner
    7. Goodnight Nobody - Jennifer Weiner
    8. Behaving Badly - Isabel Wolff
  2. Christian fiction
    1. Toward Home - Aasen
    2. Patterns of Love - Hatcher
    3. A Rush of Wings - Heitzmann
    4. Twilight - Heitzmann
    5. Love One Another - Valerie Hansen
    6. Matched Pearls - Grace Livingstone Hill
    7. Puritans - Jack Cavanaugh
    8. Waterfalls - Robin Gunn
  3. Pilcher / Binchy
    1. Light A Penny Candle - Maeve Binchy
    2. Whitethorn Woods - Maeve Binchy
    3. September - Rosamunde Pilcher
    4. Flowers in the Rain - Rosamunde Pilcher
    5. Snow in April - Rosamunde Pilcher
    6. The Empty House - Rosamunde Pilcher
    7. Voices in Summer - Rosamunde Pilcher
    8. The End of Summer - Rosamunde Pilcher
    9. Wild Mountain Thyme - Rosamunde Pilcher
  4. Sagas etc.
    1. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
    2. Looking Forward - Marcia Willett
    3. Holding On - Marcia Willett
    4. Winning Through - Marcia Willett
    5. Invitation to Live - Lloyd Douglas
    6. Green Light - Lloyd Douglas
    7. The Godfather - Puzo
    8. Battle Surgeon - Frank Slaughter
  5. Sci-fi/Fantasy/Suspense
    1. Xenocide - Orson Scott Card
    2. Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett
    3. Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey
    4. Deception Point - Dan Brown
    5. Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
    6. Whiteout - Ken Follett
    7. The Web - Kellerman
    8. Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
  6. Classics
    1. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
    2. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
    3. The Deerslayer - Cooper
    4. Robin Hood - Howard Pyle
    5. Ivanhoe - Scott
    6. Winnie-the-Pooh - A.A. Milne
    7. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
    8. Ben Hur - Wallace
  7. Historical
    1. The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
    2. Stolen Lives - Malika Oufkir
    3. Wild Swans - Jung Chang
    4. People of the Fire - Kathleen Gear
    5. Pompeii - Robert Harris
    6. Seven for a Secret - Victoria Holt
    7. Reunion - Frank Uhlman
    8. The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
  8. Books I Just Want To Read But Fit Into No Other Category
    1. Kramer vs. Kramer - Corman
    2. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
    3. The Primrose Way - Koller
    4. The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shrever
    5. Atonement - Ian McEwan
    6. Perfect Match - Jodi Picoult
    7. Avalon - Seton
    8. Kirstens breve - Susan Moody

The Last Jew - Noah Gordon

Since I finished the last book of 2007 on the last day of the year, of course I also have to finish the first book of 2008 on the first day of the year. The Last Jew by Noah Gordon. Good, but definitely not his best.