Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Newbery Award Winners (winners and honor books)

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Holes by Louis Sachar
The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White
The Watsons Go to Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
Cathering, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Shabanu, the Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Knee Knock Rise by Natalie Babbitt
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

I've read all of these books and love them all. There's no specific order to them, but they all are entertaining to read.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Life of Marilyn From Her Own Mouth

As I was shelving books a couple weeks ago I came across this biography of Marilyn Monroe that caught my eye for three reasons: it was thin, had a pretty cover (yes, I judge books by their cover- you do too), and was written by Marilyn herself (with the help of a professional writer). I seldom like to read biographies or autobiographies just becuase I hate reading about facts and dates. However, I picked it up and started to flip through and found that each chapter is a little story and that there are no dates or typical "biography formatting" (cross references, footnotes, etc.).

I'm not a Marilyn Monroe lover and she has never been my idol (for dressing or acting like her), but after reading her autobiography I was surprised at how "normal" she is. The book covers roughly from her earlier childhood until her earlier stardom; I knew that she came from practically nothing, but I had no idea that when she reached her stardom she still had little to nothing and lived her life in humility (somewhat). I understand that this is one-sided being from her point of view, but I couldn't help but sympathize with her as she was seen only as a sex kitten which was forced upon herself and from which she tried to shy away. My heart broke as I learned that in the home of one of her foster parents, a tennant molested her and no one seemed to care to hear what he did.

I recommend reading this book- it puts another spin on Marilyn's life that gives her a more down to earth quality. It was a fast read, and the way that she jumps from story to story with each new chapter are like different flashes of memories.

Books I Can't Put Down

Adult Books
Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Other Boleyn Girl
by Phillipa Gregory
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Angels and Demons (which is so much better than The Da Vinci Code) by Dan Brown
Women of Genesis series by Orson Scott Card

Teen Books
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
Snow by Tracy Lynn
The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan
Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli
Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons: The Story of Phillis Wheatley by Ann Rinaldi
Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld
Alanna series by Tamora Pierce

Kids Books
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
From the Mixed-Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech
The Giver series by Lois Lowry
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley
The Lightning Thief series by Rick Riordan
Shabanu series by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Belle Prater's Boy by Ruth White

All of these books or series have either made me read them until the wee hours of the morning and/or have made me angry at the person who made me stop reading them to answer their quesiton/unimportant task they need me to accomplish. All of these books are phenomenal and heave resonated with me look after I put them down. I'm sure there are other books like that that have had the same effect on me, but I just can't think of them right now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the sixth day, there was a book blog...

So I finally broke down and decided to create a blog of all of the book lists that I have so that everyone I recommend books to can understand my reasonings for the suggestions. I plan on posting my lists of recommendations for books that I think you would like if you've read a certain book and want something along the same lines. Basically, it's like Amazon or a library's book recommendations based on certain interests, but what sets me apart from them is that I've pretty much read or want to read everything that I list and suggest. Also, it saves people from actually calling or stopping by and asking me for book ideas. Just kidding.