Book Talk: *The Day the Falls Stood Still*, by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Book Talk: *The Day the Falls Stood Still*, by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Disclosure: I purchased this as an e-book to read on my Amazon Kindle. *I am an Amazon Associate and an IndieBound Affiliate. Purchasing links are provided by Amazon.com and IndieBound.org, and will generate a small referral fee for me.* The Day the Falls Stood Still Cathy Marie Buchanan Voice (2009), Hardcover (ISBN 1401340970 / 9781401340971) (E-book 9781401394752) Fiction (historical), 320 pages Opening Lines: “The stone walls of Loretto Academy are so thick I can sit cured up on a windowsill, arms around the knees tucked under my chin. It stands on a bluff not far from the Horseshoe Falls, and because I have been a student long enough to rank a room on the river side, I have only to open a pair of shutters to take in my own private view of the Niagara.” Book description: 1915. The dawn of the hydroelectric power era in Niagara Falls. Seventeen-year-old Bess Heath has led a sheltered […]

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Book Talk: *The Local News*, by Miriam Gershow

Book Talk: *The Local News*, by Miriam Gershow

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my personal reading. *Purchasing links in this review are through my Amazon Associates account, and I will net a small referral fee for their use. The Local News: A Novel Miriam Gershow Spiegel & Grau (2010), Paperback (ISBN 9780385527620 / 0385527624) Fiction, 378 pages Opening Lines: “After my brother went missing, my parents let me use their car whenever I wanted, even though I only had a learner’s permit. They didn’t enforce my curfew. I didn’t have to ask to be excused from the dinner table. The dinner table, in fact, had all but disappeared, covered with posters of Danny, a box of the yellow ribbons that our whole neighborhood had tied around trees and mailboxes and car antennas, and piles of the letters we’d gotten from people praying for Danny’s safe return or who thought they saw him hitchhiking along a highway a couple states away.” Book Description: […]

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BOOKKEEPING Special Edition: The reading (half-)year in review

BOOKKEEPING Special Edition: The reading (half-)year in review

Inspired by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness (and others), I’m taking a look back at my half-year in reading. (Since I’m still typing one-handed, it will be a relatively brief look.) I’m pretty satisfied with my 2010 reading so far, both in quality and numbers. Currently, my LibraryThing reviews are more up-to-date than my reviews on the blog; I’ve changed my routine to post them there as soon as they’re written, while the reviews here post as scheduled and are mixed with other content. In any case, I’ve pulled some of my stats from LT. Basic stats: Total books read and reviewed year-to-date: 26 (slightly ahead of 2009) Review copies read (ARCs, tours, other sources): 14 My books read, paper: 9 My books read, e-books (Kindle): 3 Fiction: 20 Nonfiction: 6 Reading Challenges progress: Read Your Own Books Challenge 2010: read 10 out of 20 committed, right on schedule! (Note that I didn’t count two of […]

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Book Talk: *The Heart is Not a Size*, by Beth Kephart

Book Talk: *The Heart is Not a Size*, by Beth Kephart

Disclosure: I bought this book for my personal library. *Purchasing links in this review are connected to my Amazon Associates account, and will generate a small referral fee to me if clicked. The Heart is Not a Size Beth Kephart HarperTeen (2010), Hardcover (ISBN 0061470481 / 9780061470486) Fiction (YA), 256 pages Opening Lines: “What I remember now is the bunch of them running: from the tins, which were their houses. Up the white streets, which were the color of bone. All the way to the top of Anapra, where we were standing in our secondhand scrubs and where Riley said, ‘They might as well be flowers, blown right off their stalks,’ and Sophie said, ‘This is so completely wild,’ and the Third said nothing at all.” Book Description: Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid. . . . Or […]

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Book Talk, times two: *Undercover* and *Nothing But Ghosts* by Beth Kephart

Book Talk, times two: *Undercover* and *Nothing But Ghosts* by Beth Kephart

Disclosure: I purchased both of these books for my own personal reading. *Purchasing links in this review are connected to my Amazon Affiliates account and will generate a small referral fee for me if they’re used. Undercover Beth Kephart HarperCollins, 2009, paperback (ISBN 9780061238956 / 0061238953) Fiction (young adult), 304 pages Opening lines: “One day I saw a vixen and a dog fox dancing. It was on the other side of the cul-de-sac, past the Gunns’ place, through the trees, where the stream draws a wet line in spring.” Book description: Like a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, Elisa ghostwrites love notes for the boys in her school. But when Elisa falls for Theo Moses, things change fast. Theo asks for verses to court the lovely Lila—a girl known for her beauty, her popularity, and a cutting ability to remind Elisa that she has none of these. At home, Elisa’s father, the one person she feels […]

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The Year in Review: Reading – 2009 Final Bookkeeping, and my Books of the Year

The Year in Review: Reading – 2009 Final Bookkeeping, and my Books of the Year

Before getting into the discussion of the quality of my reading this year, let’s run some numbers: BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report Number of books read and reviewed in 2009: 47. This is an improvement over my 2007 reading, and a nice return to form from the dismal 35 I read in 2008. Given the pace at which I usually read, which isn’t aided by big chunks of reading time (other than my “Starbucks hour” most weekends), and the types of books I prefer, I really don’t see myself exceeding 50 books a year at this stage of my life, so I’m not displeased with the 2009 total. I don’t really track my reading by sub-genres, but the major breakdown was 33 fiction, 14 nonfiction; 11 of the 14 nonfiction reads were memoirs. Review copies read, from all sources: 23. I’m fairly satisfied with that. With a nearly even split between books sent to me […]

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Sunday Salon, Post-Thanksgiving edition: Bookkeeping, Bookmarks, and more

Sunday Salon, Post-Thanksgiving edition: Bookkeeping, Bookmarks, and more

Does the holiday season take a big chunk out of your reading time? Between weekends spent shopping, decorating, and socializing and the normal daily routine, I find that I have fewer opportunities to settle down with a book, unless I can squeeze in a day off here and there (which I am doing a couple of times before Christmas, and possibly more once I know what my son’s travel plans for the holidays are). My immediate reading agenda is to get through the next couple of reviews I have scheduled, and then I really want to goof off a bit – read for the challenges I’ll be starting, and/or read just whatever I feel like. That would make it something of a reading holiday, I think! What sort of reading plans do you have between now and the end of the year? ✩✩✩✩ Speaking of plans…the Southern California book-blogger contingent is planning to get together […]

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Sunday Salon 11-8: Bookkeeping, Challenging, etc.

Sunday Salon 11-8: Bookkeeping, Challenging, etc.

I just looked at the calendar, and there are not quite eight weeks left in 2009 (!). Soon I’ll be putting together my Books of the Year picks and my Year in Review posts. It may be a little more challenging this year. I’ve read more books than the 35 I managed last year (yay!), and I’m pretty sure I’ll knock out a few more before the end of December. But I’ve also read quite a few books that I rated at least a 4 out of 5 this year (also yay, for good books!), so choosing my very favorites will be harder (not so yay). I think I’m up to the task, though. I’m also thinking about planning my reading for 2010 – the first few months, anyway – and that’s still not something I’m entirely used to. I’m kind of torn, to be honest. I have about 20 books tagged as “review copy” […]

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Sunday Salon 10/11: Bookkeeping, Bookmarks, and other bookishness

Sunday Salon 10/11: Bookkeeping, Bookmarks, and other bookishness

If you’re visiting The 3 R’s for the first time via the Sunday Salon feed, welcome, and please take a look around! While you’re here, why not take a few minutes to enter one of my three 1000-Post Celebration Giveaways? They’re still open for a few more days – the last day to enter is Wednesday, October 14! Here’s what you could win (you may enter only one giveaway): #1: ARC Fiction Package These Advance Reader editions have only been read once, and are in good condition. The links are to my reviews. Restriction: The winner takes them all – no picking and choosing! Open worldwide. The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist Perfect Life, by Jessica Shattuck The Weight of Silence, by Heather Gudenkauf The Last Bridge, by Teri Coyne #2: “A Life Well Read” Reading Organizer I’m keeping the one I was sent for review (posted 9/16/09), but I’ll get you one of your own! […]

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Reading Plans and Goals (Weekly Geeks 2009-35, BBAW Day 5)

Reading Plans and Goals (Weekly Geeks 2009-35, BBAW Day 5)

This week on Weekly Geeks, Terri asks about reading plans for the rest of the year: It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the last quarter of 2009. Soon those of us in the northern hemisphere will be curled up in front of the fire (or solar heater) with our favorite wintry reads, and those in the southern will be off to the beaches with their summer books. Do you have a plan of what you’re going to read the rest of the year? Have you had a master plan all along? If so, have you stuck to it? What helps you to decide what you’re going to read next? Challenges? Book groups? Or do you have the luxury of closing your eyes and picking any book off your shelf? I never used to be one to plan my reading, and I still don’t like to do it very much, which is one reason I don’t […]

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TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! This week in bookishness

TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! This week in bookishness

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report By the Numbers: Book reviews posted in 2009 so far: 28 Books read for the RYOB 2009 Challenge: 12 (goal is 20) Books received for review in 2009, to date: 30 Books acquired in 2009, to date, from all sources: 97 (!) (Evidently, receiving review copies of books is not having the slightest detrimental effect on my book-purchasing habits!) Books in the LibraryThing “To Read” collection: 229 (That number is going in the wrong direction. Oh well!) Currently reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein (for the RYOB 2009 Challenge) Teaser: “What Eve said was not out of line, as most dogs cannot help themselves; they see an animal running and they track it and they go after it. But that sort of thing doesn’t apply for me.” (page 36) New books for the Wishlist: The Favorites, by Mary Yukari Waters In the Heart […]

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TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! Ready for a bookish three-day weekend?

TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! Ready for a bookish three-day weekend?

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report Guess who bought a Kindle?! (My mother-in-law let me try out hers first, and when I decided I really liked it, she offered me one of my own. Thanks, Peggy!) It’s scheduled to arrive early next week, and I’m open to suggestions for my first e-books – if you have any, comments please! This may be my way around the whole “waiting for the paperback” problem… Reviews posted this week: Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner Currently reading/next review scheduled: Fool by Christopher Moore (2 in a row for the RYOB 2009 Challenge!) New additions to my “to be read” collection in LibraryThing: Bought: A Novel, by Anna David (but I didn’t buy it – another blogger sent me her copy! Vanessa‘s review) Best Friends Forever: A Novel, by Jennifer Weiner (blog) (for review – thanks to Emily at Engleman & Co.) Thanks for the Reviews! Books I noticed on the blogs […]

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TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! This week’s bookishness

TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! This week’s bookishness

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report Reviews posted this week: The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist Next review scheduled: Certain Girls, by Jennifer Weiner (RYOB Challenge) New additions to my “to be read” collection in LibraryThing: The Widows of Eastwick, by John Updike (a belated sequel to The Witches of…) Wife of the Gods: A Novel, by Kwei Quartey (for an upcoming TLC Book Tour) Nothing but Ghosts and Undercover, both by Beth Kephart ++ Pasadena: A Novel, by David Ebershoff ** Thanks for the Reviews! Books I noticed on the blogs this week: The Local News, by Miriam Gershow ++Have you heard that My Friend Amy and Presenting Lenore have joined forces to promote Beth Kephart’s newest novel, Nothing But Ghosts? Lenore reviews the book and interviews Beth, and Amy‘s hosting a book party and author chat next Tuesday. They’re also trying to get as many as 200 copies of the book sold by then – […]

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TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! This week in books, etc.

TBIF: Thank book/blog it’s Friday! This week in books, etc.

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report Currently Reading: see “Next Review Scheduled” Next in Line: Certain Girls, by Jennifer Weiner (a “read-along” with My Friend Amy) (RYOB Challenge) Teaser: “My mom’s screen saver was my most recent high school picture. In the upper right-hand corner, a dancing Thin Mint informed me that there were 243 days until Girl Scout cookies went on sale again.” (page 283) After That: Fool by Christopher Moore (RYOB Challenge, “my husband read it before I did” division…technically, I think this is actually his book); All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown (July selection for the Summer Reading Series) Book reviews posted this week: The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff (TLC Book Tour); Escape, by Carolyn Jessop Next review scheduled: The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist (LibraryThing Early Reviewers) New additions to my “to be read” collection in LibraryThing: The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein1 […]

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Weekend Assignment #252: Book connections

Weekend Assignment #252: Book connections

This week, Karen has appointed another “guest professor,” Laura of YBTN, to give the Weekend Assignment. Both the main question and the extra credit are hers, as we return to a favorite subject for some of us: books! Weekend Assignment #252: Where do you get books from? Extra Credit: What was the last book you read, and why? I almost feel like I should abstain from this week’s topic, since I talk about books so much of the time here. Then again, that may be exactly why I should participate – books are one of this blog’s reasons for being, after all! In Karen’s own response, she wondered if everyone’s answer to this question would be Amazon.com. I don’t do all that much book shopping for myself on Amazon, to be honest. I go there for gifts for other people, and when there’s a specific book I’m looking for – something for a book club […]

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