Thursday, August 26, 2010


I was going to buy Mockingjay tomorrow after I got my excess aid. I went by the education department's library at my university today and look what was there, ready to be check me! (I love being the first person to check out a book!)

...I'm a lot more excited that I appear, promise. Murray was trying to get my attention.

SO! I'm off to go read now! SO EXCITED! I've been avoiding book blogs because of this book, haha.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

The Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read

  1. Pride and Prejudice :: Or really, classics in general. I love reading but I have such a hard time getting through this book and others like it. I'm under the impression I will have to audio book these classic novels someday, just so I can check them off my list.
  2. 1984 :: I've started this numerous times, I've just never been able to get into it. One day....
  3. The Hobbit + Lord of the Rings :: Again, these are books that I would consider a Must Read for anyone who loves literature. 
  4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy :: I've read the first chapter. It's amazing, or so I've been told, but I don't see it. 
  5. The Vampire Chronicles :: These are books I've heard about for my entire life. I've read other work by Anne Rice and was able to get through it, but these books are just too difficult. Actually, it isn't the books that are difficult. Louis is difficult and I refuse to read the rest without reading the first. I'm currently working my way through Interview With a Vampire. Very slooowly.
  6. Anything by Mark Twain :: I don't know how I've gone twenty-three years without encountering a novel, but I've somehow succeeded. Everyone else I know had to read at least something for school, but I somehow missed out on it.
  7. The Fountainhead :: I include this only because I've been wanting to read a Ayn Rand book for a while now and just never had the chance. I found this one for $.50 at Goodwill once and bought it. Maybe one day I can knock this one of this list.
  8. The Jungle Book :: I feel like this was something I should have read years ago. For someone who loves literature as much as I do, I've really missed out on a lot of things....
  9. Memoirs of a Geisha :: I've owned this one for years. It just keeps getting moved from shelf to shelf as I move from place to place without ever being picked up.
  10. Jane Eyre :: I've talked to a lot of people who do not necessarily enjoy "classics" but love this book. Maybe I should give it a shot instead of trying to jump headfirst into the classical genre.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Murray Monday

I've decided to make Mondays Murray Mondays, which will feature pictures of my baby and any information I would like to write about him. For the first entry, you get to see his sleepy side.

Today, we took a trip about 1.5 hours away to visit with my mother. She wanted to see her new granddog, plus had some things to get me and I needed to get tags for my car. So I packed up a towel, two or three toys/things for him to chew on, food and water and off we went!

Until I got on the interstate, he was incredibly annoying. I've driven with him before and he's always been rather well behaved. Today, not so much. At least while we were in town. As soon as we hit the interstate, he fell asleep on my leg and I eventually moved him to the passenger seat where he slept the rest of the trip away.

Mom fell in love with him immediately, as did everyone else who was working in her office today. He's just too lovely for a person to not completely fall head over heels. 

My mother and I grabbed lunch and ate in her office and, once our meal was completed, he fell asleep in her arms. And then he slept the rest of the way home. And then he slept all day in the house. Puppy enjoys sleeping. A lot.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: August 20 - 23, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question comes from Libraryscatbooks!

How many blogs do you follow?

On blogger, I follow 32 blogs. On LiveJournal, I follow over 40 blogs (plus probably about as many communities). On Tumblr, I follow over 90 blogs. I don't read every blog every day. In fact, I've been having issues with LiveJournal for a while now and probably have a week's worth of entries to read. I read the blogs when I have a chance. 

I enjoy blogging, though I'm not very good at it, and I enjoy being part of a community of people (on various host sites) that also enjoy it. And I'm always looking for more book blogs to help inspire me to make this one better. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quick Life Update

I set up a weekly schedule in regards to updating this blog, hoping to get in some form of a habit. I had planned on starting it this week but I have a little distraction....

Meet Bill Murray, though we just call him Murray. He's a purebred pug that we were able to get for free! He's nine weeks and two days old, so he's demanding a lot of my time currently. We're busy house training, crate training and leash/collar training. He's taking his 50th nap for the day, so I'm hoping I'll be able to start my new schedule either today or tomorrow, though I may just wait until next week. Depends on how things go tomorrow. Today wasn't so bad, though Murray is not a fan of all of the rain we're currently receiving.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: August 13 - 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

I've seen quite a few of my fellow book bloggers participate in this in the past. I thought this week I would give it a try!

This week's question comes from Michelle from Michelle’s Book Blog!

How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’?

I couldn't even begin to guess! Max has a bunch of books that I've never read, most of which I have no real interest in reading but still have intentions to give them a shot. Then I have books that I've bought over the years but have yet to pick up. But no real clue on the number, really.

The only number I can give is the total on my Good Reads account, which is 85. I'm rather certain I could match that with the books we own that I plan on reading, though.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I finished this novel a couple of weeks ago. I've been wanting to review it but...I haven't really known what to say about it.

I'll start off with writing a brief synopsis, something I've been meaning to do but when I sit down to write these reviews, all I am really able to do is type out what I thought. 

The novel is told from the perspective of three people who all have one person in common. This person is an artist, Robert, who is arrested for trying to stab a painting. Then there is a psychiatrist, Marlow, who ends up with Robert as a patient. Marlow is also a painter, so he has that in common with Robert. Since Robert refuses to talk, though, that's really all Marlow is able to go by. 

When Marlow begins to research some of Robert's history, we are introduced to our second perspective, Kate. Kate is Robert's now ex-wife and she tells us her part of the story. Later, we are introduced to Mary, Robert's girlfriend after he leaves his wife and also a fellow painter. Together, they piece a story that is amazing and intoxicating.

In between these perspectives -- or really the story about Robert -- are letters from the past. Letters that were found on Robert and is an obsession of his, fueling his obsession with painting a particular woman. 

I want to write more, but honestly, the more I write, the more I'll give away. This is why I have a hard time doing synopsis: I never know when to shut up.

This is Kostova's second novel, the first one I've read of her's. I've started The Historian numerous times but could not get into her writing style. I am a sucker for historical fiction based on art history (fact or fiction), though, and was able to put my all into this. It was a rough start. I feel like her writing style never suited Marlow, whose perspective dominated the majority of the novel. When told from either Kate or Mary's point of view, though, I found the novel to be really hard to put down.

My only other real critique is that, though this novel is just shy of 600 pages, I felt shorthanded at the end. While this is ultimately the story about Robert and his obsession, there were many sub-plots that I feel were started and not developed as much as they could have been. While this is probably the best idea (too much would have take away from the main story), I almost wish there had been an epilogue of sorts to update me on those sub-plots. To give closure to those sub-plots. Or maybe this is just one of those stories where I don't want it to end.

While hard in places, overall, I found this novel to be very exciting, captivating and interesting. It has given me more interest in reading (and actually completing) The Historian, which I might tackle once I finish the books I am currently reading. I would most definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, psychological fiction and novels concerning art and art history.