Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Library Loot: September 23-30, 2009

After rediscovering our local library this summer, I was a weekly visitor. I would pick up 5 new children's books to read with the boys, one for each day we had 'school', and I would take a look to see if there was anything of interest to me. I did discover a couple of books I might not have read otherwise, and requested a couple more. All in all, a nice summer.

But then, because of an article about e-book readers, and the Sony e-book reader in particular, I discovered a new library! Now, how would my research about e-readers lead to a library. Well, it seems that Sony has made it possible to borrow e-books easily from some libraries:

Library Finder Brings eBooks for Your Sony Reader.

With the Library Finder, you can locate a Public Library near you offering many titles, including those from the New York Times Bestsellers List. Just like you would borrow a book from your public library, you can do so with an eBook.

Simply enter your zip code or state below and click "Search". Find the library nearest you to browse, checkout and download eBooks*. Look for eBooks that are compatible (in PDF format) and optimized (in ePub format) for the Sony Reader.

When I punched in my zip code, I got a library right down the road from me, but in a different county. Still, I decided to dig around a little in their webpage to see if I could use the service. In doing so, I discovered that I could  get a library card from them, all I needed was a FL ID, which I have. For kicks, I went and got the card, just in case I might get an e-book reader at some point.

The new library is in a bigger county, and has a college sitting right in the middle of it. I tried ordering a couple of books, and instead of taking several weeks, I got all 3 books in just a few days! Since the 'new' library is on my way to the larger town I go to shop once a week, it is very convenient. Now I have 2 libraries to get books from. If one doesn't have what I want, the other probably will!

This brings me to this weeks Library Loot! I picked up 2 books when I got my new card, and requested 3 more, which have already been picked up. They came in less than a week! So I have 5 books for this weeks loot.



Because I now have 5 books to read, I would expect this to be my Library Loot for the next couple of weeks. LOL!

image image image image image

Men of the Otherworld, The Reformed Vampire Suport Group and The Graveyard book will all fit in nicely with the RIP Challenge. Specials is the 3rd book in the Uglies Series I have been reading, and the Artemis Fowl book is the 3rd in that series. I have Breaking Dawn (from the other library) that I am finishing for the RIP challenge, and I just finished -and need to do an entry on- Living With the Dead.

With the holidays coming up, I've got to say that visiting the library will make me feel a little less guilty about my book habit, I am also more willing to 'experiment' with a book I might not like if I'm not having to spend money on it, and lastly, it is nice to go ahead and read a book like Dead and Gone or Men of the Otherworld now in hardback instead of waiting impatiently for a year for it to come out in paperback. I LOVE hardbacks, but between the price and the size difference making them more difficult to store, I usually wait and get the paperback (Well, not the Harry Potters, of course! LOL!). Mmmmmm instant gratification!

Friday, September 25, 2009

R.I.P. IV -- Book #1



Peril the Third:

Read One book of any length, from any of the subgenres listed earlier in the post.

This is the easiest of the Perils. One book. Anyone can read at least one book in any genre, right? So, if you are thinking that the R.I.P. Challenge might be fun and just want to dip your toe in, this is the Peril for YOU!

Dead&Gone I just happened to be reading the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris, when I decided to do this challenge. What luck. The Sookie series(or he Southern Vampire Mysteries) certainly qualify for this challenge. We have vampires (of course), werewolves, other shifters, witches, and even fairies! What makes this series fun is that it is set in a little backwater town in Louisiana, and the main character tries, somewhat successfully, to juggle her 'normal' life with all of the supernatural stuff she has managed to get mixed up in during the (currently) 8 books in this series.

This time we find Sookie and her friend, both human and Supe, dealing with the aftereffects of the 'coming out' of the Werewolves and other shifters. Following the lead of the Vampires from a few years earlier, the 'two-natured' have decided to come forth and tell the world of their existence.

There are many repercussions to the announcement, and it eventually leads to a murder. This murder is the central mystery for this book, but even when they think they have figured it out, all is not what it seems. Once again Sookie finds herself mixed up in the strange world and politics of her great-grandfather, the Fairy Prince. And, she and her pals had better figure out what is going on quick or there might not be a Sookie around for the next book!

I enjoyed this book. Heck, I've enjoyed this whole series! A lot of people are discovering these books because of the HBO series, True Blood. They may or may not be disappointed. While the names and premise of the books (that the vampires have come out of the 'closet') and the HBO version are the same, the book and TV versions of what happens are different. HBO was serious when they said based on the books. Still, I have read all of books currently available AND have bought and watched the HBO series on DVD (I don't get HBO). I've enjoyed both for what they are, I just consider them as two different stories!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Elephant Appreciation Day!



Today is Elephant Appreciation Day.
Elephant Appreciation Day was declared beginning in 1996 by Mission Media (a digital and print publisher of graphics).
The elephant generally deserves to be appreciated and upheld as an example of courage, strength, self-reliance, patience, persistence, and general high quality of being.


Origin of Elephant Appreciation Day:

Created in 1996, largely because elephants are ....large. (and a whole lot of other great things.) The founder, Wayne Hepburn, received a paperweight of elephants on parade from his daughter as a gift. He became fascinated by them. He amassed a huge collections of elephant books and paraphernalia. His fascination and love of elephants, led to the creation of this day so you and I can stop and enjoy this huge, lumbering beast.

Happy Elephant Appreciation Day! Everyone should appreciate an elephant. They are intelligent, loving, gentle creatures. I have had the good fortune to have several for friends! The one in the picture above is named Luke and belongs to another friend of mine.

A couple of links for the curious: If you want to make a badge, poster, or find some activities for the day (especially for kids), go Here. There are two types of elephants. African, which live in Africa (duh!), and Asian which live in the Asian tropical forests. To learn about Asian elephants go Here, and a link for the African species is Here. The last two links both lead to the National Zoo site.



Monday, September 21, 2009

RIP IV (R.eaders I.mbimbing P.eril IV!!!)

I debated doing this challenge this year. Seriously, I have trouble even taking the time to post in my poor neglected blog, let alone take on a challenge! Still, I looked at the books in my TBR pile, and the books I have been reading this summer and realized that my obsession interest in paranormal and urban fantasy series would fit right in, so, Here Goes:



First, since I know you will all want to join in, let's have the link to Carl's Blog. This really cool man has been doing this for the last ummm... IV , yep that would be four years. This Link takes you directly to the entry about the RIP IV Challenge, This Link takes you to the review site. Be very, very careful going HERE, if you don't want to be buying more books to add to that TBR pile!!

I'm only going to commit to Peril the Second:Read Two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose. But, in my typical hodge podge approach to life, I will probably complete Peril the First:Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose, also.

I've almost finished Charlaine Harris' Dead and Gone (one of the Sookie Stackhouse series), so look for my first review in a day or so... or even later today if I get a stretch of uninterrupted free time. This book is seriously addicting!

I'll also probably be using this Challenge as an excuse to go out and add to my TBR pile. I TOLD you not to go HERE unless you wanted more books... I was sooo serious! LOL!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

International Vulture Awareness Day




International Vulture Awareness Day is Saturday Sept. 5... Who Knew? Still, vultures are really cool birds and get a bad rap what with the whole eating of dead things....

Where did I find this out? Well, I follow several zoos and this came up on Tampa Lowry Park Zoo's Facebook page, and later I saw it tweeted by them. The picture at the top of this entry is from their tweet & facebook pages. The vulture in it is part of their Spirits of the Sky show.If you live in the Tampa area, you should check them out. Very nice zoo.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Surprisingly Good Read




I just finished the Stephenie Meyer Book, The Host. The ideas and characters in the book caught my attention and kept me turning pages to see just how it was all going to work out. There are moral dilemmas, questions about right and wrong, love triangles (or maybe quadrangles?), and what it means to be friends.

Ms. Meyer is most widely known for her YA series of books which have become the phenomenon known as Twilight. I've read the first 2 books of the Twilight series, and although I enjoyed them enough that the third and final book is sitting in my TBR pile, I have to say I think this book is better.

This is the blurb from Stephenie Meyer's own web site:

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love

The book explores many ideas, one of the most important being what exactly makes you a human? The story is told not from the point of view of the surviving humans, but from the alien who has been thrust into their midst. Slowly both sides start to see the worth in each other, and even as Wanda, as she comes to be called, is accepted into the renegade humans fold, they each begin to change each others points of view.

While I have to classify this as a Sci-Fi story - there are aliens after all - I think it is a very accessible story and would be enjoyed by any person who has ever questioned what makes a human, what is love and/or wonders about the best and worst our race (as in the human race) can be.

I enjoyed this story enough that I have my fingers crossed that Ms. Meyer will again visit these characters in another book. Wonder if it is a book you would enjoy? How about the chance to read a little bit before you buy or borrow from the library. Ms. Meyer has an excerpt you can read on her website. go to this page which has all the info on the book and click the link for the excerpt. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Library Loot #1

One of the cool things that came out of my adventures in tutoring this summer was my re-discovery of our local library. I wanted the boys to see that reading could be fun, not boring. To do that I needed a good variety of interesting and not boring kids books. To fulfil this goal I found myself standing in our local library for the first time in a long while.

One of my first goals when we moved here was to find the local library and get a card. I had my library card the first week.... unfortunately I was coming from a place with a large well stocked library to a much smaller, less up to date one. I visited a time or two, but was disappointed in the selection and spent the next couple of years visiting the book store instead of the library.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I found the library had made several improvements in the last 3 years. The selection of the type of books I enjoy was still very sparse, but the interlibrary loan system was much, much better. I could now go online and order the books/authors I was interested in and they would find their way to my local library and thus into my hands. While I still buy quite a few books, my budget is happy that I am also supplementing with some selections from the library.

A blog I read (Drey's Library) found a cool meme called Library Loot:

library-loot Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg 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!

This week I just returned 2 books and picked up 2 more. I'm going to list all 4 books since I just discovered this really cool meme!

I returned The Host by Stephenie Meyer and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (This is the 2nd in the Uglies Series, and I have the 3rd Specials on order).

BreakDawn Dead&Gone

I picked up Breaking Dawn by Stephenie  Meyer (The third in the Twilight Series) and Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris (the 9th of the Sookie Stackhouse books)

Have you been to the library lately?