December 31, 2009

Kylee's (personal) Reading Goals for Twenty-Ten

I've compiled a list of some personal reading goals for Twenty-Ten. You know, besides the gazillion and 7 challenges I've joined. =) Which, by the way, can be found in my bottom right sidebar.

December 23, 2009

Library Loot #3

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva @ A Striped Armchair and Marg @ Reading Adventures that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Here are the books that I have checked out right now:

For the Middle Grade Book Challenge
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

Reaghan's current books checked out
Library Mouse Corduroy's Garden (Easy-to-Read, Puffin) Good Luck Glasses, the (Level 3) (Hello Reader! Level 3) Goose and Duck (I Can Read Book Series
Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Corduroy's Garden by Allison Inches, Don Freeman
Good Luck Glasses by Sara London
Goose and Duck (I Can Read Book Series) by Jean George, illustrator Priscilla Lamont

"Chapter" book checked out
Five Smooth Stones : Hope's Diary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776, (My America)
Five Smooth Stones : Hope's Diary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776, by Kristina Gregory

Checked out for myself just because
Storm of Visions (The Chosen Ones, #1) Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery, Book 6)
Storm of Visions by Christina Dodd -- because I've been following her on Twitter and Facebook for awhile now and realized, when I saw some of her books in the MMP section that, I haven't read any of her books.
Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke -- because I read book 5 over the weekend and I love this series even if Hannah does find a disturbing amount of dead bodies. =)

Book images and links provided by

Three day Bloggiesta

Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize.

Mark your calenders for the second edition of the Bloggiesta on January 8th, 9th and 10th, 2010! What a perfect time to do some blog housekeeping, sprucing up and prepping the blog for a new year of fantastic blogging.
After feedback from the last Bloggiesta, we will be partying for three days instead of two! Details are below.
Some of you may be asking what is Bloggiesta? In short, it’s a blogging marathon. A opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two!

OKAY! Here is my list of things to accomplish during Bloggiesta!

December 21, 2009

Typically British Reading Challenge 2010

Timeline: 1st Jan 2010~ 31st Dec 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.


1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

2. There are four levels:

"Put The Kettle On" – Read 2 Typically British novels.
"Gordon Bennett" – Read 4 Typically British novels.
"Bob's Your Uncle" – Read 6 Typically British novels.
"Cream Crackered" – Read 8 Typically British novels.

So, I was trying to not join any MORE challenges. I really need to join another like I need another hole in my my head, right? But I was I supposed to resist those level names?! Please see Book Chick City's post for more of the rules and to sign up!

I'm going to join at the Cream Crackered level. I have no idea what the term means but I will enjoy fulfilling it's obligations. =)

  1. Rumor Has It: Some people just can't keep a secret... by Jill Mansell

December 15, 2009

Review of: The Magic Warble

Dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and an evil queen all these and more can be found in The Magic Warble, an enchanting tale of adventure and friendship.

Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz.

In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she's honored as ''the chosen one'', the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz's control. But it s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous ''Magic Warble,'' in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen's ''zelbocks'' before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.

The book trailer:

An Excerpt:

Afraid to make a move, Kristina lay curled up in the place where she had been dumped out. The laundry sack was gone. The pile of laundry had been replaced by a pile of leaves, and instead of the basement floor, it seemed to be grass. She cautiously poked her head out the pile of leaves and saw a lovely manicured garden. In the middle of it sat a small cottage made of stones and with a thatched roof. The garden itself was circular and along its perimeter was a dense forest. The weather was slightly cold, and the sky was overcast. A cold breeze blew by her and made her shiver. She felt very strange, being in the garden, and wondered if she was simply dreaming. If this is a dream, I sure hope it’s more exciting than yesterday, she thought.She suddenly heard the sound of whistling again, and when she poked her head out of the pile of leaves, she saw a man—or at least she thought it might be a man—coming around the corner of the cottage. He looked old, and he seemed to be even shorter than herself. He had a stout stature, distinctly sharp facial features, icy blue eyes, pointy ears, a long white beard, and silver hair. Upon his left shoulder he carried a large sack, and in his right hand he held a rake. He walked toward the pile of leaves, and Kristina ducked back down so he wouldn’t see her. He dumped out the large sack onto the pile of leaves, which brought another pile of leaves upon her head. Kristina tried not to move or make a sound.

Then the little man struck a match and was about to throw it on the pile of leaves, right where she was hiding, but she jumped out just before he did so yelling, “Wait! Please don’t throw that

The little man almost fell backwards. “What in our lady’s name is this?” he said, steadying himself.

“I didn’t mean to end up in your leaf pile,” Kristina said nervously, while backing away. “As a matter of fact, I have no idea how I got here.”

The little man walked closer to her, leaning forward slightly and holding the rake in front of him, as if to protect himself. He stared at Kristina as though he’d never seen anyone like her before.

“You may find this hard to believe,” Kristina said, “but I was only trying to retrieve a little silver ball.”

The little man’s eyes grew wide. “A little silver ball, you say.”

“Yes, Sir I…”

The little man seemed impatient. “Well, go on. Go on, spit it out.”

“My teacher, Miss Hensley, gave it to me on the last day of school. It was a Christmas gift,” Kristina continued.

The little man twirled his beard around one finger as he thought for a moment. Then he looked up at her and, seeming relieved, said, “Why, yes, of course! How soon I lose my memory.” He dropped his rake on the ground.

“I’m very sorry if I upset you,” Kristina said.

“No, no. No worries! Come with me to my cottage, and we’ll have a nice cup of tea. I could use a little break anyway. My back’s about killin’ me,” he said, stretching backwards.

He picked up his rake, and then put it down on top of a wheelbarrow that was nearby. Then he motioned for Kristina to follow him. Kristina wasn’t sure if she should trust him, but he seemed friendly enough, so she walked after him. When they arrived at the cottage, he pushed open the small wooden door, and they went inside. He took a lantern down from a hook on the wall and led the way into the front room. There was a fire burning in a fireplace, and it made the room—probably the living room—feel cozy and warm. Kristina noticed that everything in the room was smaller than normal.

“Come, child, sit down,” the little man said, pointing to a small couch. “Now, how about that cup of tea?”

“Oh, yes, please. I’m a little chilly and that would warm me up,” Kristina said.

The little man picked up a basket filled with tiny red flowers.

Then he took a big handful of them and dropped them into a black kettle that was sitting on top of the fire. As the flowers fell in, the water in the kettle spat out the top.

“Now, then, let’s discuss matters while we wait on our tea,” he said, sitting down in an armchair across from Kristina. “This little silver ball… do you have it with you?” he asked, while lighting a pipe.

“Yes, I have it in my pocket. Would you like to see it?” Kristina asked.

“Yes, but let me get the tea for us first.” He got up and poured tea into two cups and handed one to her. The tea was fluorescent red, and Kristina had to squint because of its brightness.

“I’ve never seen tea like this before. Its color is such a brilliant red,” Kristina said. She took a sip of it. “Yum, this is very good.

I would say it tastes like…” She paused for a moment and then continued. “Well, actually, I can’t describe it at all, but it is very delicious.”

“It’s fairy blossom, very hard to come by nowadays,” the little man said as he sat back down. He took a big puff off his pipe, then stuck out his knuckle-swollen hand and said, “The name’s

Kristina took hold of his hand and shook it. “I don’t mean to ask a silly question or seem rude, but are you a human?”

Rumalock chuckled and said, “No, I am what you would call a dwarf.”

“I’ve heard of dwarfs in fairy tales.” She looked a little embarrassed.

“I never thought they… or, I mean, you were real. I mean, no one I know of has ever met one,” she said, getting a little tongue-tied and turning red. “I hope that I’m not saying the wrong things.”

Rumalock chuckled again. “No need to feel bashful, my dear. I’m sure you don’t run into many dwarfs where you come from, and for that matter, I guess, I could say that I don’t get the chance
to meet many of your type either.”

Kristina took another sip of her tea and then said, “My name is Kristina.”

“Pleased to meet you, Kristina,” Rumalock said. “Now, should we take a look at this little ball?”

“Oh, yes, of course.” She took it out of her pocket and dropped it onto the palm of his hand. He held his eyeglasses with his other hand and peered down at it. He rolled it around and then clasped his hand tightly shut around it.

“Yup! It is the one,” he said. “This, my dear, is a very special day, to say the least.”

“Oh, why’s that?” Kristina asked, looking a little confused.

“This little ball is called the Magic Warble. It is what everyone in our land has been waiting for, for many years,” Rumalock said excitedly. Then, looking very serious, he narrowed his eyes.

“After it was given to you, did anyone else come into contact with it or even with anything that it was stored in?”

Kristina had to think for a moment and then answered, “Yes, three people, to be exact. Wait a minute, four, actually, if you include my pet rat, Raymond.” She started to count on her fingers.

“So it would be Graham Kepler, Hester Crumeful, Davina Pavey, Raymond, a

nd, of course, me.”

“My, my, that many, and a rat also. I haven’t seen one of those little fellows in years. This could make matters very complicated,” Rumalock said.

“How so?” Kristina asked.

Rumalock placed the Magic Warble back in Kristina’s hand and said, “After the Magic Warble was given to you, whoever touched it or even anything it touched, like a container it may have been resting in, will be brought here.”

“Where is here?” Kristina asked.

“The place you are in, child, is called Bernovem,” Rumalock answered. He took another long drag of his pipe and blew out a large number of perfectly round smoke rings. Then he got out of his
chair, walked to the fireplace, and took a dusty book off the mantel.

“What is that?” Kristina asked.

“This, my dear, is the Book of Prophecy, and it is the only one in the w

hole land of Bernovem.” He opened it and ran his finger along the page. “Ah ha! Here it is, just as predicted: Kristina
Kingsly,” he said.

“Do you mean I’m in that book?” Kristina asked, getting up off the couch to take a look inside it.

Rumalock pointed his finger on the page. “Is your name Kristina Kingsly?” he asked, while glancing up at her through his round glasses.

“Yes,” she answered, looking puzzled. “But how come I’ve never heard of Bernovem?”

“Bernovem is a land very far from your land, or any other, as a matter of

fact. It’s in a totally different galaxy than where you are from. You see, child, you have been brought here by the Magic Warble to deliver it to its resting place.”

Kristina’s face went pale.

“Is something the matter?” Rumalock asked her.

“I’m just worried that I won’t know where to bring it,” Kristina said.

“I thought you might feel that way. I must tell you that I can’t promise you that yo

ur journey will be a smooth one, but if you trust that the Magic Warble will lead you to where it needs to go,
you should be fine. And besides, you might even get some help along the way.”

Kristina looked back into the book. “Why are so many of the pages blank?” she asked.

“Oh that’s because the prophecies in this book will only appear on the pages a few minutes before they actually come to pass. Look here—it says, ‘Kristina’s scrape on her arm was healed.’”

“How could that be? The scrape is right here on my arm. It couldn’t possibly

heal within a few minutes,” she said, showing him the scrape she had gotten from falling on the icy sidewalk the morning before.

“Ah! But are you sure? Give me your arm.” Rumalock said.

Kristina stretched her arm out, and Rumalock poured a few drops of his tea onto her scrape.

“Ouch! What are you doing? That’s very hot!” she said, shaking her arm to relieve the pain.

“Take a look at your scrape now,” Rumalock said excitedly.

“It’s gone!”

“That’s right! The tea is also magic.”

“This is all so cool,” Kristina said excitedly.

“Yes, yes, I suppose you could say that,” Rumalock said as he placed the Book of Prophecy back on the mantel. “Now, child, you look hungry. How about a nice warm meal?”

“I’d like that very much,” Kristina said.

Kristina ate a delicious meal of cheese, brown bread, boiled potatoes, and the best chocolate cake she had ever tasted. Afterward, while sitting by the crackling fire, she still could hardly believe where she was or how she had gotten there, but she was much too sleepy to figure it out. She took the Magic Warble out of her pocket to take another look at it, and when she stared down at it; her sleepy eyes suddenly grew two sizes bigger.

“The Magic Warble! Its color has changed. It used to be tarnished silver, but now it is light purple,” she said.

“Yes, of course, Kristina, it is all part of its journey,” Rumalock said. He sat across from her in his armchair, smoking his pipe.

“All part of the journey?” Kristina repeated, yawning. Her eyes grew so heavy that s

he couldn’t keep them open any longer. Once she fell asleep, Rumalock got up, and placed a warm woolen blanket over her. Then he blew out his lantern and left the room.

About the Author:

Victoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has one older sister, Jeannette. When Vicki was 7, she moved with her family to British Colum bia. In her early twenties Vicki moved to Western Washington and now resides in Marysville WA. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art. Vicki’s other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, two cats, Frodo, and Fritz, and two parakeets, Charlie, and Paulie. She did have a pet rat named Raymond when she started writing The Magic Warble, but sad to say, he has since passed away of old age. Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way. You can visit her website at

My Thoughts: I had mixed feelings overall about The Magic Warble. While I enjoyed the core story and thought Kristina and Werrien were a good team and well drawn, I thought the kids didn't really use 12-15 year old language. At times I actually forgot how young they were. I also thought that given the age range of the target audience, The Magic Warble was 50-75 pages too long.

Title: The Magic Warble
Author: Victoria Simcox (book's website)
ISBN: 9781935097174
Pages: 276
Published by: Two Harbors Press (January 1, 2009)
Genre(s): Children's Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: I received a review copy through Pump Up Your Book Promotion
Grade: C+ What does this grade mean?

Other reviews:
April @ Cafe of Dreams
Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages
Gaby317 @ Starting Fresh
Shelia @ One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
More reviews

Buy The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Directly from the author

December 11, 2009

Chunkster Reading Challenge - 2010

I've seen the Chunkster Reading Challenge around before, but I haven't been adventurous enough to join before now. This time around the challenge is being hosted by Wendy on its own blog.

Definition of a Chunkster:

  • A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction) ... A chunkster should be a challenge.
  • If you read large type books your book will need to be 525 pages or more ... The average large type book is 10-15% longer or more so I think that was a fair estimate.

Visit Wendy's sign up post for the rest of the pertinent information!

I'm signing up at the The Chubby Chunkster level. Which challenges me to read 3 chunksters.
  1. Under the Dome by Stephen King
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Book ideas:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon {library has}
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff {library has}
Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1) by Kelley Armstrong {library has}
The Green Mile by Stephen King {I own this} This would also qualify for the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge if I watch the movie after reading.

Take Another Chance Challenge

I just can't seem to help myself. I'm joining two more challenges today. One doesn't start for 2 months... does that make it better? lol

Take Another Chance Challenge is being hosted @ Find Your Next Book Here.
Because of the enthusiasm for the first Take A Chance Challenge, I decided to create a new set of challenges for 2010. This year, the challenge will be called Take Another Chance. Like last year, the challenge is all about taking chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. Unlike last year, I'm offering different levels of participation and a longer time frame to encourage greater participation and decrease frustration.

For more info, rules, or to sign up visit Jenners' sign up post.

I'm going to sign up for this challenge at the Moderate Gamble level, but I am hoping to do all of the challenges.

Challenge 1: Read Your Doppelganger
My last name is Pierce so I am going to read Wicked Under the Covers by Barbara Pierce.

Challenge 2: Blogroll Roulette
I went to my Google Reader (I have it set to only show blogs with new posts) I entered 25 as the max on and it gave me 22. At the time that I did this, the 22nd blog with a new post was Moonlight to Twilight (it's an adults only blog). After much perusal of Ms M's blog, I finally settled on one (no easy feat with all of the juicy stories to pick from). The book I picked is A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

Challenge 3: 100 Best Book
I used the 100 Best Romance Novel of the 20th Century list. I picked The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer.

Challenge 4: Prize Winner Book
[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

Challenge 5: Title Word Count

I got 4 when I use this time (5 was the max). I had already started a book when I did this and that book happened to have 4 words in the title! So the book that I read for this challenge was When the Morning Comes by Cindy Woodsmall. {my review of When the Morning Comes}

Challenge 6: Genre Switch-Up

I've read a lot of different genres at least once. One I have not read is westerns. After a bit of searching and comparing, I have decided to listen to Hondo by Louis L'Amour. My library system has it.

Challenge 7: Break A Prejudice

[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

Challenge 8: Real and Inspired

[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book

[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

Challenge 10: Become A Character

[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

Challenge 11: All in the Family

[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

Challenge 12: Author Anthology Pick
[nothing chosen as of January 5, 2010]

December 9, 2009

Review of: Postscript from Pemberley (The Pemberley Chronicles, #7)

Seventh in the bestselling Jane Austen sequel series from Australia

Young Darcy Gardiner has fallen for Kate O'Hare, a newcomer to Pemberley whose beauty and intellect fascinate him.

Kate is more interested in discussing the merits of Darwin's The Origin of Species than the latest fashion in gowns. Her unladylike involvement in the scientific controversies of the day invite malignant forces from her past that pose grave risks for her friends. But in her very difference lies her charm, especially for young Darcy Gardiner.

The original Jane Austen characters—Darcy, Elizabeth, Bingley, and Jane—provide the framework for new characters and unfolding events set against a backdrop of the social issues of the time. This next generation proves as lively and complex as Darcy and Elizabeth's own.

I read this without having read Pride and Prejudice or any of the other six in Rebecca Ann Collins' series. This did make it a little difficult to keep everyone and their relationships to each other straight, but not so much that is impeded my enjoyment.

You may be asking yourself why I requested this particular book. When I was offered it I was intending to read Pride and Prejudice. I did start it, but the writing got to me. I'd love to read P&P, but the language gets to me. (The same thing happens when I try to read Wuthering Heights.) Postscript from Pemberley is written in more modern language which made it so easy to read.

As mentioned in the blurb above, Postscript from Pemberley is about Darcy Gardiner and Kate O'Hare. There is another couple that figures prominently in the novel. Julian Darcy (uncle to Darcy Gardiner) and Jessica Courtney. I can't compare or relate Postscript from Pemberley to P&P or any of the others in the series, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the two couples, their families and assorted friends. I'm going to have to check out the others in this series!

Title: Postscript from Pemberley (The Pemberley Chronicles, #7)
Author: Rebecca Ann Collins
ISBN: 9781402224324
Pages: 320
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark (December 1, 2009)
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction, Series
Source: (ARC sent by Sourcebooks)
Grade: B What does this grade mean?

Books in this series:
The Pemberley Chronicles: A Companion Volume to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
The Women of Pemberley (The Pemberley Chronicles, #2)
Netherfield Park Revisited (The Pemberley Chronicles, #3)
The Ladies of Longbourn (The Pemberley Chronicles, #4)
Mr. Darcy's Daughter (The Pemberley Chronicles, #5)
My Cousin Caroline (The Pemberley Chronicles, #6)
Postscript from Pemberley (The Pemberley Chronicles, #7)**
**This review.

Buy Postscript from Pemberley by Rebecca Ann Collins:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

December 7, 2009

You've Got Mail Reading Challenge

The You've Got Mail Reading Challenge has it's own blog.
The challenge runs from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010 and you may join at any time. You may overlap with other challenges. There is no set number of authors/books to read. You can choose to read anywhere from one to all from the list below.

Any book by or about the following authors:
Jane Austen
L.M. Montgomery
Maud Hart Lovelace
Noel Streatfeild
Roald Dahl
Kay Thompson
Shel Silverstein
E.B. White
Beatrix Potter
Dr. Suess
Ludwig Bemelmans
Mario Puzo
George Bernard Shaw
Thomas Jefferson

Visit the blog to read more of the instructions or to sign up.
  1. Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery

451 Challenge

This challenge has it's own blog.
Here is how it will work: between January 1, 2010 and November 30, 2010, participants are challenged to read books on the 451 master list.
The Master List mentioned it in the sidebar of the blog.

There are four level of commitment for this challenge. I am signing up at the second level, Ember, which challenges me to read 3-4 books from the list.

Audio Book Reading Challenge

The Audio Book Challenge is being host by Royal Reviews.

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

You can sign up for this challenge on Alaine's post.

I'm signing up at the Curious Fascinated level (there are four levels to choose from) which challenges me to listen to 3 6 audio books.
  1. Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery, #8) by Joanne Fluke
  2. Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery, #9) by Joanne Fluke
  3. Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery, #10) by Joanne Fluke
  • P&P
  • Wuthering Heights
Update 1/18/10:
I've found some really great options for audios through my library's regional system. I'm going up to the Fascinated level which challenges me to "read" 6 audiobooks.

The Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge - 2010

The Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge is being hosted by C.B. @ Ready When You Are.

The Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge is based on a simple idea--read a book, see a movie based on the book, include both in your review. Whether yours is a book blog or a movie blog, this could be a way to add some spice to your posts, expand your outlook, have some fun. Mostly, have some fun.

For more information or to sign up for the Read the Book, See the Movie challenge, visit C.B. James' post.

There are five levels of commitment for this challenge and I am choosing the 2nd level: Double Feature: two books/movies
  1. Derby Girl by Shauna Cross {borrowed from the library -- also read from 2010 Young Adult Reading challenge} I haven't seen the movie (Whip It) yet. It weren't any copies available at the video store that we use and there are 30+ people ahead of me in the queue at the library.
Angels & Demons - I have read the book already, but I have yet to see the movie. My friend Patrick says that the movie is "ok".

The Green Mile - I haven't read the book OR seen the movie yet. Same friend Patrick LOVES this movie. This would also qualify for the Chunkster Challenge.

The Reader
Girl with a Pearl Earring Both recommended by Licia

December 1, 2009

South Asian Author Challenge

This is a new challenge.

What is the South Asian Author Challenge?
This challenge is to encourage people to read books by South Asian Authors – South Asia being India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Please not that it does not include the Middle East! The books can be from any time period, contemporary or classic. If you want to talk about the challenge on Twitter or tweet your reviews, use the hashtag #saac.

For more about this challenge go to S. Krishna's Info and FAQ post. To sign up go to her sign up post. The four levels of commitment are 3, 5, 7 and 10 books. I'm signing up for 3.

My list of "possibles" (some of which also qualify for the YA challenge).

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

This makes 3 (so far) challenges that I'm joining for the second consecutive year.
There are four levels:

--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.

--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.

This is another that is being hosted by J. Kaye. If you'd like to join or read the rules, visit J. Kaye's post.

I think I'm going to join this one at the Mini level. I think 25 would be pushing it. (maybe next year)
  1. Derby Girl by Shauna Cross {borrowed from the library -- also read for Read the Book, See the Movie challenge} 
  2.  Marked by PC and Kristin Cast {borrowed from my oldest daughter -- review}
  3. Betrayed by PC and Kristin Cast {borrowed from the library}

2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

This is another challenge that I am doing for the second consecutive year.
There are four levels:

--The Mini – Check out and read 25 library books.

--Just My Size – Check out and read 50 library books.

--Stepping It Up – Check out and read 75 library books.

--Super Size Me – Check out and read 100 library books.

Go to J. Kaye's post to sign up and read all of the rules

I'm going to shoot for the Stepping It Up level. I really used my library a lot this year and Reaghan and I read a lot of library books together. I have a feeling I will land somewhere between Just My Size and Stepping It Up, but I am taking J. Kaye's advice and aiming high!
  1. Kazam's Cards by Amy Erlich
  2. Kazam's Wand by Amy Erlich
  3. When the Morning Comes (Sisters of the Quilt, #2) by Cindy Woodsmall
  4. The Ear Book by Al Perkins
  5. The Tooth Book by Dr Suess
  6. In a People House by Dr Suess
  7. Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke
  8. Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown
  9. Franklin's Valentines by Paulette Bourgeois
  10. Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids by David Kirk
  11. Duck, Duck, Goose by Tad Hills
  12. Never Babysit the Hippopotamuses by Doug Johnson
  13. Bea Rocks the Flock by Victoria Jamieson
  14.  Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke
  15. What's Wrong with This Book? by Richard McGuire
  16. Who Is It? by Sally Grindley
  17. The Greentail Mouse by Leo Lionni
  18. Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand
  19. When Dinosaurs Go Visiting by Linda Martin
  20. Dog Day by Sarah Hayes
  21. The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon
  22. A Mammoth Mix-Up by Catherine Hapka
  23. Seven Little Postmen by Margaret Wise Brown (she of the Goodnight Moon)
  24. Picture This... by Alison Jay
  25. When the Soul Mends: A Novel by Cindy Woodsmall
  26. This is the Teacher by Rhonda Gowler Greene
  27. The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
  28. Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery
  29. Derby Girl by Shauna Cross
This is getting to be way too much to keep track of since I haven't updated this list in 6 months (this is being written in August). So I will link to my list on GoodReads which I am much better at keeping current.

2010 SYLL list.
Last Updated: February 9, 2010

Flashback Challenge

This sounds like a fun challenge!
Onto the particulars!

The Flashback Challenge will run from January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010. If you're super-excited and want to reread a book before that, feel free, and let me know. If many people do so, then I'll do a December challenge linky post and you can all link to it here. Otherwise, we can hold them over to January.

You can sign up for the following levels:
Bookworm - Up to three books
Scholar - Four to six books
Literati - Over six books

Go to Aarti's post to sign up!

I haven't picked my books yet, but I have decided to join this challenge at the Scholar level.

100+ Reading Challenge - 2010

J. Kaye is hosting this challenge again for 2010! I'm only 11 books from completing this challenge for 2009 and with reading books to Reaghan, meeting this goal should be cake.

Go to J. Kaye's post to sign up!

This is where I will list all of the books I read in 2010.

Kylee J's 2010-books-read-in book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

November 3, 2009

Review of: The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The subtitle (by the way is that what it's called?) of The Penderwicks refers to Rosalind (12), Skye (11), Jane(10) Elizabeth aka Batty (4), Yaz and Carla and Jeffrey who turns 11 about 1/2 way through the three weeks that the Penderwick clan is staying in the cottage at Arundel Hall. There is also Hound (the girls dog) and Cagney (the 19 year old gardener). There are, of souse, some grown up, but as with any great children's book, they are somewhat incidental.
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel's sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel's owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will - won't they? One thing's for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

There comes a point early on in the book when Rosalind, the mother of the group, begins to crush on Cagney. What 12 year old girl hasn't crushed on an older man? Cagney is very sweet to all of the Penderwick girls. He never seems to realize how Rosalind feels about him. Skye is the spirited one. Jane is the dreamy, future author of the bunch. My hunch is that Jane is based, at least in part, on the author herself. Then there is baby sister Batty. She is very close to their dog and talks to him and understands his woofs. The girls' mother died when Batty was still a baby.

Poor Jeffrey has a mother who is snobbish and thinks the girls (especially Skye, whom she is forever calling Jane) are a bad influence on him. Mrs. Tifton wants Jeffrey to go to Pencey, a military academy, just like her father the General. All Jeffrey wants to do is play the piano. He has zero interest in being a soldier.

There are plenty of hi-jinx involved. There is an incident with a bull. There is an escaped rabbit to be rescued. Escaping from windows. A plan to runaway. There are so many adventures packed into the less than 300 pages of The Penderwicks.

I loved this book. There is more in the series and I will definitely be checking the children's section of my library for them!

I am awarding The Penderwicks my Hyacinth award.

Title: The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
Author: Jeanne Birdsall
ISBN: 9780375831430
Pages: 272
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers (Jun 4, 2005)
Genre(s): Fiction, Children's Fiction, Middle Grades, Series
Source: I borrowed this book from my local library.
Grade: A+ What does this grade mean?

Books in this series:
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy**
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
Jeanne Birdsall is working on the third book in this series. She is planning on there being five all together.
**This review.

Buy The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

October 21, 2009

Sorry for the hit and miss posting. I have been trying to shake off a bug, but most days it wins. Today is my best day in almost 2 weeks, so hopefully regular posting will resume next week.

I have three groupings of kids book reviews planned for next week. None are written yet... fingers crossed.

October 20, 2009

Review of: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, old same, in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she's painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Lily narrates Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. She has written her life (from age 5 to age 80) story. The early parts of her story are a bit graphic. Lily holds nothing back when discussing her foot-binding. I actually reached a point where I was preparing to rate Snow Flower and the Secret Fan DNF if the foot-binding part of Lily's story continued for much longer. Amanda J in my Chatting Chicks group told me to stick with it. I'm glad she did and I'm glad I listened to Amanda J. There were only a few more pages about the foot-binding process at that point before the story moved on.

Lily's story is not wholly her own. In particular her life is very much bound together (pun intended) with that of her laotong, Snow Flower. A laotong is explained in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan this way: "A laotong match is as significant as a good marriage," Lily's aunt explained. "A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose – to have sons."

Lily and Snow Flower go through so much together. Births, deaths, sickness, starvation. One misunderstanding of a written message on their fan causes much hurt on both sides. Something that I imagine could happen in this age of so many messages being sent electronically.

I am awarding Snow Flower and the Secret Fan my Hyacinth award.

Title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See
ISBN: 9780812968064
Pages: 269
Published by: Random House Trade Paperbacks (February 21st 2006 (first published 2005))
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Source: I borrowed this book from my local library.
Grade: A+ What does this grade mean?

Buy Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See:
IndieBound {} Powell's {} Amazon

October 12, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading this week? # 1

This is m very first It's Monday! What are you reading this week? post (hence the # 1 in the post title =) ). J Kaye is our hostess for this weekly event.

Finished last week:
Looking for Alaska by John Green (review coming soon. I've written it, I just haven't posted it yet)

Reading this week:
Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same by Mattox Roesch
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler -- I wasn't intending to read this for a couple of weeks, but I opened it early Sunday and read the first chapter (just a couple of paragraphs) and I found it really hard to stop!

Last week's posts:
Review of: Flashforward by Robert J Sawyer
Review {of sorts} of: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Review of: Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain
Library Loot # 2
Books to Read Before I Die Challenge 2010

Now playing: Carrie Underwood - Lessons Learned
via FoxyTunes

October 8, 2009

Books to Read Before I Die Challenge 2010

Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea is hosting this challenge.
Here are the guidelines - copy/pasted from Diane's blog.
  1. Between now and December 31, 2009, make a list of between 10 and 20 Books to Read Before You Die. (depending on interest, this may be an annual event challenge).
  2. The books on your list can come from your stacks or the library, and be in print or audio format.
  3. Once you've created your post with tentative titles, THEN sign up using Mr. Linky, by pasting the link to your post, along with your name/blog name. This is how you will be registered. Finalize your list by 12/31/09 (no changes to the list after 12/31/09).
  4. NOTE: If you don't have a blog, you can still sign up and join in the fun.
  5. All bloggers who complete the challenge will be entered in giveaway to win an Amazon Gift Card.
  6. Questions/comments, please feel free to comment or email me.
For my list, I went through my To Read/own list on GoodReads. I sorted it oldest to newest (as far as the date that I added them to my account) and picked the first 10 that jumped out at me.

  1. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  2. Bag of Bones by Stephen King
  3. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
  6. Marked by PC Cast and Kristen Cast -- read March 2010
  7. Terminator Salvation by Timothy Zahn -- read February 2010
  8. 50 Harbor Street by Debbie Macomber
  9. 6 Rainier Drive by Debbie Macomber
  10. 74 Seaside Avenue by Debbie Macomber
Finalized: December 30, 2009

IMPORTANT: Kylee's Journal Disclosure

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kylee's Journal would like everyone to know that the books reviewed on my blog were either provided to me by the publisher/the author for free OR were purchased by me OR were borrowed from the library. Books recieved for free do not get special treatment, if I don't like something, I either will not finish it (DNF) or I will struggle through to the end; both get reviews posted here.