Tuesday, December 30, 2014

First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts The First Paragraph Tuesday.  We are asked to share the First paragraph (or two) of the book we are reading or that we are preparing to read.

Since I am reading another Anne Perry mystery, I will post the first paragraph from the book I plan to read first in the New Year!

"We are at rest five miles behind the front.  Yesterday we were relieved, and now our bellies are full of beef and haricot beans.  We are satisfied and at peace.  Each man has another mess-tin for the evening; and, what is more, there is a double ration of sausage and bread.  That puts a man in fine trim.  We have not had such luck as this for a long time.  The cook with his carroty head is begging us to eat; he beckons with his ladle to everyone that passes, and spoons him out a great dollop.  He does not see how he can empty his stew-pot in time for coffee.  Tjaden and Muller have produced two washbasins and had them filled up to the brim as a reserve.  In Tjaden this is voracity, in Muller it is foresight.  Where Tjaden puts it all is a mystery, for he is and always will be as thin as a rake."

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Dilemma

I have been reading Anne Perry's World War I five book series.  On Christmas night, I finished book four At Some Disputed Barricade.  There is a MAJOR cliffhanger.  The fifth and final book in the series We Shall Not Sleep is being held at the library for me; however, the library will not re-open  from the holidays until Monday, December 29.  Herein lies my dilemma:  Wait patiently until Monday, purchase the book on my kindle, or break in to the library and "retrieve" the book put aside for me.  Patience is not my virtue.  There is no one around to serve as my getaway driver.  Which leaves Kindle.  Ok not really a difficult choice.  The book as they say is a click away.  Ahhh.

What did people do who read each book as it was published?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

First Chapter First Paragraph

     Joseph lay on his face in the ice-filmed mud.  Earlier in the night a score of men had gone over the top in a raid on the German trenches.  They had taken a couple of prisoners, but been hit by a hail of fire on the way back.  They had scrambled over the parapet wounded, bleeding, and without Doughy Ward and Tucky Nunn.

Product Details

  • File Size: 480 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345490509
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 30, 2005)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC

Are You Still Reading?

Reading Assignment Challenge

Wow! It was more difficult than I thought listing books to read by month.  I continuously thought  "No, I'll read this next."  Only to realize that I have put it off to date so I'll probably continue to do so.  This will force me to tackle those titles I mean to read.

The challenge is at Reading Assignment Challenge.

I am opting for Reading Level 3: 2 books per month.

     All Quiet on the Western Front  by Erich Maria Remarque
     Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

     Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
     I Dream of Africa by Kuki Gallmann

     Havisham by Ronald Frame
    The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

     gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
     Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson

     Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks
     Continental Drift by Russell Banks

     Takedown by Brad Thor
     The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

     Blindspot by Jane Kamenski and Jill Lepore
     Postcards by E. Anne Proulx

     The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
     Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

     The Quiet Game by Greg Iles
     Turning Angel by Greg Iles

     Pet Sematary by Stephen King
     Dracula by Bram Stokes

     Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross
     The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
    Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
     The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford


Monday, December 22, 2014

She's a Rebel and She'll Never, Never be Any Good...

There was a song from the 60's called "He's a Rebel" so I borrow and play on some lyrics for my title.  I am going for the Rebel level in the Banned Books Challenge

  1. Buckling Bookshelves

I've looked at several sites and I think I have the ten books I will read.

  1. Call of the Wild by Jack London
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
  5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  6. Cujo by Stephen King
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  9. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  10. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
I am really excited about this challenge.  I've got my "love beads" and posters all ready!

2015 Library Challenge

I have decided to participate in the 2015 library challenge.  I am really already a "pro" at this so borrowing 28 or more books in 2015 is a given.  I mentioned my library in a previous post so this gives me the opportunity to extol its virtues!

The South Coastal Library is located in Bethany Beach, Delaware and it is a hub of activity.  Because Bethany is a resort town, the library has arrangements for summer people so they have access to library usage.  BUT for those of us who are year-rounders, the activities and services are endless.  In addition, it is a part of the Delaware Library System and the online catalog of books, ebooks, and audiobooks is excellent.  To me there is nothing more exciting that sitting at the computer tagging books I want to read and then getting the email that it is available for pick up or download (and I can do this while still in pajamas).  

I am fortunate.  The library is right down the road from me and in nice weather a good walk.  I've cut and pasted information from the library's site to show much of what is available.  What they don't say is that the staff is one of the best.  They are friendly and helpful.  I love my library so this challenge is a given.

Taken from the South Coastal website:

About the Library

In addition to providing reading, listening, and viewing materials, the South Coastal Library offers the following:
  • Story times and children’s activities
  • Notary Services, Monday~Friday, 2-4 pm
  • Readers’ Advisory
  • Teen Room and Activities
  • Reference Services & Homework Help
  • Out-of-state Interlibrary Loans
  • Laminating Services
  • Photocopy Machine
  • Microfiche/Microfilm Reader
  • Online Library Catalog Access
  • Galileo Reading Machine for the Visually Impaired
  • Low Vision Video Magnifier
  • Computer Access (with a Delaware library card)
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Meeting Room for Public Use
  • Study Rooms

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Challenge #1

I am ready to commit to my first challenge of 2015.  I stayed out of the challenge loop in 2014 mainly because I set my blogging aside, but here I am jumping in again.

My first challenge is the Back to the Classics Challenge being hosted by Karen K.  There are twelve categories; however, she has designed three levels of competition.  I am going for all twelve.  I had already made a promise to myself to read more classics so this is just the impetus I need.  Without further ado, here is my list:

1.  A 19th Century Classic - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
2.  A 20th Century Classic - Age of Innocence  by Edith Wharton
3.  A Classic by a Woman Author - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
4.  A Classic in Translation - Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
5.  A Very Long Classic Novel - Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (I have Middlemarch by George   Eliot on my TBR list so I may substitute this.  I guess it just depends on which I go to first.)
6.  A Classic Novella:  Metamorphosis by Franz Kalfka
7.  A Classic with a Person's Name in it -  The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (This    one may not qualify; however it fits the 50 year qualification as it was published in 1961.  Ok  just barely.  I will find a substitute if it is disqualified)
8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic -  Penrod by Booth Tarkington (This is a difficult category for me.  I do not like satire and don't usually drift toward comedies.  In addition, the titles I would have chosen were written too recently.)
9.  A Forgotten Classic - All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
10.  A Nonfiction Classic - Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
11.  A Classic Children's Book - Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
12.  A Classic Play - This is the only category that stumps me.  I just haven't been able to choose. If I can't come up with one Shakespeare is a fall back.  I will choose and post it later.

Here it is.  I am excited and can't wait to get started.  Ideally, I will do one a month but more than likely I will get on a kick and do two or three.  I do plan to participate in two or three more challenges so that may define reading patterns more clearly then.

Luckily, I have a stack of books from the library for the end of the year.  I won't be tempted to cheat and begin early.  I don't want to be disqualified from my first challenge.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Anne Perry

Is there anything better than a well-written mystery?  Perhaps, the only thing more exciting is a series of such books.  Imagine then my delight in finding not one series but four all by the same author.  Combine a tightly woven plot with a rich setting and adding realistically drawn dynamic characters and you have Anne Perry's novels.

I'm not just finding Perry but only recently have I devoured her works one right after the other.  My December list on Goodreads appears to be a marathon tribute to her skill.

A few days before Thanksgiving, I ran down to my local library (South Coast Library in Bethany Beach, Delaware - a wonderful little place....but that's another post).  I was anticipating a quiet holiday weekend and looking for some books to prepare me for the Christmas season.

Victorian England epitomizes Christmas celebration for me.  I guess my picture is formed from A Christmas Carol by Dickens.  I was thrilled to find Perry's Christmas series.  Each is just under 200 pages so they are really more novellas or extended short stories but complete and riveting nonetheless.  I think my favorite was A Christmas Guest although it is hard to narrow it down.

Many of the characters in this series are related to the major characters in her primary series featuring William Monk in one and Thomas and Charlotte Pitt in the other.  This only served to push me towards those novels. As I added Perry to my Fictfact list I found her fourth series set during World War I.  My English history is sketchy but  No Graves As Yet (the first) is a nice introduction to the British side of the war.  Ok, I did google some things now and then but that is more from my nature than by necessity.  I just began the second in the World War I series and I have the next two in my library bag. It seems 2015 will be the year of Anne Perry for me.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Beginning Again

I am ready to begin again.  I have been avoiding this yet feeling a tug.  So this is a quick notice that I am up and running.  I will be posting some challenges in which I will be participating and I will be posting some news of note.  Hopefully, I will touch many.  I am looking forward to this journey anew.