Category Archives: Book Thursday

>Booking Through Thursday: HISTORY!!!!!

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Given the choice, which do you prefer? Real history? Or historical fiction? (Assume, for the purposes of this discussion that they are equally well-written and engaging.)


OH MY!! My favorite topic. History is my favorite genre to read about, both fiction and non-fiction alike!! I have read much more historical fiction over non-fiction, but it is simply because that is what has been available to me to review this year.

I have read and reviewed some wonderful non-fiction this year, such as Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman who Helped Hide the Frank Family by Miep Gies, Elizabeth’s Women by Tracy Borman and The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn by Alison Weir. And given the choice.. at this point I would really like to read a lot more NON-FICTION! I love the Tudor and Stuart eras in England, and I would really like to branch out this year to include more of Europe and ultimately the United States.

I have some biographies on my shelf such as Harry S. Truman and Mary Todd Lincoln that I would like to read, and I would like to read more on Louisa May Alcott.

I have read a lot of historical fiction this year (see all my reviews listed here) and in 2010 there are some more promising historical fiction works being published. So, I predict I will still be reading a lot more historical fiction rather than non-fiction in 2010 because of the abundance of new releases.

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it!!!

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>Booking Through Thursday~ Mark The Spot

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Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:
What items have you ever used as a bookmark? What is the most unusual item you’ve ever used or seen used?

I use a regular bookmark 98% of the time, which is typical of the one seen here.

My current favorite since my birthday in July is a bookmark with the image of Ophelia by John William Waterhouse, which I received from fellow HF Fanatic Arleigh. I have made some bookmarks, and I gave one to my mom, but that’s as far as they have gotten as far as being productively used.

If said typical bookmark of mine is somehow lost (such as when I fall asleep in bed), then I find a temporary placeholder such as a tissue, napkin, iPhone..
I cannot think of any strange-out-of-this-world type of bookmark that I have used or seen.

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>Booking Through Thursday~ But, What About Me?

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:

But enough about you, what about ME?
Today’s question?
What’s your favorite part of Booking Through Thursday? Why do you participate (or not)?

My favorite part of BTT is the ‘getting to know you’ aspect of it. There are many new-to-me bloggers who do stop by this blog just because I have participated in the BTT meme (Hello out there! said in my best Blue’s Clues imitation), and I love learning about others. This meme is one of the most thought-provoking memes I participate in, and I love thinking about some of these questions that it asks me every Thursday morning.

It’s fun, and I love hearing about other people’s opinions; sometimes I am surprised in a good way about how others feel about books. You would think it would be cut and dry, but there are so many varying tastes and different views on some subjects that we would have otherwise thought of as simple. It is an eye-opening experience sometimes!

The best part is learning about fellow book bloggers and feeling a part of the community.

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>Booking Through Thursday~ Posterity’s Sake

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:

Today’s question was suggested by Barbara:
Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

Some disagree as to the caliber of the above authors, and some will disagree on whatever authors we say could be a classic 100 years from now. I am of the opinion that the above authors are indeed fantastic authors, as well as ..wait for it.. Louisa May Alcott, Jean Plaidy, and Georgette Heyer.

Out of today’s authors, those that I think will still be popular 100 years from now would include children’s authors such as Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume and Sidney Sheldon.

In the adult areas I believe the likes of Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Ted Dekker and Dan Simmons would be those in the running to be around 100 years from now. My personal favorite authors who I hope would still be readily available would be Anna Elliott, Michelle Moran, and Sharon Kay Penman. I definitely believe Penman’s work will go far (author of several historical fiction series such as The Welsh and Henry II and Eleanor).

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>Booking Through Thursday~Life is too Short to read Bad Books

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:
Suggested by JM:

“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.

That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

I try very very hard to finish a book. There is one book that I did not finish this year, and I really tried. I wanted to like “The Wish Maker” by Ali Sethi, and it had a lot of promise. But I just could not fathom spending any more time on it as it was completely dull and I knew I would not get a thing out of it except disappointment and mild disgust.

As suggested, it is through this sense of obligation that we have as a reviewer that prods me to follow through. Luckily I have not read a bad book since, I have learned to not accept review books that have not already garnered attention, or I make sure it is of a subject I am very interested in, such as the Tudor era. Out of 58 books reviewed this year, I had that one “did-not-finish” book. Which seems like a great record to me.

Have you had to “put down books” before? Does your reading habit change due to expectations for reviews? I am not referring to the topic of writing an honest, and even a negative review, I believe mostly every one writes honest reviews; I am wondering if you had not had a certain DULL book for review, if it was just a random read, would you be more or less hesitant to put it down? I know if it was a read-for-leisure book, I would be more likely to give it up quicker. I read somewhere that is was suggested that you take your age, multiply by 3, and read that many pages of a book before you put it down.

I also would agree pretty much with the “Life is too short to read bad books”, but if you did read a bad book it makes the next one SO MUCH BETTER!!!
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>Booking Through Thursday~It’s All About Me (sorta)

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:

Which do you prefer: Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

We had a BTT question once about biographies and memoirs, if we were interested in them in the first place, and I wrote that there were only specific ones I would be interested in.
So if I were indeed actually interested in them, I think it could go both ways as to who the author is of a biography. When written by someone else, you have the illusion of someone objective writing the other person’s story, as opposed to an opinionated view written by that person being written about, and I would assume that the whole story to something controversial would not be given. Yet, if written by someone else, I would also assume that they would not be commissioned to write an “authorized” biography of someone that would paint them in a negative light. So, in reality, do we ever really get the whole story?

I have the late Patrick Swayze’s autobiographical book to read soon, and I am glad it is written before his death and in his own words. Yet, since I haven’t the read the book yet, I hope deep down that it doesn’t make him sound silly or unintelligent. In this case, or in any case, what if the writing itself is so poor? What if the author expresses opinions that are so adverse to my own opinion, that would make me dislike this same person I otherwise would have admired? So we’ll see, I haven’t gone down the autobiography road in a long time, and Patrick Swayze’s book will be the first for me. I hope that it is written well and that I finish the book still having the same sense of respect for him, if not more. I will always remember watching Dirty Dancing over and over and over, and absolutely loving that sense of adoration I hold for him as he was dancing with ‘Baby’ on that stage.

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>Booking Through Thursday~ Blurbs

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:
Suggested by Jennysbooks:

Something I’ve been thinking about lately: “What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?”

AAAH, Blurbage. Also known as garbage. All I know is the blurb on Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean was such a turn off for me. Palace Circle was a historical fiction novel, set in the WWII days, and the blurb was a look-like a tacky purple star sticker (on my cover) on an otherwise pretty cover: “IF YOU LIKE PHILIPPA GREGORY YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK” ~ NORA ROBERTS
Not really the best recommendation, because there are actually tons of people who despise P. Gregory. And Nora Roberts? Well I can’t say anything about her, I haven’t the faintest.
Then the descriptive blurb on the cover that oversold it was WWII and glamour etc. which it didn’t really fit the bill for it so I was disappointed with it. Misleading it was.
And I would prefer the cover to be free of blurbs just for the sake of the beauty of the cover. I am definitely a judge-a-book-by-its-cover girl, and not a blurb girl. Some of the blurbs seem to have a WTF?!! factor as well and that would anger me if I read a book because of a blurb that in fact was misleading.

I also don’t enjoy reading blurbs/praise for previous works printed on an author’s newest book (save it for the first few pages perhaps); it’s kind of a turn-off for me, as I think the new book should stand on its own spine by itself.

As far as irresistible blurbs, I don’t know of one yet. If its “epic” or “saga”, that genre interests me so perhaps that would make me look twice.

Do you have a blurbage opinion?

P.S. The hockey game last night was awesome! A rocky start, but my Dallas Stars beat Toronto Maple Leafs in Overtime, 4-3
I was so glad to actually get out and enjoy life outside of either work and cartoons. And my hubby was pretty nice to me too. But now it’s back to work, and have to work on Payroll today.

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>Booking Through Thursday~ One Question

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb:

If you could ask your favorite author (alive or dead) one question … who would you ask, and what would the question be?

So many favorite authors, so little time! I would love to sit and talk with Jean Plaidy, née Eleanor Hibbert; her wealth of knowledge was so great due to the research she conducted for her historical fiction novels. She wrote roughly 87 historical novels as Jean Plaidy and many more under other pseudonyms such as Victoria Holt.

Pondering the one question that I would ask her.. (Just ONE?!)..I would make sure to ask her many more but the first would be:
Who were her favorite authors that she relied on for her historical information?

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>Booking Through Thursday~ Books Like Weeds!

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb.
When’s the last time you weeded out your library? Do you regularly keep it pared down to your reading essentials? Or does it blossom into something out of control the minute you turn your back, like a garden after a Spring rain?

Or do you simply not get rid of books? At all? (This would have described me for most of my life, by the way.)

And–when you DO weed out books from your collection (assuming that you do) …what do you do with them? Throw them away (gasp)? Donate them to a charity or used bookstore? SELL them to a used bookstore? Trade them on Paperback Book Swap or some other exchange program?

Before the whole book blogging biz, I did collect books, but actually started to weed through them the year before I started blogging. I turned them in at the little used book store in town. But I kept the favorite ones. My mom had always given me the miscellaneous hand-me-downs and that is what spurred on weeding them out.

Now with the review copies landing on my doorstep, my ‘library’ has quadrupled. My mom has now read some of the books that I haven’t even gotten a chance to yet! She is a quick reader, and doesn’t have family obligations anymore 24/7, as it’s my turn to raise a family. She’s so much faster that I am contemplating getting her into the review biz too!

I keep most of my books now, in the beginning when I didn’t know what I was asking for I got some genres of books I don’t prefer, so those are the ones that tend to go away via the used book store or paperbackswap. But many of the books from publishers are ARC’s and so they have accumulated some. If it is one that I know will just collect dust, then I do a giveaway on the blog for it, since those are not for sale.

I do have some books from my high school days. My brother is holding a bunch more hostage till doomsday I suppose, but I do hope to get those back, even if just for my daughter’s sake.

I have also bought a lot of books in the last year or received from Paperbackswap, and those are for my permanent collection. They are the ones you see on my Mailbox Monday posts, that are mostly historical fiction. I know have an additional 4 full bookcases that I didn’t have at this time last year. I don’t buy or order a book if I don’t intend it for my permanent collection. I have a dream. But this is for when we move, or the kids move, whichever comes first. That dream is to have a room that I can call a library, and more importantly, mine.

What about you?

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>Booking Through Thursday~ Tell the TRUTH!

> Booking Through Thursday is hosted by Deb.

Deb asks:
Suggested by Monibo:
Saw this article (from March) and thought it would make a good BTT confessional question:
Two-thirds of Brits have lied about reading books they haven’t. Have you? Why? What book?

Wow, I was astounded to learn about lying Brits, that’s pretty strange and I would love to know why, and the reasoning behind that. I can’t think of any book I would have lied about reading, and can’t think of why I would in the first place; certainly not as an adult.

Even in school I can’t imagine why I would come across the need to say I’ve read something when I really had not. I’d be interested in the circumstances for why someone would feel the need to lie about something mundane as this.

From the article:

“According to the survey, 65 percent of people have pretended to have read books, and of those, 42 percent singled out “1984.” Next on the list came “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy and in third place was James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”
The Bible was in fourth position, and newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama’s autobiography “Dreams from My Father” came ninth.”

Ok I’ve never read any of those books listed. Snippets from the Bible in my earlier days but nothing in the last 15 years, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to say I’ve completed it. I think that would be good to do when I’m done reading some of the biblical fiction I have now, so that I would be able to discern the many different characters better. And of course there is the whole faith thing, I need to be in the right mind for that as well and be ready to put on my thinking cap for that one. My heart is open but I know I’ll need a ‘philosophical’ aspect for that important read.

I also believe I was forced to read Ulysses in high school but I may not even be right about that, so I wouldn’t put that on my have-read list along with most of those I was forced to read in high school. We read The Odyssey, I do remember, but the ones that I enjoyed were Shakespeare and To Kill A Mockingbird, Cheaper by The Dozen (AWESOME!).. and those were the ones I can recall. We read an Agatha Christie in ninth grade which was great also. I’ve never read Tolstoy, Chekov, etc. I think I did study James Joyce in college but couldn’t tell you what, I just remember the professor really really loved him. My mind was on other things.

But back to question.. NO is the short answer =)

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