Sunday, June 29, 2008


Review: Legerdemain: The President's Secret Plan, the Bomb, and What the French Never Knew by James J. Heaphey

James Heaphey was only 22 years old when, as a fresh Air Force undercover agent, he was sent to Morocco to assist with Operation Camelback. Morocco was still a French protectorate, but the seeds of revolution were sprouting. Heaphey's assignment was to establish contacts within Moroccan nationalist organizations to encourage them to be sympathetic to American interests and allow American bases, specifically secret nuclear bomb storage facilities, to remain in Morocco after the French were overthrown and Morocco was independant.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word "legerdemain" as 1. slight of hand; 2. a show of skill or deceitful cleverness. That second definition perfectly sums up the macinations of this book. Heaphey is a naive, wet-behind-the-ears young man as his story begins, and we experience the bewildering twists and turns of high stakes espionage. We feel his nerves as he meets dangerous, powerful men from Britian's M16, Israel's Mossad, the Moroccan Istiqlal and Zaouia Brotherhood, along with other nationals from Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece. We experience his emotions as he meets two beautiful, intelligent women, and hurt with him as his trust is betrayed.

Heaphey has written a fascinating book. This is the best kind of nonfiction. This book reads like a novel - sometimes I had to remind myself I was reading this guy's real life. There were times I got a little bit lost in the unfamiliar politics, but in general Heaphey does an excellent job of unraveling the mysteries that were Morocco in the early 1950s. It was interesting to read about the warnings that some national leaders were sounding about the emerging Muslim fundamentalist movement, especially in light of current world politics.

I was completely engrossed in this story from the first pages to the last. I would encourage history buffs to pick this book up - I think you will really enjoy it!

Finished: 6/29/08
Source: Lisa Roe, online publicist
Rating: 8/10

Friday, June 27, 2008

Man, I love this guy almost as much as my husband.

Review - Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

It's almost impossible for me to think of something intelligent to say about this book, other than "Go read this if you don't you're insane", but I know that's not terribly helpful for people who have 1000s of titles calling their name. It's a book of short stories, poems, character sketches, and a novella, so it's an easy book to dip in and out of, as I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. I've had a bit of a book-crush on Gaiman since reading his "Sandman" series - this isn't quite as heart stopping as that series, but it's pretty dang close.

Here's what Gaiman does better than just about anyone else - he writes a first sentence that makes it impossible to not keep reading. Here's a sample of first lines from this book:

"It is the immensity, I believe. The hugeness of things below. The darkness of dreams."

"October was in the chair, so it was chilly that evening, and the leaves were red and orange and tumbled from the trees that circled the grove."

"I like things to be story-shaped."

"In every way that counted, I was dead."

" 'If you ask me,' said the little man to Shadow, 'you're something of a monster. Am I right?' "

Don't you just want to know what comes next? This collection has a detective story, a zombie story, an alien story, a story about an epicurean club, a story set in the world of The Matrix, several poems, and so much more. If you like stuff a little weird, but beautifully written and with amazing ideas, I'd encourage you to jump into Neil Gaiman's head with this book. It's worth it!

Finished: 6/27/08
Source: my bookshelves
Rating: 9/10

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex

Review - The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and other true stories by Pagan Kennedy

What do Dr. Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex, Amy Smith, director of the International Development Initiative at MIT, and Dr. Gordon Sato, former resident of the Manzanar interment camp in California, all have in common? They, along with the other 9 people profiled in this book, are modern-day pioneers, attempting in their own unique ways to "reinvent this country (and others) as a kinder, sexier, smarter, funnier, or more compassionate place." And as the subjects of Pagan Kennedy's essays, they are all fascinating.

Pagan Kennedy is the writer we all want to write our biography. She has an incredible way of figuring out what makes each person interesting while still allowing that person to tell their own story. None of her subjects are perfect, but she is so obvious in her compassion for them that we can't help but feel it too. I would love to see several of the chapters expanded into books themselves, because Kennedy has infected me with the desire to know these people and their lives.

As an additional treat, the last 3 chapters are personal essays about her own life. Kennedy's writing truly shines in these stories, as she discusses alternative family arrangements, shares a vacation story, and allows us a glimpse of her own family and their quirks. Again, I was left wanting even more. It is always a treat to discover a new author who you can't wait to read again, and Pagan Kennedy certainly falls into that category for me.

Finished: 6/22/08
Source: Santa Fe Writer's Project
Rating: 8/10

The Fires

Review - The Fires by Alan Cheuse

The Fires is a collection of two novellas, each concerning love and loss. In the first story, "The Fires", Gina Morgan travels to a former Soviet republic to retrieve the body of her husband who has been killed. In the second, "Exorcism", an unnamed narrator must deal with his own grief, and that of his daughter, after the death of his ex-wife.

The two novellas were strikingly different - the first was pure intensity from the opening sentence; the second used humor throughout the story to lighten the mood. Both dealt with the death of a spouse, but in the first the couple was still very much in love, and in the second they had moved past each other. But the novellas were linked with one common factor - fire, which played a role in each story.

Cheuse has a talent for engaging the reader immediately in the narrative. Neither of these stories is long - around 60 pages each - but he packs an immense amount of emotion into those few pages. Even though he is writing about grief, both stories leave the reader with a feeling of hope when the last page has turned. I have enjoyed Cheuse on NPR for some time, and now look forward to reading more of his work in print as well.

Finished: 6/22/08
Source: Santa Fe Writer's Project
Rating: 7/10

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Zoe's Tale - 42 Challenge

Review - Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe Boutin Perry's life is about as exciting as a 17-year-old's can get. Her parents are the leaders of a new colony that is about to be founded. She has just made a new best friend, Gretchen, and is about to have a boyfriend, Enzo. She is practically a goddess to a race of aliens, the Obin, who have sent two of its members, Hickory and Dickory, to be her bodyguards. And then her ship gets "lost" as it jumps to her new world, and everything starts to go downhill from there...

This book is really good. Scalzi has written other books in this universe which I have not read, so I was worried that I would not completely understand what was going on, but I was immediately drawn into the story and did not feel like I was missing anything. He gives the reader background information in various ways - flashbacks, character memories, and character's storytelling - that catches you up but doesn't bog down the flow of the plot.

Scalzi does an incredible job of capturing the voice of a 17-year-old girl. Her sarcasm and angst were pitch perfect - I can remember feeling the emotions he has Zoe experience. His supporting characters are also vividly drawn - each character feels unique, both humans and aliens. He is able to interject some really beautiful writing in between pages of exciting action, which made me want to savor the reading experience, even as I couldn't wait to turn the page to see what would happen next. I found myself slowing down towards the end, however, because I sincerely did not want to leave Zoe and her family.

This book is really good. I know I already said that, but it bears repeating. I can't wait to read more by this author, and am so glad I was given the opportunity to meet Zoe and experience this wonderful story.

Finished: 6/21/08
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 9/10

Admit One

Review - Admit One: A Journey Into Film by Emmett James

Emmett James has always loved the movies. From his childhood, sharing precious time with his family, to his first visit without an adult, to his aborted attempt to cop a feel, Emmett's memories all involve the movies. When he told his dad he wanted to be an actor, his dad told him to be sure to have a backup plan. But Emmett's desire to be in pictures eventually brought him to L.A., where he has seen the movie business from the other side, and experienced its highs and lows.

I really wanted to love this book. I do love the premise - each chapter begins with a movie title, which is the basis for the memories that James shares. And there are some great memories - from his morphing of the Wicked Witch of the West with his mother, to his time spent living in a haunted house, to his digital retouching of Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley's wedding photo, James has certainly had the life movies are made of. I think part of my frustration with the book was that each vignette was so short - I would almost have preferred fewer chapters with more content. His stories are funny and interesting, but I felt as though we only scratched the surface of most of them.

It also took me quite a while to get into the style of the book. James uses a significant amount of slang and crass language, which took some time to get used to. I'm not sure I would have made that editing choice, but it was obviously the way James wanted to go. Perhaps other readers would feel drawn in by it, as though they were hearing the stories firsthand. It just didn't quite work for me.

All in all, it was an entertaining read, but I was left wanting just a little more. I hope James writes a longer version of his life story in the future, because I have a feeling he will have many more movie-worthy adventures to come.

Finished: 6/21/08
Source: Lisa Roe, online publicist
Rating: 6/10


Review - Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe

Taras Grescoe is a seafood lover. He is a piscatarian - he has eliminated meat an poultry from his diet, which means he pretty much eats seafood every day. He has also become increasingly concerned about the increasing reports that some seafood can be dangerous to your health, and the methods of harvesting seafood can be extremely dangerous to the global enviroment. So, Grescoe decides to find out for himself - he embarks on a world tour, talking to fish catchers, fish farmers, fish sellers, fish cookers, fish eaters, fish suppliers, and fish lovers from all points of the globe. He eats some pretty amazing meals, and comes away with a different perspective on eating seafood.

This book was fascinating. I live in Iowa, where we don't have a huge variety of native seafood, so much of the information in the book was completely new to me. Grescoe explains some of the reasons many fisheries are nearing collapse - overfishing, bad methods of fishing, and fish farming have resulted in a large number of fish that are on the verge of being commercially extinct. He also explains that many famous chefs, by continuing to insist on offering these nearly extinct fish on their menus, are contributing to the demand for them worldwide, leading to more bad fishing methods and overfishing.

He explains the concept of trophic levels, which is the number assigned to every living thing on earth based on what they consume. Phytoplankton are given a 1, and a human is given a 5. He then shows that fish at the highest trophic levels - tuna, cod, Chilean sea bass, shark - are the ones that are most often overfished, and often contain the most contaminants. He then presents the concept of bottomfeeding - eating the fish at lower trophic levels, such as halibut, mackerel, oysters, and trout. These fish have fewer contaminants, making them healthier for us, and are generally harvested in sustainable ways, making them healthier for the environment as well. At the end of the book, he offers several pages of resources designed to assist consumers in making more ethical seafood choices.

Grescoe's book is not only interesting, but incredibly entertaining. He does a great job of bringing the many characters he meets on his travels to life. His ability to capture the flavor of the meal he is eating made it easy to put myself in his place. I also appreciated his honesty about many of the internal struggles he experienced - wanting to eat something delicious, but knowing the dangerous or unethical way it was harvested. It is rare to enjoy reading a book that teaches me so much, but this book offered both entertainment and enlightenment, and I am very glad I was able to read it.

Finished: 6/21/08
Source: ARC from Bloomsbury USA
Rating: 8/10

So THIS looks like fun!

What could potentially be exceedingly fun is getting ready to start over here:

Book Roast

Apparently, the hosts will pick a book, post a short passage from said book, and then ask some questions. We, the players, get to answer the questions in hopes of fun prizes. The author of the book actually picks the winners, based on who answers the questions most accurately - or in the most entertaining way. This sounds like a great way to kill time when I should be cleaning the bathroom!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've been revenge-tagged! =)

Amy, over at My Friend Amy, tagged me for a another meme. Apparently, I have to share 10 things that are weird about me. Only 10?? Okay, here goes....

1 - I love lists. I make lists of anything I can think of to list, and then save them. I have folders fulls of lists.

2 - I am an obsessive body wash and lotion purchaser. Every year at the Bath & Body Works sale, I buy a ton more. It would be physically impossible for me to ever use all the bottles I currently own, yet I keep buying.

3 - I buy clothes for my ferret. I can't help it, he looks so dang cute! Of course, because he is an escape artist, they tend to be off his back and on the floor in about 22 seconds, but still, he's so dang cute!

4 - I have saved almost all of my lecture notes from practically every course I took in college. I have no idea why I think I might ever need them again, but I just can't throw them away.

5 - I feel sad for people who don't read.

6 - I almost never watch my local news because I think the news readers are dorks.

7 - I have 5 little notebooks full of titles I want to read, all arranged by fiction/nonfiction, and whether or not I can check them out of my local library. I clearly will never read all of these books before I die, but I can't stop adding more.

8 - I would rather watch movies at my own house than a theater. I just feel like I can be more comfortable, and if I have to pee in the middle I can just push pause and come back.

9 - I love to loan out books to people, and I keep a list (big surprise!) of where each book has been and who has read it.

10 - I really like to do laundry.

Alright, there you go - proof I'm a weirdo. The rules for this one are pretty simple - tell me 10 weird things, facts, goals or habits about you. You are then supposed to tag 6 people & state why you tagged them, and then report back to me that you've posted. I'm going to be honest and say that I always feel like I am pestering people when I tag them. I enjoy memes, but I'm not sure everyone else in the world does. So, if you are reading this, and you like memes, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED! THIS MEANS YOU!! =)

Tuesday Thingers - oh hush, I'm just a couple of days late.

Today's Question: What's the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What's the most popular book you don't have? How does a book's popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?

The most popular book(s) in my library are the Harry Potter series - 27 to 32 thousand people own the books in this series. I have read them all. I actually resisted reading HP until the third or fourth book came out - I was just convinced that NOTHING that was as popular as this series could POSSIBLY be worth my time. (Bit of a book snob back then? Yep.) I was visiting a friend in LA and he was at work all day, so I was home alone. I was bored, and there was nothing on t.v. I wanted to watch. His son happened to have a copy of the first HP, so I picked it up, prepared to look down my nose. 30 minutes later I was hooked, and I read the first two books in the series that day waiting for my friend to come home. Also learned a valuable lesson about dismissing books simply because of the hype.

The most popular book I DON'T have is 1984, followed fairly closely by Catcher in the Rye. I have read 1984, but not Catcher. I'm not sure that popularity factors that much into what I read. I certainly read a substantial number of hot, new titles, and I don't (anymore) avoid reading something because it's the hot, new title, but I also like to read a lot of stuff that people haven't put on the bestsellers list. Basically, I just read what sounds good to me, whether or not other people like it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review - I, robot (42 Challenge)

Review - I, robot by Dr. Howard S. Smith

Haruto Suzuki is a police inspector assigned to investigate the murder of a businessman in a Tokyo hotel. In the course of his investigation, he finds himself stowed away on a cruise ship, unwittingly witnessing a meeting between Japanese government and millitary officials and an Israeli army officer, discussing a shocking deal - trading nuclear bombs for intelligent robots.

Smith has updated the classic Asimov idea - the rise of intelligent robots - using cutting-edge science. He spends much of the beginning stages of the novel giving readers a mini lesson in artificial intelligence, using diagrams to illustrate much of the science. Smith is able to integrate the facts into the flow of the narrative well, so the story does not get bogged down in detail. Smith also includes an extensive bibliography at the end of the book to allow readers to delve further into many areas of interest examined by the novel.

In Haruto Suzuki, Smith has created an interesting, complex hero. Suzuki's fellow police officers call him "jinzouningen", which means an artifical human, and Smith draws many parallels between Suzuki and the robots he discovers. Suzuki's dependence on the rules he sets out for himself echoes the programmed rules the robots follow, as does his inability to allow intimacy. His obsessive-compulsive tendencies increase the sense that he does not fit in with the people around him. Smith's secondary characters are not as vividly drawn, leaving the reader to wonder at times about the motivations behind some of their actions.

Smith has written an exciting, fast-paced novel with elements that feel at times startlingly familiar. I would expect science fiction fans to enjoy this novel as much as I did.

Finished: 6/15/08
Rating: 7/10
Source: ARC from author

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

And this is the post where I admit my laziness to the world...

Today's question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

I BARELY tag. I look at other member's libraries, with all their beautiful, informative tags, and think, "Gee, why don't I do that?" Well, dear reader, here's the answer - I am a lazy, lazy girl. I was not really aware of tags on the day that I entered my initial 900+ books into the library in an exhausting day long marathon, and I'm just too dang lazy to go back and start again. I have a few token categories - nonfiction, sci-fi/fantasy, read, ARC - and I occasionally remember to add something when I add a new book, but I am afraid this is a feature of LT that I will never really put to good use. Seriously, shouldn't I be reading a book instead anyway?? =)

Review - The Girl who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

Laurel can see ghosts. At least, she had always seen them, until she married her husband, David. Then they stopped. So when the ghost of her daughter's friend, Molly, appears to her just minutes before she finds Molly's dead body in her swimming pool, Laurel knows something is bad wrong. As she tries to find out what happened to Molly, she uncovers ghosts from her own childhood, and secrets her daughter is keeping from her as well.

Having read and enjoyed Jackson's previous two novels, I was really, really excited for this one. I was expecting another complex, layered novel about buried family secrets and the possibilities of redemption. I expected a fascinating heroine, and well-developed supporting characters. I don't think I quite got either of those. About halfway through the novel, I had the sinking feeling that I knew where it was headed - unfortunately, I was almost 100% correct. I also found myself irritated with Laurel, the main character, throughout much of the novel. Her sister, Thalia, was much more interesting and complex. There were a couple of characters who could have been equally interesting, but just didn't ever get completely fleshed out. I think maybe I just had my expectations up too high, since I had loved both of her previous novels so much. I still enjoyed this one, but it didn't quite hit the highs I was expecting.

Finished: 6/9/09
Source: Franklin Avenue public library
Rating: 6/10

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yes, the floodgates have officially opened...

and I have joined another challenge.

The Fantasy Challenge.

Here's the deal about this one, though - there are no rules! Just read a bunch of fantasy stuff! This one I can totally handle. Here's my list of possibilities so far -

The Bartimaeus Trilogy - J. Stroud
The Hollow Kingdom - C. Dunkle
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - S. Clarke
Solstice Wood - P. McKillip
Ombria in Shadow - P. McKillip
The Curse of Chalion - L.M. Bujold
Waking the Moon - E. Hand
The Earthsea Trilogy - U. LeGuin

This is why I tried to put off starting challenges for so long - I knew once I started, I wouldn't be able to stop. Oh well......

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Voodoo, baby

Review - Rebels of Babylon by Owen Parry

President Lincoln has sent army Major Abel Jones down to New Orleans to investigate an odd occurrence - Susan Peabody's "embarrassed" corpse being found washed up onto shore. Once arrived, Jones almost immediately finds his life in danger from a dizzying variety of sources, and becomes enmeshed in yet another mystery - the disappearance of a great number of former slaves, now freed by Lincoln. Jones must reluctantly enlist the help of some rather questionable accomplices, including a voodoo priestess, to help him solve the cases.

I love this series. Owen Parry creates some of the most interesting characters in fiction. Abel Jones, who might be a dwarf, and his wife, who might be a hunchback; Matt Cawber, the millionaire who may or may not be dirty; Mick Tyrone, the army doctor philosopher; Barnaby B. Barnaby, the haberdasher who falls for questionable women; all these characters and more just come alive in these novels. I also love how Parry writes the spirit of the time - there is no political correctness in these novels. His characters speak and think the opinions of the times they live in, with no apologies. It's great to find a series that has exciting mysteries and is so well written. I would definitely recommend these books to anyone looking for a new mystery series to enjoy!

Finished: 6/7/08
Rating: 8/10
Source: my bookshelf

Friday, June 6, 2008

Now THIS is exciting.....

blog readability test

I'm amused that they were able to make this determination about my blog in about 3.2 seconds - it certainly makes me feel all smart and literary.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Since I apparently don't see enough presidential politics on the news...

Review - Shelley's Heart by Charles McCarry

Former President Franklin Mallory knows that the election was stolen. He presents newly elected President Frosty Lockwood with the evidence, and asks him to resign. Lockwood refuses, setting in motion a sequence of events that involves assassinations, terrorists, fertility clinics, secret societies, and the eventual impeachment trial of the President.

I tried to read this book on two previous occasions, and couldn't get into the story for anything. I am very glad I gave it a third try. I was completely engrossed in this tale of politics and secrets from the beginning. McCarry brings each of his characters to life, flaws and all, and takes the reader down a twisty, turny path to his eventual resolution. There were a couple of plot points that seemed out of place (all the stuff with the fertility clinic never really seemed to go anywhere, for example), but this was a great page turner. I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter to see what dirty dealings were going to happen next. =) I also found a quote that I loved:

"This was why he read the books he liked over and over again. They reminded him that you seldom understood everything the first time you looked at something, no matter how systematic you thought you were being. It was impossible to see every detail unless you kept going back for another look, and then another and another."

Finished: 6/5/08
Source: Des Moines public library
Rating: 8/10

(and now I have to take shelter as the tornado sirens just started going off - good times!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Today's Tuesday Thingers question is:
Why LT?

Why did you choose to open and maintain an LT account? Do you/did you use other online cataloging/social networking sites, like GoodReads or Shelfari? Do you use more than one? Are they different or do they serve different purposes?

I actually started out a long time ago on a site called (I think I might actually still have an account there I haven't visited for year), and liked the idea of cataloging, but didn't keep up with it at all. Then I had some friends who had a fire, and I realized that if something like that ever happened to me, I should really have some sort of backup. I heard about LibraryThing on another website and decided to check it out - the rest is history! I checked out Shelfari at the same time, and didn't think it worked that well for my gigantic library. I can't imagine inputting all my books into any other place ever again, and I'm very happy with LT.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And because I can never stop at just one....

I'm going to join this one as well. All I have to do is experience 42 science fiction items - books, movies, tv episodes, short stories, etc. by the end of 2009. This one will be a breeze, as Battlestar Galactica is going to be ending sometime around then, and each episode counts as 1 entry! This one is going to be right up my alley.

And while I am at it..

I am going to join this one too. (See, I knew as soon as I did one the floodgates would open.) For this challenge I have to pick 10 award winners to read over 10 months, from at least 5 different award categories. I don't have to have my final list yet, so here are the current list of possibilities:

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (Arthur C. Clarke)
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (Man Booker) - finished 4/23/09, rated 6/10
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (Costa/Whitbread)
The In-Between World of Vikram Lal by M.G. Vassanji (Giller)
Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards (Giller)
The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy (Governor General)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Hugo)
This Blinding Absence of Light by Taher Ben Jelloun (IMPAC Dublin)
The Known World by Edward P. Jones (IMPAC Dublin)
Sacred Country by Rose Tremain (James Tait Black)
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (NBCC)
Atonement by Ian McEwan (NBCC)
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Hugo and Nebula)
Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie (Orange)
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Samuel Johnson prize) finished 8/12/08
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Newbery) - finished 2/16/09, rated 9/10
Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand by Gioconda Belli (Biblioteca Breve) finished 3/19/09, rated 7/10

My first book challenge!

I have so far resisted the urge to join every book challenge I read about, but today I've given in, and I will be joining The Daring Book Challenge. The idea is to read selections from the recommended reading list found in The Daring Book for Girls. There are 3 ways to participate, and I have chosen option #2, which is to read 9 selections from all categories of the reading list between 6/15/08 and 6/15/09. The books I have chosen are:

Marjorie Morningstar - Herman Wouk
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
The Giver - Lois Lowry
The Earthsea Trilogy - Ursula K. LeGuin
National Velvet - Enid Bagnold
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson
The Illyrian Adventure series - Lloyd Alexander
The Good Earth - Pearl Buck
My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George

I specifically picked selections I have not read before, and a bunch of them are books I already own, so killing several birds with one stone. There is also an ongoing challenge to read all the books on the list, which I will probably take part in as well. I'm excited, but also worried that this will be just the beginning of going totally overboard on book challenges - we'll see what happens.

Free Book Alert!!

The lovely ladies at The Friendly Book Nook are hosting the following book giveaway:

The Girl who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson

I have LOVED Joshilyn Jackson's first two novels, so I am really excited about this one. I am planning to participate in the discussion even if I don't win the book. Come on over and join us if you'd like!

6 Things....

Boy, I must be popular! I was tagged TWICE - once by Karen and once by Jackie
to take part in the 6 Things meme. So, here goes - 6 random things about me.

1. When I was growing up, my parents NEVER took me to the doctor. Seriously, never. I didn't get my first antibiotic until I was in college. We drank a glass of orange juice every morning with breakfast, and if we didn't feel good we had to wait 3 days to see if we got better. I don't really know if we just had really good immune systems, or if orange juice is just a miracle drug, but we never had to go to the doctor.

2. In junior high and high school, I was obsessed with making lists. I would make elaborate, unnecessary lists for anything I could think of. I was also obsessed with creating family trees for families that didn't exist.

3. I tried to teach myself how to read tarot cards, because it seemed cool at the time, but it never worked for me. For some reason I couldn't keep the meanings straight in my head.

4. In college, I almost converted to Mormonism because I thought I was in love with a Mormon missionary. He asked me to wait for him until he was done with his mission, and I said I would. However, the deeper I got into learning about his religion, the more I understood that I could never fully accept it. He was incredibly supportive throughout my entire learning process, but when it came right down to it, we were not ever going to be able to make it work. He was a great guy, and I'm sure a wonderful husband to someone today.

5. Someday, I would love to own my own bookstore. I worked in one for a while in college, and it was the best job of my life.

6. No matter what I am doing, I would pretty much always rather be at my own house, reading a book. (probably not a big surprise to most of the people reading this!) =)

Alright, so here's how it works:
Link to the person who tagged you in your blog post
Write your six random things
List the rules somewhere in your blog post
Tag 6 more lucky people to join in the fun
Let them know they've been chosen by commenting on their blog
Let the person who tagged you know that you've posted your entry

Since it's quite possible that I am the last person in the blogosphere to participate in this, my apologies to anyone I tag who has played this game already. Here's my list:

Books on the Brain
Heaps of Little Things
A Writer's Pen
Breaking the Fourth Wall
From My Bookshelf
My Friend Amy