Remember Choose Your Own Adventure?

When I was a kid, I loved the Choose Your Own Adventure books. They usually involved vampires or aliens. For some reason, I was eaten, bitten, turned into a zombie or abducted within the first 5 pages. Well, now there is a more literary version: Being Elizabeth Bennet: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster. Thanks to Bronteblog for mentioning it in a post.
From Amazon:

"Elizabeth Bennet is the wittiest and most attractive heroine in English literature. And for the first time, in "Being Elizabeth Bennet", you are given the opportunity to star in the most popular novel in the English language: "Pride and Prejudice". You will be faced throughout this book with delicate challenges and dangerous choices. Whether you're accepting Mr Darcy the first time he professes his attachment, deciding to elope with Mr Wickham or avoiding a murderous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, this is a chance to rewrite Austen's most famous book. You decide who to marry and when. And if you have always preferred Mr Knightley's sophistication or have a sneaking admiration for the odious Mr Elliot then you can marry them instead. However, make choices with caution: "Being Elizabeth Bennet" is packed with characters and plot twists to thwart your happy union with Pemberly's most eligible bachelor. You must complete five stages - and successfully negotiate your way through Austen's five other novels - before can choose to accept Mr Darcy. But if the outcome does not suit, simply return to page 1 and create a new Jane Austen adventure."

This sounds like a lot of fun! My love of Austen and the nostalgia of the Choose Your Adventure books might be enough to make me buy it. And like the Brontebloggers, I wouldn't mind a Jane Eyre version either.
Edit: This book is not available in Canada until October 8, 2007 and at a price of $21.57.

5 Reasons Why I Blog

Dewey tagged me for the "5 Reasons Why I Blog" Meme. I'm going to stop being lazy and participate:

  1. When I first started book-a-rama, it was to keep track of my reading challenges. That's the simpliest reason. After blogging for just a few weeks, I became almost obsessed! It's very addictive.
  2. I found that blogging was a great way to share my opinions of the books I've read. After reading a book, if it was something great (or awful), I've wanted to tell someone about it. Unfortunately, I have only a small group of readers in my real life. I try to share with my hubby, but his eyes glaze over like mine do when he talks about cars.
  3. That said, I also like finding readers with a love of reading and who also want to share their opinion. Whether they agree with me or not, I enjoy reading their comments.
  4. Blogging has helped me feed my creative nature. This blog has been a great forum for me to express myself, whether through writing or art. I've always had a creative streak, it's just part of who I am.
  5. Finally, blogging is a way to keep from being bored! Or just keep my mind sharp. I'm a stay-at-home Mom and sometimes Barbies aren't the most stimulating thing, you know? Sometimes it's nice to sit back with a cup of tea and type away, after the latest grocery store meltdown (mine or hers).

As for tagging, I've been tagging people lately and I don't want anyone to be cranky with me. So, this is a fun meme and I encourage all my readers to do their own. Please post a comment if you do, so I can read yours.

If you've ever wondered what I look like, that's me up there, Simpsonized. You can do yours too at Have fun!

What Author Wrote My Book?

Which Author's Fiction are You?

Jane Austen wrote you. You are extremely aware of the power of a single word.
Take this quiz!


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Booking Through Thursday: Best Moustache Twirling

Booking Through Thursday

Well, after last week’s record-breaking number of responses (92 last time I checked–an all-time BTT record), I was tempted to use this week’s question to ask what you all thought about Harry Potter 7–but since a decent proportion of you weren’t going to be reading it at all, that seemed unfair. So instead . . .

Who’s the worst fictional villain you can think of? As in, the one you hate the most, find the most evil, are happiest to see defeated? Not the cardboard, two-dimensional variety, but the most deliciously-written, most entertaining, best villain? Not necessarily the most “evil,” so much as the best-conceived on the part of the author…oh, you know what I mean!

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

This is a tough question! The really evil ones have slipped my mind, all except Captain Black Jack Randall from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. He isn't named that for his love of Black Jack either. He's one nasty dude. He is obsessed with Jamie and enjoys toying with him. Some of the scenes with Black Jack can be quite disturbing. So he's #1 for me!

I get the feeling there will be a lot of Harry Potter answers anyway. ;)

The Blogging Tips Meme

Stephanie at Confessions of a Bookaholic tagged me for this meme. This is an unusual one and, for a change, not book related (gasp!). So here goes:

-Start Copy-

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think- if 10 people start this, the 10 people pass it onto another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. **-

2. Be, EXCELLENT to each other. **-

3. Don’t let money change ya! *-

4. Always reply to your comments. *****-

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. **

6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile. *-

7. Give link credit where credit is due. ****-

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post.**-

9. Visit all the bloggers that leave comments for you - it's nice to know who is reading! - *

10. Make a blogger template unique: change the background colour, or add a background picture to your header.

-End Copy-

Err, I'm not a computer genius by any means!
Ok, and now the part where I get the rest of you involved ;)

Coversgirl at Between the Covers
Josette at Books Love Me
Kelly at My Utopia
Kelly at The Written World
Framed and Booked
Teabird at Tea Leaves
Dewey at The Hidden Side of the Leaf
Nyssaneala at Book Haven
Andi at Tripping Toward Lucidity
Alice at Hello, My Name is Alice

Whew! That's 10. Let's see how it goes.

Edit: I had to fix my stars- did it wrong :(

Wordless Wednesday: Starfish

I haven't been blogging much this past week. I'm enjoying the summer too much! I spent some time on a beach this weekend and this was an interesting find. What a gorgeous deep purple this fella was.

The Other Potter

I know, I know. I'm so lame for not reading the last Harry Potter book. Sorry, dudes. However, last weekend I watched the charming movie on the life of the second most famous Potter: Beatrix Potter. In Miss Potter (DVD), Renee Zellwegger plays the 30-ish Miss Potter who is finding it hard to find a publisher for her 'Bunny Book'. She finds an ally in Norman Warne (Ewan MacGregor) who guides her through the publishing process and they fall in love. Of course, there are obstacles. Norman is a 'trade' as her snooty mother reminds her and her parents try hard to break them apart. Although the story is mostly about this brief period of her life, we do get to see the Bunny Lover as a child and the beginning of her life as the saviour of the Lake District. It wasn't a sweeping romance (no love scenes in the rain) but Renee and Ewan have great chemistry. Also, Renee is dead on as this odd but sweet woman. You might want to put the hubbys to bed first. Mine fell asleep.

Rock Out With Me

I am humbled that Kelly at The Written World has nominated me for the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award:

I can't remember the last time I considered myself Rockin'. I think it was back when I had Mall Bangs and knew all the words to Poison's Talk Dirty to Me. So, I'm grateful to Kelly for giving me back my glory- at least in Cyberspace!

Now I must nominate 4 blogs I consider Rockin'. That's a tough one. There are a lot of blogs that qualify. But 4 it must be:

  • Kookiejar at A Fraternity of Dreamers: Her obsession with Lost verges on scary! lol! She's one dedicated fan. As a fan of the show myself, I got to give this to her.
  • Athena at She rocks, reads and knits, not to mention she's great with a camera.
  • raidergirl: Rockin' reviews and she lives in the land of Anne (of Green Gables that is).
  • Kristy at Just Another Blogger: She might be just another blogger but this Texas Chick writes rockin' book reviews.

So there you have it, although certainly not the only ones I think rock.

The Queen of Babble in the Big City: Review

The Queen of Babble in the Big City
Meg Cabot
ARE, Harper Collins, 2007

This is my very first First Look selection. Yay Me! I’ve never read anything from Meg Cabot before, although I have seen the Princess Diaries movies (very cute), so I had no idea what to expect. At first, it seemed like typical chick lit: twenty-something, single chick in the big city, lots of brand-name dropping, but then I fell into the story.

Lizzie (the main character in the previous Queen of Babble) is living in New York trying to make her dream of owning a bridal gown refurbishment business come true. At the same time, she’s trying to get her boyfriend of two months to commit, but first she has to find a job and an apartment. Finding a job in the clothing industry is nearly impossible, so she agrees to a position as receptionist in the law firm of her best-friend’s boyfriend’s father (with me here?) while taking an internship (no pay) at a struggling Mom and Pop bridal gown shop. Between, ‘woodland creaturing’ her boyfriend and working like a dog at two jobs, she manages to misread everyone’s signals, giving herself a world of grief.

Why this book was so enjoyable was Lizzie herself. She might be a big mouth but she’s genuinely sweet. She’d be a great best friend and you can’t help but root for her. This is a charming book and, in this season of weddings, a great summer read.


Booking Through Thursday: Just Wild About Harry

Booking Through Thursday

Okay, love him or loathe him, you’d have to live under a rock not to know that J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out on Saturday… Are you going to read it?

If so, right away? Or just, you know, eventually, when you get around to it? Are you attending any of the midnight parties?

If you’re not going to read it, why not?

And, for the record… what do you think? Will Harry survive the series? What are you most looking forward to?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Ok, I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan. I don't hate him. I'm just not that into him. I've seen the movies (on DVD) and they're not bad, but haven't read any of the books. I do agree with Dewey in a post from last week that it's probably the last book in the world that needs the publicity it's been getting. I mean who doesn't know about it?!

I don't have a gripe with Harry. That people go bonkers for a book is impressive, considering all the endless number of TV channels and movies there are for kids. Maybe once the Potter craze is over kids will discover other books. I certainly hope so.

So, no midnight standing in line for me.

As for if the boy wonder will die, well, I hope not. That would just be too sad.

Wordless Wednesday: Nasturtium

Wish I had Smell-o-vision. They smell as beautiful as they look.

It's Time for a Carnival!

Get out the cotton candy The Bookworm Carnival has begun! This is the very first one. My review of Unless made it in, along with a lot of other interesting bloggers entries. Put on some comfortable shoes and go check it out!

The Secret Life of Lobsters

The Secret Life Lobsters
Trevor Corson
Harper Collins,2004
Hardcover, 282 pgs

This took me ages to read, mostly because I was moving. It's hard to concentrate on life under the waves, when you're up to your knees in crumpled newspaper and empty boxes. I stuck with it though and here's my review.

The Secret Life of Lobsters is a non-fiction book about the Little Cranberry Island lobster fishers and scientists from around the world trying to predict the ups and downs of the lobster fishery in Maine. The lobster fishery is a lucrative business but requires careful management. Scientists felt the best way to do this was to learn as much about the life of lobsters as possible. This is a difficult task as it all happens on the bottom of the ocean.

The Secret Life of Lobsters could have been a dry read, there is a lot of science, but the lives of the scientists and fishermen are told as well. This helped keep me turning pages. I did learn a lot of interesting facts about lobsters: the molting is both fascinating and disturbing! I also couldn't help thinking, "Mmmmm....lobster" constantly.
I knew a few things about lobster and the fishery, but I know so much more now. It's not a bad read if you're interested in biology, lobsters or fishermen.

Also Reviewed By: Kristi @ Passion for the Page

To Kill a Mockingbird: Review

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
Warner Books Edition, 1982 (1960)
Pgs 281
Harper Lee’s masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird revolves around the childhood of Scout and Jem Finch. Scout recalls the most important events of her life in those years: the quiet dignity of her father Atticus, her adventures with Jem and her friend Dill to sneak a peek at Boo Radley, and most of all the trial of Tom Robinson. Atticus must defend the innocent black man from charges of raping a white woman in the Alabama of the 1930's. In one summer, she grows up.

This novel has been challenged and banned from school libraries many times (it’s #41 on the top 100 most challenged), for many reasons, but the racism is hard to ignore. It’s uncomfortable to read, but necessary to the story. Scout’s small town, both good (like Boo and Maudie) and the bad (the bigots and racists), is revealed to us through the innocence of a child’s eye. It’s a clever device by Lee to use that innocence to make an important point.

When I first read this book, I was a teenager. I related to Scout more than the other characters. Now as an adult I relate more to the adults, even though the point of view is Scout’s.

Atticus Finch, although not the narrator, is the hero of the novel. He is a quiet, honest man, who uses his mind and his words to fight for justice. After the children have their eyes opened to the injustice in the world, they are comforted by the neighbour, Maudie: "...there are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father is one of them." He is a good foil for all the evil in the novel. At the beginning of the story, Atticus tells Scout:

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

This is an important statement. Throughout the book, we walk around in many of the character’s skin: a new teacher, a poor farmer’s son, a recluse, an accused black man and his pathetic accuser.

There are so many memorable characters is this book. Although it is character driven, there is plenty of action. It’s a page turner and is truly a classic for all time.

*This was a Classic Book Club selection and also a Something About Me Challenge pick.

Booking Through Thursday: Celluloid

Booking Through Thursday

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
2. The worst?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)

And, by all means, expand this to as long a list as you like. I’m notoriously awful myself at narrowing down to one favorite ANYTHING. So, feel free to list as many “good” or “bad” movie-from-books as you like. (Heaven knows that’s what I’ll be doing….)

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Recently, I watched BBC's version of Jane Eyre with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. Best adaptation ever! Come to think of it the BBC does an excellent job with all it's adaptations. I've seen Pride and Prejudice, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Bleak House and Daniel Deronda. All were great. Another good one I remember is House of Mirth with Gillian Anderson. There were a couple of differences, but not many, good considering how difficult it must have been to translate into film. I also enjoyed Little Women with Winona Ryder, Sense and Sensibility, Bridget Jones Diary (the 1st) and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

As for the worst, I must erase those from my mind. All I can think of is Practical Magic. Not because it was horrible but because after I saw the movie I read the book and it hardly related to it at all. Some people had a problem with Kyra Knightley in Pride and Prejudice but I liked it- not as much as the Colin Firth one ;) I also think The Haunting of Hill House was a stinker.

I know there will probably be a lot of Harry Potter/LOTR comparisons but I've only watched the movies . (Put away the pitchforks!)

I usually like the book version more but if the movie was really good I get a bit prejudiced and prefer the movie.

The Something About Me Challenge

I've made my list for the 'Something About Me Challenge' beginning August 1. I'm starting Crime & Punishment for my Classics Club this week, so I'm starting early. Anyway, here's my list:

Crime and Punishment (JMC)

Chocolat (Chasida, Margo)

Can you keep a secret (Kathrin)

Of Human Bondage (Athena)

The Thirteenth Tale (Kristin)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Janet, Stephanie) *I just finished this yesterday

The Robber Bride (Ellen)

Anne of the Island (Becky)

Anne of the Windy Poplars (raidergirl)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Lucca)


The Red Tent (Sarah Miller)

March (Dewey)

The Writing Life (Megan)

Anne Frank (Pattie)

Wordless Wednesday: Reunited

My books are back! From this angle, yeah, that top shelf is saggy. I'm sure it will be fine ;)

All that book news

I've been so busy with the house that I hardly have any book news.
I'm still getting the mail at my mil's house and I'm waiting for a few things. I was picked for the first time for Harper Collins's First Look. I'm getting Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot. I'm pretty excited about that.

Kimbooktu wants pictures of your home library. Check that out here. I managed to put some of my books away. I have a wardrobe I'm using for that purpose. It's only particle board and at one point my husband walked by as I was piling them in.
Him:"Err, I wouldn't put anymore books on the shelf."
Me: "Why?"
Him: "Look how it's sagging. It's going to snap."
Personally, I think he was exaggerating (He's jealous) but I took some out anyway. Someday I'm going to get a really nice bookcase ...or turn my walk-in closet into a library. That would go over well.
The Bookworm Carnival's deadline is this week. Get those entries together now.
That's about it for now.

Wahoo! I'm back and rewired!

Whew! Moving is exhausting but we did it! Hurray! We're in the new house and we just got Internet access today. I know I have a lot of checking up to do. Sorry if I missed anything important and let me know about it if I did. Happy Belated Independence Day to all American friends!

Happy Canada Day!!! Werewolves vs Robots

In honour of Canada Day, I'm posting a piece of my favorite Canadian TV show, Corner Gas. I couldn't find the Book Club episode so I'm posting a piece of "Blog River." Hank's friends encourage him to start a blog.

Hanks does have a blog here. Corner Gas is coming to the US on the Superstation WGN channel sometime this year. And has licenses for Australia, Finland and Iraq (?!).

Happy 140th Birthday Canada!