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Archive for November, 2008

Still Alive

It has been a while since my last post. Between school and work I’ve been pretty busy. At least the semester is almost over. I am also going to be on vacation for Thanksgiving week. I’m really excited to be in warmer weather, but sad that I will not have as much free reading time as I expected (other than in the car). I have two final papers due the first two days I am back from vacation, so they will be taking up most of my time.

I am about 50 pages from being done with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read the first half of it very quickly, but then it was due at the library and since I wasn’t able to renew it, I kept it. Once I knew it was overdue, I felt really guilty and found myself unable to get interested in it. I just felt the guilt of knowing it was late. Soon it was three weeks late. I finally went into the library to pick up another book the other day and the librarian was nice enough to extend the due date to today so I didn’t have to rack up any more charges. And since then I’ve been able to get interested in it again.

Even though I have to write two papers, I am taking five books on vacation with me. I will be in the car all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday so that will provide lots of reading time when I’m not on driving duty. I also will be in the car heading from central Florida to West Palm and then back to central Florida for a few hours on Tuesday so there is more reading opportunity.

I hope to read:
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Thanksgiving: An American Holiday by Diana Karter Appelbaum
Wine for Every Day and Every Occasion: Red, White and Bubbly to Celebrate the Joy of Living by Dorothy J. Gaiter

Review for The Book Thief when I return.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ten Minutes…

I saw this on a bunch of other blogs and thought I’d do it for fun.
So here goes:

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.

How would you describe yourself?
Bring It On Home by Led Zepplin

How do you feel today?
It’s the End of the World As We Know It by R.E.M.

What is your life’s purpose?
Wiser by The Watchmen

What is your motto?
It Must Have Been Love by Roxette Go West

What do you think about very often?
You’ve Got It Bad Girl by Stevie Wonder

What is your life story?
Poor Napolean by Elvis Costello

What do you want to be when you grow up?
El Matador by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Time of the Season by Big Blue Missile

What will they play at your funeral?
Strange Loop by Liz Phair

What is your hobby/interest?
Tears on My Pillow by Anthony and the IMperials

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
Bust a Move by Young MC [Totally right. I am going to have a dance party in my cube later.]

What do you want most of all?
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips

What is your greatest fear?
Ladies Night by Kool & the Gang [Well, it is almost impossible to get to the up to the bar for another drink on ladies night.]

What is your darkest secret?
Saints and Sailors by Dashboard Confessional

What is your favorite thing in the world?
The Girl I Knew Somewhere by The Monkees

If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?
Again & Again by moe.

What is your theme song?
Calendars and Clocks by The Coral [Well, I am pretty punctual.]

The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance.
Man, It’s So Loud In Here by They Might Be Giants [Already dancing]

What will you post this as?
Ten Minutes by the Get Up Kids

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VOTE!

I know this message is every where today, but if you are old enough (and registered…which everyone 18 and over should be!), make sure you go out and vote today. 

I voted this morning and the only thing I’m sorry about is that I didn’t get a sticker.  I’ll have to wait another four years for that now.

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Summary (from Publisher’s Weekly via Amazon): In a small town near a river not far from a city, the narrator, an unnamed high school sophomore, encounters new Goth arrival, Anna Cayne. Holden Caulfield meets the Blair Witch, perhaps–but our narrator is more sympathetic and Anna more fascinating than their counterparts. The narrator is unsure why anyone would pursue him (“I’m bland. I’m milk. Worse, I’m water”), but pursue him Anna does, charming him with intriguing postcards, reading recommendations and long walks by the river. He’s soon completely, hopelessly in love. But halfway through the story Anna disappears, leaving the narrator and the reader feeling lost and betrayed. The book becomes a search for Anna, complete with ciphers, codes, sightings and buried maps. Does affable art teacher Mr. Devon have something to do with her disappearance? Who was really driving the night fellow student Bryce Druitt slammed his car into the side of the bridge?

Review:  This book started out extremely interesting.  I read the first half so quickly, I assumed I’d be done with the entire book in just a couple of days.  The characters were interesting and I couldn’t wait to get to the mystery of what happened to Anna Cayne.  However, as soon as she disappeared, I kind of lost interest.   I almost didn’t even feel like reading the book anymore.

This is another book that reminded me a lot of Looking for Alaskaby John Green.  Anna was kind of up and down and into this and that and always coming up with crazy stuff for her nerdy boyfriend to do.  (Why do all books seem to have an Alaska Young and Pudge since I’ve read that book???)  It was almost annoying.  The similarities continued through the book even after Anna disappeared.  The narrator was left wondering why and with tons of unanswered questions – just like Pudge was left with questions about Alaska. 

This next paragraph could be a spoiler.  I felt as though nothing was answered.  All we were left with was the questions that had been building since the beginning of the book.  Why did Anna hate Mr. Devon?  Why did Claire end up in ICU?  What was the deal with the TV psychic?  It seemed like a lot of ideas were started and then were left hanging out in space. 

I understand a missing person case isn’t likely to have all lose ends wrapped up, but this is a work of fiction and I feel like the reader was left with no closure on any of the questions raised.  At least one answer would have been nice.  Maybe this is how families of missing persons feel.  If so, job well done Mr. Galloway.

I gave this book three stars because it is well written and it had a lot of interesting points.  It might have rated higher if I hadn’t felt like it was just another version of Alaska, which is all I seem to be taking out of the library anymore these days.

Up next: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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