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Eris attempts to create order in her life through books

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Apr 21, 2012, 4:16pm Top

The Greek goddess of discord, Eris, and Themis, witnessing the aftermath of the judgement of Paris

As an introduction, my name is Eris, I'm in high-school, and I will be attempting to create order in my chaotic life by spending more time with books. Even girls who love discord get fed up with it after a while. I will be attempting to read 75 books this year, and I hope that it does not end pathetically.

I'm not entirely sure how to do this challenge, as it's my first time, so any help or input would be appreciated - I'm good at learning as I go along, and I hope that you all enjoy my chronicles. :)

My tastes in books are usually YA and fairy tales, but I will also read anything about calligraphy, Antarctica, or mythology. The book I am reading now to start off the challenge is Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld.

Thank you so much for this group! I hope that it will make me get caught up more in reading, and less surfing the internet!

Some of my favorite books from 2011:
The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater
Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater
Ballad, by Maggie Stiefvater
Goliath, by Scott Westerfeld
Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznik
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Everfound, by Neal Shusterman
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Nevermore, by Kelly Creagh
Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis


1. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
3. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien and Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer


5. Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld
6. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente
7. Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne
8. I am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak


9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John LeCarre
10. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey


11. The House at Pooh Corner, by A. A. Milne
12. The Horse and His Boy, by C. S. Lewis
13. Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
14. The Fairy's Mistake and For Biddle's Sake, by Gail Carson Levine

Jan 1, 2012, 10:34pm Top

Welcome! You're doing fine. I like to add a message to my thread as I finish books with a review or short comment on it. Others make a list at the beginning of their thread and edit that list as they go. It's your thread, so do what works best for you! :)

FYI, we've added a couple of wikis to the mix this year. The first is where we keep important threads. The second is the Threadbook where we have a directory to all the members' threads. Both help keep a handle on the chaos! :)

Jan 1, 2012, 10:36pm Top

Thank you very much, drneutron! I will definitely keep all of that in mind. Good luck with your reading!

Jan 2, 2012, 12:11am Top

I'll definitely be poking my nose in here pretty regularly. I have a big fondness for mythology and YA lit. I'll be interested to see what you think of Uglies. I read the whole trilogy last year. Also, if you haven't read Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy yet, I highly recommend it. I think it was better than the Uglies trilogy by leaps and bounds.

Welcome to the group!

Jan 2, 2012, 12:16am Top

I enjoyed Uglies a lot! I've starred your thread to keep track of your YA reading-- hoping to see some new titles to look for since I read a lot of it too. :)

Jan 2, 2012, 1:00am Top

Thank you very much Micky and UnrulySun! I adore the Leviathan series - that is why I picked up Uglies, actually, just because I think that Westerfeld is a marvelous writer and I am interested to see what he wrote before Leviathan.

Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 6:00pm Top

The books I am planning to read for the month of January 2012 are (note: this list is subject to change):

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman, by Eleanor Updale: I remember attempting to read this when I was twelve or so, and I hadn't liked it much then, although my brother loved the series. However, at that same age I hadn't appreciated The Hobbit at all, and now it is one of my favorite books. Hopefully it will be a good read, now that my tastes have matured.

Tales from the Perilous Realm, by J.R.R. Tolkien: What's wonderful is that this book is a selection of short stories by Tolkien, so I will be able to read one in between my longer novels, whenever I need a break. I can't wait!

Forever, by Maggie Stiefvater: I love the other two books in this series, Shiver and Linger. And although this series is about werewolves, it is far from being Twilight (just to clear something up - I am not a fan of that particular series). The writing of the other two books is descriptive without being over the top, the characters are well developed, and I appreciate a stronger main heroine. Oh, and a main guy that is not a 130 year old vampire that stares at you when you sleep and hangs out at high school - the main guy is a real, teenage boy.

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky: I tried reading this once a while back, and then I stopped at around 47 pages before returning it to the library. Now I own it and will be able to devour it at a more leisurely pace with no deadlines to return it.

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak: I started this book last year in November, and have been taking forever to finish it, although I am enjoying it very much. I am hoping to finish it this month, and discussing it with everyone else who has read it.

My, I just rambled. And I haven't even read those books yet. Oh, dear. I must actually get started, shouldn't I?

Jan 2, 2012, 5:02am Top

Welcome to the group, Eris! Rambling is encouraged here :)

Jan 2, 2012, 6:21am Top

Hi Eris, welcome to the group. I read quite a bit of YA so will be check in from time to time. The group is a bit busy at present with everyone settling in.

Edited: Jan 2, 2012, 6:30am Top

Hi Eris. I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing but preferred Lament and Ballad to Shiver and Linger. I haven't read Forever.

Happy Reading!

Jan 2, 2012, 9:47am Top

Hello, welcome to the group! I have you starred and I imagine I'll be around here quite often. I love YA and mythology as well. :D

Jan 2, 2012, 9:51am Top

I'll probably be hanging around here too. I'm already looking forward to hearing your thoughts on some of your planned reads, Uglies and The Lightbearer's Daughter in particular.

Jan 2, 2012, 12:40pm Top

Thank you alcottacre, avatiakh, Soupdragon, dk_phoenix, and Zoe! I really appreciate that you've all taken the time to read my ramblings, and I'm relieved that that is normal here. Yay!

Soupdragon: I love Lament and Ballad, particularly Ballad. I pick fairies over werewolves any day, but I also love Stiefvater's other book, The Scorpio Races. I cannot rave about that book enough! The book is about capaill uische, which are man-eating water horses in Celtic mythology! It's something I hadn't heard about it, and it was a unique topic to bring to a YA book. It starts off very slow, but I appreciated the fact that she developed the characters so well that I emphasized with them, and didn't mind the slow pace.

Zoe: Wonderful! I think I will be reading The Light Bearer's Daughter right after I finish Uglies, so I don't think you will have to wait too long for my opinion on those books.

Thank you all very much, and good luck with your reading goals! :D

Jan 2, 2012, 1:01pm Top

Ha ha, rambling is very much encouraged here, which is why this group is so awesome. :)

I'm interested to see what you think of Forever. I read it last year and...well, I'll wait to see what you say, but Cole ended up being my favorite character which is why I think I liked Linger best of all.

I also want to read Uglies. Micky is right about the Leviathan trilogy being good, though I've only read the first one.

Good luck with your 2012 reading!

Jan 2, 2012, 1:12pm Top

I agree, Cole is a wonderful character and he made Linger my favorite book so far of the series. I really looked forward to the narratives of Isabel and Cole while I was reading - their input really added a new dimension to the story.

Good luck with your reading, too, mbellerose! I hope you make it to the big 75 this year!

Jan 2, 2012, 1:50pm Top

Hi, Eris--thanks for visiting my thread. I loved mythology and fairy tales at your age too, and actually, I still do! And then I discovered The Lord of the Rings at the beginning of my senior year in high school and never looked back. I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series and of course, Harry Potter.

Have you found the many fairy tale retellings in fantasy? Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede, for example. Ace Books put out a whole Fairy Tales Series in the late 80s, "a series of fantasy novels retelling classic tales," with authors like Kara Dalkey, Steven Brust, and Charles de Lint. And of course, Robin McKinley did a classic retelling of Beauty and the Beast in Beauty, while Anne McCaffrey has a whole series of retold fairy tales as well. My favorite is her first, though, also a retelling of Beaty, The Fire Rose.

Just for fun--not as good as the Percy Jackson series but light urban fantasy, Webmage and its sequels are firmly set in mythology. And Pat Wrede's Dealing with Dragons series is fun and great.

Jan 2, 2012, 1:56pm Top

Dealing with Dragons? *squeals* I read that when I was eight, or so, and I still adore that series! That was what ignited my obsession with dragons, and with the help of another book called Dragonology, for a time I believed that dragons existed (alas, I have been told they do not). Patricia C. Wrede is a fantastic writer, and I have read Snow White and Rose Red - the old style language she wrote it in took me a little bit to get used to, but once I did I enjoyed it, especially since the original fairy tale is wonderful.

One of my favorite fairy tales (and one that I am surprised has not been retold often) is The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen. I have heard that Breadcrumbs was based on the story, but I don't think there are any others.Which is unfortunate, as I think it's one of the most beautiful fairy tales out there.

Jan 2, 2012, 4:11pm Top

I had not heard of The Scorpio Races before. Thanks for that recommendation, Eris! I will look for the book.

Jan 2, 2012, 5:14pm Top

The Scorpio Races does sound good and as I said, I do like Steifvater's writing. Onto the wishlist it goes!

Jan 2, 2012, 5:46pm Top

I'm glad! The Scorpio Races is the best book Stiefvater has written, in my opinion.

I have taken a break from Uglies to read a little bit of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, a story told in poetry by J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm still at the beginning of it, so it is too soon to form a strong opinion, but as it's a retelling by Tolkien of Norse mythology, it is invigorating for my brain. And listening to the soundtrack from The Two Towers movie while I'm reading is the perfect backdrop!

Jan 2, 2012, 10:14pm Top

I have not read that particular Tolkien book. I will be interested in seeing what you think of it, Eris.

Jan 2, 2012, 10:50pm Top

I agree that The Scorpio Races is amazing. I also second the recommendation for Robin McKinley's books, if you haven't discovered them yet -- and do check out Breadcrumbs if you love The Snow Queen. I look forward to hearing about your reads this year!

Jan 2, 2012, 11:15pm Top

Hi Dawn! Thanks for stopping by! I will definitely look up Robin McKinley, as I'm not sure I've read anything by her. I always love hearing about new authors.

Edited: Jan 3, 2012, 4:28pm Top

1. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

A note: Potential spoilers, but not huge ones

Tally Youngblood is a typical teenaged girl in a futuristic society where people are divided into two groups: Uglies - people who are imperfect and disgusting, who bear the face they were born with, and Pretties - those who had extreme cosmetic surgery, and were made beautiful at the age of sixteen. Tally only wants to be a Pretty, but when her best friend, Shay, runs away to join a rebellious city that resists being Pretty, she must bring Shay back, or never become Pretty.

I think that Tally as a character was very interesting, and I liked how she evolved as the story went on. Even when her only goal in life was to become pretty, she was still a character that you emphasized with.

The novel took place in a variety of settings, from the city that Tally was from to the Smoke, it was described very descriptively. Westerfeld has an engaging writing style that made me move through the book fairly quickly.

There was a scene that stood out in my mind: the infestation of white orchids. This scene comes when Tally is traveling to the Smoke and is resuced from a wildfire by the rangers, Pretties who manage a invasive orchid that chokes off the life of the surrounding plants. The orchids are very beautiful, but there are so many of them, and they give no other plant the chance at life. I suppose that the orchids are representative of the Pretties, stopping anyone else from looking different.

All in all, I very much enjoyed this book, and I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, Pretties. This book made me think about the pressures of our present society to be "beautiful" or "pretty" - I see this all the time in magazines like "Cosmopolitian" and "Glamour." Of course, magazines like that are careful to sometimes talk about "inner beauty" and "self confidence," but you turn the page and there's an advertisement with an underfed model looking like a slut. Uglies shows the danger of such thinking through the outlet of fiction, and I am happy that Uglies confronted the issue in a unique manner.

I hope that just made sense! Please note that I'm not very skilled in the art of review writing, and that this is my first one on LibraryThing. I can't wait to discuss this book and move onto the next book on my to-read list! :)

Jan 3, 2012, 5:45pm Top

Yep, sold. I'm chucking that one on the TBR list. It was a good review, so no worries! :) Congrats on your first of many reviews.

Edited: Jan 3, 2012, 7:40pm Top

Thank you, Marie! I hope you like the book - I honestly did not expect that I would like it as much as I do. If I had known, I would've read it sooner.

My next target: The Light Bearer's Daughter, by O.R. Melling

Stay tuned for more EPIC reviews!

Jan 3, 2012, 11:39pm Top

Great review, Eris. I hadn't thought of the plants that way, very astute! :) Do you think you'll read the rest of the series? As much as I liked Uglies, I wasn't rushing out to find the rest of them. I did pick up book one of the Midnighters series. Have you read that one yet?

Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 12:43am Top

UnrulySun I am planning on reading the rest of the series, as I do like Tally, and am interested in what happens to her when she becomes a Pretty. I have not heard of the Midnighters series before, so I just looked at a review of the book on LibraryThing. Sounds interesting! Time stopping for an hour at midnight? One thing I have to hand to Scott Westerfeld - he does know how to cook up a different type of novel.


On a different note that is completely unrelated to Uglies, I got 18 pages into The Light Bearer's Daughter before I had to put it down. Basically, it went on a spiel of how bad it was that these trees were being ripped out on a small road to make it a motorway. It praised the "eco-warriors" who were living in the trees and stopping construction on the trees. So because trees are more important than the construction workers trying to earn a living so that they can feed their families, I am supposed to identify with people hanging out in trees. That was when the book kinda lost me.

Even if I agree with some of what O.R. Melling is saying, I hate being preached at, and I don't appreciate it in my fictional books. If I want to be preached at, I will go to a non-fiction book - there I will expect it. But when I put on my fantasy cap, and I escape into a book that unleashes my imagination, I expect any lessons that the author is trying to push to be done gently.

I might go back to this book in a bit, as I am a huge admirer of two of her other books, The Summer King and The Hunter's Moon, but I still don't like being lectured. I am not against moral, social, or political lessons being inserted in books, but I don't like being whacked over the head with them. Gently does it, gently. This is a teen's book about faeries, for crying out loud!

Okay, rant done. I'll just go watch random Disney videos on YouTube, now.

Jan 4, 2012, 7:06am Top

Love the rant, Eris! I feel exactly the same way.

Jan 4, 2012, 7:56am Top

Amen! I loved The Hunter's Moon and The Summer King, but The Lightbearer's Daughter didn't have the same magic for me. Are you still planning to finish the book, or are you abandoning it permanently?

Also, everyone who loved The Scorpio Races: what did you think of Stiefvater's other work? I wasn't sufficiently impressed with Shiver to continue on with the trilogy, but I'm wondering whether I should read The Scorpio Races anyway.

Jan 4, 2012, 8:17am Top

#30 -- I felt exactly the same way about Shiver, so I'd say give it a try.

Jan 4, 2012, 8:25am Top

>24 ErisofDiscord:: I loved Uglies too, though I had quite a different reaction to the second book. Rather than spoil your feelings for it going into the book, I'll wait and see what you thought once you've read it... :)

Jan 4, 2012, 9:59am Top

>31 foggidawn: Thanks! I'll add it to the list, then.

Jan 4, 2012, 12:20pm Top

Alcottacre - Oh, good! I was wondering if I had just lost everyone at the second paragraph.

Zoe - I'm thinking of abandoning this book, because I have so many books that I want to get to. I'm not sure if I want to read The Light Bearer's Daughter, either - you're right, I just don't get the magic that I had with Melling's other two books.

And on Shiver and The Scorpio Races - Shiver was Stiefvater's second published book, whereas The Scorpio Races is her latest novel. She has learned a lot since then, and I loved the beauty of The Scorpio Races, although the pacing was slow.

dk_phoenix - I look forward to reading it and to writing a review - I think I'm getting the hang of it!

Thank you all for coming here and commenting! :D

Jan 4, 2012, 1:42pm Top

#34: Eris, call me Stasia. Everyone does :)

Jan 4, 2012, 1:58pm Top

Starring you! I think we have similar taste in YA :)

Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 2:27pm Top

Wonderful, Stasia! Your name is very pretty. :)

Welcome, Natalie! I'm glad you're here, and I hope you like the topics I discuss in the future. Your Irish wolfhound is beautiful, by the way. Good luck with your reading!

Book Update: I am typing this via the internet at the the library, and I just found Pretties! I will now try to remove myself from the allure of the internet, and start reading! Toodles.

Jan 4, 2012, 3:24pm Top

#37: Thanks. I like it.

Jan 5, 2012, 11:43pm Top

Hi, Eris! Found you! I've starred you, and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Jan 6, 2012, 12:27am Top

Yay! Thank you very much Cynara - I really appreciate it.

Well, I am about 80 pages into Pretties, and I have to say, it is very different from Uglies. Tally is now a Pretty, for one thing, and she has to fight hard to avoid falling into the typical Pretty thinking of "parties, parties, parties." She also does not remember much of her life as one of the Smokies. It's interesting seeing her in this fashion.

Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 5:50pm Top

I postponed Pretties and instead finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in a day and a half. My brain is shot from staying up too late, and doing nothing but reading in the morning. Review forthcoming, as soon as I've made myself decent and organized my thoughts about the book.

Jan 7, 2012, 4:41pm Top

Welcome to LT! Your thread is great and I've just added Uglies to my library reserve list. One of my goals this year is to read some YA fiction, and your review was excellent.

Jan 7, 2012, 4:50pm Top

Thank you very much, Susan! I am very flattered that you think that, and I hope you enjoy Uglies. If you need any other recommendations for YA books, let me know - I practically live on them, along with classics. :)

Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 8:28pm Top

2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Jacob's grandfather told him stories when he was a small boy, stories of children with incredible powers, and he showed him pictures of these children - a boy who was completely invisible except when he was wearing clothes, a petulant faced girl who could levitate above the ground and a boy who could lift rocks the size of the Statue of Liberty's big toe. Jacob's grandfather said that he knew these children, and he lived with them at a big old house on a little Welsh island.

When Jacob was a kid he believed everything his grandfather said, but as he grew older, he stopped thinking that his grandfather was telling the truth. But when his grandfather dies tragically, it leaves more questions unanswered in Jacob's mind. So Jacob journeys to the orphanage that his grandfather lived in to find out the truth in his grandfather's past. Are the peculiar children still alive? And when Jacob's grandfather died, why did Jacob see a monster with tentacles for tongues at the scene?

Jacob was a wonderful protagonist that I identified with - he constantly tried to do the right thing throughout the book while protecting the people he cared out. The relationship he had with his grandfather and his desire to be like him was well portrayed. Most of the characters are very interesting, and their different personalities add to the richness of the novel.

The photographs that helped illustrate the novel were an excellent touch, and I didn't learn until I read the author's note on the back of the book that they are all vintage photographs! Except for a tiny bit of processing on a few of them, those classic photographs had been borrowed from collections. Riggs built his story around those photos, and the weirdness of the photos added another layer of individuality to this book.

The plot and pacing is quick, and the writing is not lazy or bland - it has the voice of an intelligent and blunt sixteen-year-old boy. I read this book in a day and a half, and it even made me forget about viral videos on YouTube. Since Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was able to sever me from the internet and immerse me in a world of invisible boys, girls who hold fire in their hands, bogs, time changing, and monsters with tentacles coming out of their mouths, I applaud Ransom Riggs - he has a talent for ensnaring minds.

This was a difficult review to write, as the plot is very complicated and I was trying to keep it spoiler free, because I don't want to give away the clever twist to the story and the peculiar children.

Jan 7, 2012, 7:46pm Top

44: I've seen that one pop up a number of times and everyone seems to enjoy it. Onto the wishlist it goes!

Jan 8, 2012, 4:06am Top

#44: I liked that one a lot too! Nice review, Eris.

Jan 8, 2012, 2:28pm Top

Thank you, Stasia! It was a wonderful book to read, and I enjoyed how different it is from all the other YA books.

Next on my reading journey - I will probably finish up Pretties or The Book Thief (which I am halfway through). But you never know - I might change my mind and read a totally different book. My newly bought Notes from the Underground is crying for attention... choices, choices!

Jan 8, 2012, 3:12pm Top

Can't wait to see how you like Notes from the Underground. If you have any questions, LMK! I ♥ Russian works.

Jan 8, 2012, 3:17pm Top

Yay! I will do that, thank you!

I think I will start on Notes from the Underground. I've read so many YA books in a row, that it will be nice to take a break from them and get back into my classics reading.

Jan 8, 2012, 3:38pm Top

Word of warning: once you start getting towards the end of The Book Thief it was unputdownable for me. I love, love, love that book so I'm interested to see how you feel.

Jan 8, 2012, 5:27pm Top

#47: I need to get to Notes from the Underground one of these days. The next Dostoevsky for me is going to be Crime and Punishment though, I think.

Jan 8, 2012, 5:45pm Top

I just bought Crime and Punishment as well, and I really want to get to that one, too. Unfortunately I have so many library books that I have to return soon, so I am trying to get to them first.

Jan 8, 2012, 5:46pm Top

A tough choice... Dostoevsky is great but so is The Book Thief! A tough decision also means you're probably fine with either of them, though :)

Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 5:56pm Top

True! I'll probably get my brother to switch them around, then I'll close my eyes and do eenie-meenie-mynie-mo.

You know what - I think I'm going to do that right now!

Crime and Punishment won! I'll probably go back and forth between that and The Book Thief. This is going to be so much fun! I'd better go read, then. :)

Jan 8, 2012, 6:53pm Top

I love Crime and Punishment. I had trouble getting into The Brothers Karamazov, but C&P is great every time; it's like Dickens, but I enjoy it more.

Jan 8, 2012, 7:27pm Top

I have the Pevear/Volokhonsky of Crime and Punishment and am looking forward to reading it. I have read several of their translations and enjoyed them all. Has anyone else tried their translation of this book?

Jan 9, 2012, 12:01am Top

56 - I have! I really, really enjoyed it. Granted, I haven't read anything else translated by them or any other Dostoevsky, but my Russian major boyfriend swears by them and, having read Tolstoy in the original, translated by someone else, and Pevear/Volokhonsky, claims that the latter reads like the original.

So, um, yeah. It's good.

Edited: Jan 11, 2012, 2:21am Top

I haven't gotten anywhere in either Crime and Punishment or The Book Thief (schoolwork has descended upon me), but I did find this video on YouTube which combines two of my loves: books and stop motion animation. As someone who has attempted a poor quality stop motion animation short once, my respect goes to the people who made it happen:


It's so cool. :)

Jan 11, 2012, 7:20am Top

Jan 11, 2012, 1:47pm Top

It's what books do when we're not around. :) They start dancing!

Jan 12, 2012, 8:49am Top

That's where I live! I'm sure the books are dancing in your hometowns, too....

Jan 14, 2012, 3:50pm Top

Eris, I've just finished Uglies and loved it. Thank you for the recommendation!

Jan 14, 2012, 4:44pm Top

You're welcome, Susan! I am happy that you enjoyed it! Will you be reading the second one soon?

Jan 17, 2012, 5:42pm Top

Hello Eris, just found your thread. I notice a mention of calligraphy up the top - that is one of my interests too, though I've sadly neglected it, and have resolved to pick it up again this year if I can.

I also enjoy fairy tale retellings, and anything Tolkien (including his own calligraphy!). I have the Sigurd and Gudrun book but have not yet read it, so will be interested to see what you make of it.

Jan 17, 2012, 7:08pm Top

Welcome Genny, and thank you for coming! Calligraphy is so much fun, and I am enjoying it tremedously, especially Uncial script. It is very thereapeutic, and the product is so beautiful. I hope that you come again to see my thoughts on several of my future reads, and I look forward to hearing about yours, too.

I have been extremely quiet in my thread lately, and that is unfortunately because of the fell beast, School. I think that I will be having more time to read in the next couple of weeks, so I am planning on chugging through my to-read list as much as I can. The Book Thief is still looking at me accusedly, and I know that I must stop neglecting it.

Jan 18, 2012, 10:55am Top

Mmm, I love uncial.

Jan 23, 2012, 6:35pm Top

I just finished The Book Thief. Very rarely have I given a few tears for a book. Even rarer have I outright sobbed. I was sobbing by the end. I need a bit to collect myself before I write my review.

Jan 23, 2012, 6:41pm Top

Wow, must have been good. Cool!

Jan 24, 2012, 2:21pm Top

>67 ErisofDiscord: I'm the same way and I had the same reaction to The Book Thief. I also shed a few tears over John Green's The Fault in Our Stars when I read it last week. I look forward to your thoughts on Zusak. :)

Jan 24, 2012, 2:28pm Top

I was in a cafe when I finished reading The Book Thief. Was embarrassed at finding myself sobbing away in the corner!

Jan 24, 2012, 2:59pm Top

67: I cried my eyes out too!

Jan 24, 2012, 6:56pm Top

I also just finished The Hobbit today! Since I began it last year and made a good way through it before 2012, I am not counting it as a whole book, but rather as .5 of one. I will be doing a review of it hopefully, right after I get my thoughts organized about the complexities of The Book Thief. And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who was crying about that book!

Jan 25, 2012, 12:09pm Top

I recently read The Book Thief after avoiding it for a couple of years because of the hype around it. Very glad I finished it in bed at 3am without company - although it did mean waiting half an hour to compose myself before trying to sleep......and a rather damp pillow.

Jan 27, 2012, 4:28pm Top

I haven't managed The Book Thief yet, but one of these days I'll get to it. I've heard it's quite the rollercoaster ride of emotions. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 6:33pm Top

3. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

I heard someone say in another review that their memories of The Book Thief will be in images. That is my lasting impression, too. I see a girl snatching a book from a bonfire, a fistfighter boxing with Hitler inside his mind, a silver eyed man giving an elderly Jew bread - I have never seen any of these things in life, but the words of The Book Thief has painted them into my mind.

All of The Book Thief's plots and subplots are too complicated and numerous to faithfully describe in a paragraph, but the main gist of the story is about a girl named Liesel Meminger, who was given up for adoption by her Communist sympathetic mother and sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, a German couple who care for her in their unique styles. In Nazi Germany, reading books that are not Mein Kampf is strictly discouraged, but Liesel learns to read and the books that she steals affect everyone around her. Especially Max, the Jew that her parents are hiding in their basement.

The writing style is beautiful, and although certain scenes are not what we would call "action-packed" they change your emotions and your impressions of the characters. They all grow before your eyes, and you overlook none of the characters, even though some of them might not play a huge role.

Death was everywhere during World War II and the Holocaust, so it is only fitting that The Book Thief is narrated by Death. But this is a book about more than just death. It's about books, trees made of words, the people that give out the words, and their effect on an entire people. Hitler used those words on his people, and it soured their minds, but Liesel Meminger brought words to heal and to bring life. She brought them to a Jewish fistfighter, to a mother who lost a son in Stalingrad, to a boy who wanted to outrun Hitler just like his hero, Jesse Owens, and to an accordion player who played his music for cigarettes. Liesel read books for the people left behind by Hitler.

This book will make you cry. I guarantee it. I do not cry over books, usually because I am constantly aware of the fact that the characters I am reading about are purely fictional. But even though the characters in The Book Thief are fictional, they are based in reality, and the emotions and experiences that the characters experienced were all too real. I weep for the pain and the beauty of The Book Thief.

Jan 28, 2012, 6:29pm Top

Wonderful reviews. I've got you starred :)

Jan 28, 2012, 6:33pm Top

Thank you so much, Pam! I'm glad you enjoy them.

Jan 29, 2012, 2:29pm Top

For my next book, I am reading Twilight. Yes, that Twilight. Why? Because I only made it 3/4 of the way the last time I tried reading it, and I was only skimming through it, not actually reading it. So now I plan to actually read it, along with the other three books. I've been knocking Twilight so often, that I suppose that I should actually read them in order to better point out the problems.


Sigh. It's tough, though, it's tough. I'm 43 pages in, and Bella's looks have only been described as being "ivory-skinned* and "slender." Erm, what color are her eyes, does she have any imperfections, anything distinguishing?

And how many times do I need to hear about how bloody gorgeous the Cullens are, how bloody graceful, perfect, and flawless they are? Okay. I get it, Ms. Meyer - they're good looking and you're having a fantasy about Edward. Do I need to hear for the twentieth time how good Edward looks, and how he looks like he just came back from shooting a hair gel commercial? That was actually in the book.

Ugh. *bangs head on table* Save me.

Jan 29, 2012, 2:43pm Top

I knew there was a reason I never read that book :)

Jan 29, 2012, 3:11pm Top

Oh, trust me, there are a lot of good reasons. *weeps and turns another page*

Jan 29, 2012, 3:26pm Top

Don't do it. Just..........don't do it!

Jan 29, 2012, 3:43pm Top

I must! For the sake of the teenage groups on LibraryThing that I belong to, so I may engage in a rational discussion of the book with them. But the adjectives... the adjectives are getting to me! How many cheesy, one word adjectives can Ms. Meyer use to describe what Edward looks like! And why is Bella so popular at her school? She mumbles, is clumsy, has no personality, does nothing to actively interact with her other classmates, and yet she's the most popular girl at school!

I am sorry for bludgeoning this book over everyone's head, but for some reason it is still popular among the teens and kids that I know. For crying out loud, an eleven-year-old girl that I used to babysit is starting the series!

It's getting to me. I'm starting to crack. But I must be strong! For the fate of teenagers everywhere, I must press on!

Jan 29, 2012, 3:52pm Top

So that I don't drive my entire audience away from my thread (come back, come back!) I will try not to talk about Twilight too much. I'll save that for my scathing review. I am also reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, which is so refreshing after the childish prose of Meyer. Solzhenitsyn is an amazing writer with an interesting life story, and this book has been on my to-read list for a long time.

Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 4:59pm Top

LoL!!! You are doing what I only dream of accomplishing: reading the fearful Twilight series.

**cringes and hopes you brain does turn to jelly**

ps--Solzhenitsyn might be an antidote so you'll be safe.

Jan 29, 2012, 5:14pm Top

Hey, I read it, and I've read worse (I'm looking at you, Dan Brown).

Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 5:22pm Top

Cynara! You read Dan Brown and lived?!? I tried three times to read The Da Vinci Code but could never push past the first page.

Which I think says something about me, rather than Dan who I am sure writes a good, fun, light, fast-paced read.

edited because Dan writes 'a good, fun, light, fast-paced read', and IS NOT a 'good, fun, light, fast-paced read'

Jan 29, 2012, 5:24pm Top

Perhaps you need to read a page of the dreaded T, and a page of something highbrow to cleanse your palate in order to make it through.

I found myself restructuring sentences and flicking through the thesaurus in my head to work out how to phrase things better when I tried them. Of course, I'm not a writer, and don't have much idea of plot or character but I think I could at least put together a balanced sentence or two if I put my mind to it.

Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 5:27pm Top

PamFamilyLibrary - Nope, you're not the only one. From what I've heard, Stephen King, Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco, and numerous other acclaimed writers didn't like it. King called it "intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese." Stephen Fry derided it as "complete loose stool-water." Be gone revolting mental image!

Lunacat - I am doing that! I am actually taking a break from Twilight right now, and am playing around with the idea of a "memory palace" which I heard about from the TV series "Sherlock." It's fascinating and mentally stimulating.

Jan 29, 2012, 5:31pm Top

OMG, my side's hurt. And I had no idea Stephen Fry could be... well, so funny.

I love your thread, EoD :)

Jan 29, 2012, 5:51pm Top

Thank you so much, Pam, I am very flattered! *dances* Yes, Stephen Fry can be quite the charmer sometimes - I saw him in Sherlock Holmes 2 playing Holme's brother, Mycroft, (a fun action film, by the way, but the Holmes is completely unrelated to the Canon; I prefer Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch's interpretation of the Great Detective), and there were certain mind boggling scenes. It was very amusing.

Edited: Feb 2, 2012, 2:33pm Top

My Break Up Letter to Twilight

Dear Twilight,

We're just not working out. I was going to see this relationship through with you, if just to warn all my friends about you, but let's face it - you're just not worth it. I've had enough of playing around with you.

The truth is, dear Twilight, that I've been cheating on you. I'm sorry I wasn't more faithful, but if you had seen how attractive The Fellowship of the Ring looked after a night of hearing about "Edward's toned arms" then I think you would commit adultery, too.

We're done. I'm never going back to you. I don't like your friends, either, so please tell New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn that I'm never going out with them.

Adieu, Twilight. Your things are packed and it's back to the library with you tomorrow. We will never meet again, and if you come trying to sneak back into my house again, Harry Potter will show you how sorry you'll be.

So, Twilight... go rot.


Edited: Feb 2, 2012, 2:42pm Top

I haven't tried Twilight yet, but I LOVE your break up letter :-)

Feb 2, 2012, 2:40pm Top

#91 -- LOL!

Feb 2, 2012, 4:05pm Top

>91 ErisofDiscord: - Priceless!!! LOL

Feb 2, 2012, 4:06pm Top

Perfect, and good choice. I got through Twilight but simply could not face more than a third of New Moon. They're really not worth it!

Feb 2, 2012, 6:34pm Top

Thank you all for reading it! I do not have a boyfriend, nor do I care to have one at my age, so I am usually treating my books like they're romantic relationships. :P

Well, right now, I am in love with The Fellowship of the Ring. I cannot believe that I ever thought J.R.R. Tolkien was a boring writer, or too tedious to read. I have a beautiful 2002 special edition copy of The Fellowship of the Ring, with illustrations by Alan Lee, an amazing illustrator. I am loving all the extra information and eloquent words that one cannot get from the movies.

I am planning on reading all three books in The Lord of the Rings, and then afterwards I am going to have an Extended-Edition LOTR movie marathon!

Feb 2, 2012, 10:52pm Top

Omg, you haven't ever read LOTR?!!? A much more worthy suitor than Twilight, which I never plan to read.

Feb 2, 2012, 10:58pm Top

Yep, I've never read them. I didn't appreciate Tolkien much when I was younger, although I adored the LOTR movies. I remember thinking that he was too painstaking a writer and put too much detail into his books (I've always had my idiotic moments). But now I have discovered them, and I am overjoyed at his writing and the stories he created! I am so happy to be reading them, and I don't ever intend to devote any more of my attention to Twilight. Blah.

Feb 2, 2012, 11:19pm Top

I think Tolkien is one of those authors that you have to grow in to. I remember my parents giving me a copy of The Hobbit when I was about nine. I had heard bits of it (Dad had the audio version) and seen the cartoon movie, so I wanted to read it . . . but I just couldn't get through it. I remember reading just the chapter with Gollum and the riddles several times, but I couldn't manage to get through the whole thing for at least a few years -- and I was well into my teens before I was ready to tackle LotR.

Feb 2, 2012, 11:24pm Top

The Hobbit came easily to me around age 7 or 8, but I couldn't get into the LOTR books. I think I was in college before attempting them again. Still haven't made it through!

Edited: Feb 2, 2012, 11:32pm Top

Hi Eris, just skimming through threads and came across your Twilight rant. Literally, laugh out loud funny! Thanks for that. I suffered through all four books... somehow. I wish I would have had the courage to call off the relationship like you did. Starred.

Edited: Feb 3, 2012, 12:00am Top

JechtShot - You made it through all four books? Goodness! You are commended for your bravery. :)

And on a completely different matter, I have some news about Maggie Stiefvater (a YA author of Shiver, Ballad, and The Scorpio Races among others). I am a HUGE Maggie fan, as I think she is poetic, insightful, and emotionally moving in her writing, especially with her latest published book The Scorpio Races. I just wanted to let everyone that is interested know that she has announced what her new book will be today!

It is called "The Raven Boys" and she has the cover and description of the book at her blog: http://maggiestiefvater.blogspot.com/2012/02/and-my-next-project-is.html#idc-con... The book is linked to Welsh mythology and ravens. I. Love. Ravens. So naturally I am psyched for this book!

Feb 3, 2012, 9:19am Top

Ha, your letter to Twilight is funny! I've read all of them too. I thought the first three were eh, but the fourth one was a waste of paper. I couldn't believe she took the series in such a weird direction...

I have kind of mixed feelings about Maggie Stiefvater too, based solely on her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. For me Linger was promising, Shiver was the best and the end of Forever was like, "What, that's it?!". So now I am apprehensive about her, though I've been told Ballad is good. But it sounds like her next book is right up your alley so I will look forward to your thoughts on it before I add it to the wishlist. :)

Feb 3, 2012, 11:45am Top

I am not huge about her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, as I've never been a big werewolf person (except for Lupin!), although I do like Cole and Isabel. However, Ballad is wonderful, much better than Lament, and The Scorpio Races is an incredible (albeit slow paced) read.

Feb 3, 2012, 1:14pm Top

Yay! I was worried about you, Eris, so I read you letter with great joy. I know you will miss your buddy, but I'm sure the mountains of Sodor will be much better for you.

Feb 3, 2012, 5:45pm Top

Hehe. Miss Twilight? LOTR is the only man in my life, right now. It has everything - honor, epic fights, magic, quests, humor, interesting characters, and music!

Feb 3, 2012, 5:51pm Top

yes. dwarves can boogie.

Feb 3, 2012, 5:59pm Top

And elves can do the hamster dance.

Feb 4, 2012, 6:21am Top

So glad you are enjoying the richness and depth of Tolkien's writing! I haven't read Twilight so can't comment from experience on the difference between them, but I adore Tolkien, and can share your enthusiasm for your new-love (and the extended DVDs are great too). And your break up letter was very funny!

Feb 4, 2012, 8:05am Top

Loved the letter to Twilight!

Thanks for the info about Stiefvater's new series. It does sound promising though what I would love most of all is a follow up to Ballad and Lament.

Feb 4, 2012, 12:18pm Top

Genny - Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for stopping by. Your reading is going admirably, by the way - I've been haunting your thread, but have a lack of anything intelligent to say, so all I can do is congratulate you on your progress.

Soupdragon - She is currently working on a sequel to her faerie novels! It will be called "Requiem" and the first two words are "Luke" and "Dillon." That's all she'll say. :)

Feb 4, 2012, 12:31pm Top

111: Ooh, Citing!! Thank you so much for that, Eris!

Feb 4, 2012, 2:32pm Top

Love the break up letter.. AND your profile..
it made me smile.

Feb 5, 2012, 1:03pm Top

Thank you so much mckait! I am glad that I can give all the smiles I can. :D

As far as my reading adventures go, I have come to the realization that I jump around books a lot. I have about ten books that I am currently reading, and I feel guilty for not committing to only one of them. Is it normal for a book reader to jump around as this great speed?

Edited: Feb 5, 2012, 1:15pm Top

Eris, I can't juggLe ten, but I often have a couple on the go. Right now I am failing to commit to Nicholas Nickleby and reading all sorts of other things.

Sorry you didn't like Twilight. I read them before they became massively super-famous in the UK (or should I say famous among the middle-aged-lady demographic, which I realise is probably a few years behind the target audience demographic) and thought they were fun, although I never did like the way that Bella was always "snarfing" food. Not the fact that she was eating, but that way of describing it. For some reason the word stuck with me and annoyed me. One of my friends is a major twi-hard, so we have been to all the films as well :-)

Feb 5, 2012, 1:46pm Top

I'm currently juggling The Song of Achilles and Why Do Dogs Like Balls?, now that The Way We Fall is out of the way.

Feb 5, 2012, 2:19pm Top

Sigh. I should really start committing to one relationship, er, I mean, one book.

I'll try and finish The Old Man and the Sea first - it's short, makes my teacher happy, and I've never read anything by Hemingway, so it's about time.

Oh, and by the way: GO PATRIOTS!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 5, 2012, 4:07pm Top

I always have multiple books on the go, though usually not as many as ten. There's generally one work of fiction (though I may add in a second if the main one is particularly heavy), and unlimited non-fiction. I think I'm currently reading four books actively--as in, I've actually made progress within the past week or so--and there are a bunch of others that I've started and put down, but may end up finishing eventually.

Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 12:27am Top

To quote the great Alton Brown, "Organization will set you free." I need to be organize my life, despite my natural inclinations to do the opposite, and I will start by organizing what I've read and am reading.

Four Books Read in January (a rather small list, but I'll bring it up nonetheless):

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Finished The Hobbit and gave up on reading Twilight

Books That I Am Actively Reading in February:

Bleak House, by Charles Dickens
The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien
On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

If I can get all of those books done this month, I will be SO pleased with myself. *eyes the 800+ pages of Bleak House* We'll see if that happens.

Feb 8, 2012, 5:34am Top

There are plenty of people in this group who read multiple books at the same time. I do so more now than I used to - I tend to have one fiction, one non-fiction plus one audiobook and one e-book on the go at least, as well as a few others that I was actively reading but have slipped back a bit (usually the non-fiction ones which I find it harder to stick at).

Feb 8, 2012, 9:12am Top

This thread is hilarious.

That is all. :D

Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 11:26am Top

This thread is hilarious. LOL The letter to Twilight made me snarf :)~

Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 7:01pm Top

Thank you Faith and Kittenfish for stopping by and commenting! Snarf... that's a word I should use more often - it has such a guttural and vulgar sound to it. Exquisite.

An Extremely Long Ramble On Some Newly Acquired Books of Mine (I get very excited about these sorts of things, so bear with me.)

Earlier this afternoon I returned from one of my favored habitats, the public library, with a divine haul of used books that are all mine, mine, mine! What is wonderful is that my library has a used book sale that is used to help fund some of the programs that the library puts on; people donate their old books to the library, and the library, in turn, sells the unwanted books at an extremely cheap price. I volunteer at this book sale, as a part of my grand scheme of keeping away boredom, and I am allowed first dibs on the books that I put out.

Usually I find a couple of books that I like or nothing at all, but today... today was different. The boxes that I went through had Eris written all over them, and I found the most perfect books. Here they are:

Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength! The entire Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis! I keep checking these books out from the library, but I never have enough time to finish them! Now I do! And I just included an exclamation point at the end of every sentence in this paragraph! Did you notice? (Bugger, now I ruined it with that question mark.)

The Princess Bride - I borrowed this book from my aunt when I was about eleven and I loved it. Now I have my own copy. :)

Murder in the Links, The Labors of Hercules, A Murder in Mesopotamia, and And Then There Were None - Can't go wrong with Agatha Christie.

Hard Times - I am becoming obsessed with Charles Dickens, thanks to one of my current reads, Bleak House. I just had to add another Dickens book to my little collection.

And I also got a couple of kitten-squishing tomes, one about literature and the other a collection of poetry. I can never have enough of either.

I am overjoyed.

Feb 9, 2012, 4:27am Top

Wow, fantastic haul Eris, well done!

Feb 9, 2012, 8:28am Top

Ooh, great books! Someone with similar taste to yours must have donated them.

Feb 9, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Library book sales can be deadly. Glad you found such an awesome haul, Eris!

Feb 9, 2012, 6:24pm Top

Fantastic haul! I wish I could find a used copy of The Princess Bride--I've never read it.

And now I've gone to PaperBackSwap, and they have copies, so I've ordered it!! A BB indeed, you've forced me to acquire another book, Eris.

Feb 9, 2012, 6:53pm Top

What a great haul! Well done on finding the Lewis trilogy. I read those years back, but I don't think I have my own copies (I haven't catalogued that bit of my library yet, so not sure).

Feb 10, 2012, 7:31am Top


Forced?? Honestly, physically FORCED?? Wow. ;)

Feb 10, 2012, 11:06am Top

Yup, Jenny, she twisted my arm up behind my back and whispered, "Do it or else!"

Feb 10, 2012, 12:05pm Top

And I threw in a bit of Parseltongue and head spinning, just to encourage her even more. *wiggles fingers and cackles*

Feb 10, 2012, 4:28pm Top

Whatever you did, Eris, it'll be worth it - The Princess Bride is completely excellent!

Edited: Feb 16, 2012, 4:07pm Top

I'm sorry that I have hardly done any reading! I stare at my four books read and I feel a tiny bit embarrassed about the small amount. Sigh. In my defense, schoolwork and familial obligations have kept me very busy (and the internet, I'm sad to say). *bangs head on keyboard* I'm pathetic. *fake sobs*

In Which I Type to Myself Like a Complete Lunatic (feel free to skip - I'm just trying to get motivated)

Eris, finish a book for crying out loud! Just pick a book and stop jumping around to other ones! Pick one right now and read only it until you are done. That's how you've always finished your books and that's how you're going to do it now.

If you won't listen to me, Eris, then maybe you'll listen to this (NSFW): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdDg87f0PpA


New Goal

Get a book done and a review ready in two days. Since I'm posting this on the internet for everyone to see, this is a more binding obligation.

I cannot ignore the voices any longer. I'm turning the computer off and I am going to go read.

Feb 16, 2012, 8:59am Top

..well... DID YOU?

Feb 16, 2012, 12:03pm Top

I went from 60 to 290 pages in Pretties! I hope to have it done today and a review either today or tomorrow.

Pretties is... different from Uglies definitely, and it's not as action packed, but it is interesting to see Tally's transition as a dumb Pretty to a cured Pretty. There are a couple of instances where I want to bash Tally over the head for her constant feelings of superiority over the "Rusties" (aka, us), but I have to remember that this is a story set in the future and that is just Tally's perception as she's been taught.

All in all I'm enjoying it, but I'll have to wait to see how the climax pans out.

Feb 16, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Keep up the good work!

Feb 16, 2012, 4:34pm Top

Thank you Roni!

Pretties is finished, and I am marshalling my thoughts, getting ready to write a review on the book. I hope to have it out either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Edited: Feb 18, 2012, 1:17pm Top

5. Pretties, by Scott Westerfeld

At the end of Uglies a cure for the dangerous brain dysfunctions of Pretties has been found by the rebel Smokies, but they have no one to test the cure on. Tally, broken-hearted at how she accidentally betrayed the Smokies, volunteers to become a Pretty so that the cure could be tested. She goes back to the Pretty society that she had left behind and subjects herself to the surgery, allowing doctors to change her brain and her body into a Pretty.

After the surgery, Tally forgets the Smokies, her mission, and why she became a Pretty. All that matters to her now is getting invited to parties, hanging out with her Pretty friends, ignoring her Ugly past, and speaking an obnoxious Valley Girl-esque vernacular. But then a person from her past comes back into her life and reminds Tally of her mission and the problems in her brain. She must fight to get her brain back and to leave the Pretty society that she just joined, or remain under the demonic control of the Specials.

Once I got going, I flew through this book, and Westerfeld's style of writing is, as usual, clear and descriptive without being too flowery. I liked how we got to see more of the surroundings around the Pretty city and Tally's struggle with herself was well written. Another character that I enjoyed watching was Shay, Tally's sometimes best friend who is slowly self destructing because of her veiled hatred for Tally and her desire for revenge.

There were times when I felt that the author's agenda slipped in a little bit, such as bashing the burning of oil and trees or saying that "Rusty" gods were just "invisible superheroes," but I'm hoping that this was only a part of Tally's view of history, and not the author's personal viewpoints. These tidbits were in tiny doses, however, so it was not enough for me to ditch the book, although they did make me pause for a moment.

To sum the book up, I enjoyed it, and I look forward to reading the third, Specials, where Tally becomes a cold, calculating, and superhuman Special. I am liking the full circle that is happening as Tally is going from Ugly to Pretty and finally to Special. It is giving me the full spectrum of the Uglies world, and seeing Tally in each incarnation is fun to read.

Feb 17, 2012, 5:40pm Top

I am now reading The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making; has anyone read it? It is said to be comparable to The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, and so far I am enjoying it, once I got past the first chapter.

Feb 17, 2012, 5:41pm Top

I've had that one on my TBR list for ages, and even checked it out from the library once, but I didn't get around to reading it in the first loan period and then someone else had a hold on it so I couldn't renew :(. One of these days....

Feb 17, 2012, 8:04pm Top

I read it and liked it, but I didn't love it the way some people did.

Feb 18, 2012, 10:06am Top

Well done on getting that book read and reviewed! Talking to yourself sternly out loud on LT obviously does the trick! I haven't read any of the Uglies/Pretties books, but I keep coming across them on the threads here - likewise a few mentions of the Girl who circumnavigated, which seems to have been loved by quite a few...

Feb 18, 2012, 1:28pm Top

Thank you Foggi, Zoe, and Genny for coming by! I'm so happy to hear from you all! :D I've also heard a lot of people who adored The Girl Who Circumnavigated... and so far I am really enjoying it. It will probably not go down as one of my absolute favorite books (that honor belongs to The Chronicles of Narnia), but I am having fun with the adult jokes about bureaucracy and the main character, September, is well done.

Hopefully I will have this book done in a couple of days, although it is a bit wordy and takes a bit of extra time for me to digest.

Feb 20, 2012, 11:34am Top

Like Foggi, I liked it but didn't love it. There is a scene in the latter part of the book that I have issues with, and while I thought it very clever, I was not pulled into the world.

Feb 20, 2012, 7:10pm Top

I just finished the book, and I didn't mind it at all. I'm not hugely crazy about it, but I thought it was nice to read, and like Roni said, it was very witty.

Now that I'm finished, I have a question, Roni - what scene in the book did you have an issue with?

Feb 20, 2012, 7:18pm Top

When she is at the building with the machinery, I think the goal of her initial quest, what she had to decide to get back to a safe place. Is that enough to identify it?

Feb 20, 2012, 7:27pm Top

I'll PM you, so as to keep this a spoiler free thread. I think I know what you're talking about, but I'm not entirely sure.

Edited: Feb 21, 2012, 11:00pm Top

6. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente

The plot, simply put, involves a girl named September, and her adventures in Fairyland, where she must find a magical talisman and somehow restore order to a country ruled by a malevolent child dictator.

It took about a chapter for me to adjust to the tone of the book, which is very prim and wordy. However, once I did I started to enjoy this book very much, as it was sufficiently weird and clever enough to make my fairy tale loving heart happy. The characters were fleshed out and deep, and I particularly liked A-through-L, the encyclopedic and gentlemanly Wyvern who believed that his father is a library. The protagonist and heroine of the story, September, was delightful and she had a lot of personality without being overbearing.

The true test will be if I ever will bother enough to check this out from the library to read it again. I don't think that I will, but when the sequel comes out, I will definitely pick it up.

Feb 21, 2012, 11:13pm Top

Interesting.... I'll keep an eye out for it.

Feb 21, 2012, 11:27pm Top

I liked tGwCFiaSohOM quite a lot. It's got that rare charm about it that makes up for any lack of depth. I'm curious what scene you guys are discussing... there is only one I can think of that would be questionable, and even that...

Feb 21, 2012, 11:38pm Top

I also enjoyed TGW.. and I can't figure out what scene there could be issue with either. sailing naked? What?!?!?

Feb 21, 2012, 11:46pm Top

SPOILERS! It was when September had to punch Saturday's lights out at the end in order to gain a wish to make everyone all right again. Roni was bothered by the way that Saturday was treated by September, although I do think that September did it out of desperation, as it was the only way to save everyone.

Edited: Feb 21, 2012, 11:48pm Top

Yeah, she had to make him want to really fight her, or it wouldn't work. That wasn't the scene I was thinking of-- the idea of the poor soap golem was more distressing to me.

Feb 21, 2012, 11:54pm Top

She was a very sad character. I hope something good happens for her in the next book. Who knows? Maybe the Marquess will come back, but after much plot, she will be forced to spend the rest of her years being the friend of the soap golem that she created!

Feb 22, 2012, 12:08am Top

Now I am moving on to Winnie the Pooh, which is surprisingly a book I have never read as a child, although I have read Now We Are Six. I wish I had read all the stories about Winnie and his friends when I was younger, because it is so charming! Eeyore is priceless. :)

Feb 22, 2012, 8:44am Top

Glad you liked Pretties... without giving any spoilers away for others who might want to read it, the ending of that one frustrated me to the point where I haven't bothered with the next book. It pretty much negated the entire book and brought us back to square one... grrrr... so what was the point?!?!

Feb 22, 2012, 12:46pm Top

I think the point was for Tally to move from being Pretty to Special. Although, I have to admit - it did kind of have the same ending as the first book!

Feb 22, 2012, 2:06pm Top

>156 dk_phoenix:/157 That was the thing that drove me crazy about all three books. The sense that you started over from scratch with each one and were getting the same plot with slightly different details. Uglies was the best for me and I just got increasingly dissatisfied. Hopefully you like Specials more than I did, Eris.

Feb 25, 2012, 12:46am Top

I finished Winnie-the-Pooh and a review is forthcoming, hopefully by Sunday. For now I will just say that I am... charmed. I am charmed and enchanted by Pooh and his friends, and I can't believe that I never read these books before. I will be starting the next Pooh book tonight, The House at Pooh Corner, and the copy that I will be reading from is one that was given to my mother by her grandmother. It was a loved book by my mom, who is still very fond of all of the Pooh stories. I can't wait to be reading the same book that my mom read. :)

Edited: Feb 27, 2012, 4:52pm Top

I just read I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak, the same guy who wrote The Book Thief. Wow. That was an amazingly different book. Zusak is definitely one of the more creative YA writers out there. Has anyone read I Am the Messenger?

Feb 27, 2012, 8:34pm Top

I absolutely love I am the Messenger! And just Markus Zusak, really. He's writing a new book called Bridge of Clay at the moment, but until that comes out, I highly recommend his Underdog books: Getting the Girl and Fighting Ruben Wolfe. I didn't think The Underdog was available in the US but I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday and I saw an omnibus copy of all three! So that's something to look out for.

Short answer: I have indeed read I am the Messenger, I am a huge fan, and I am glad to see you liked it too!

Feb 28, 2012, 8:06pm Top

Haven't read I am the Messenger but I'm intrigued.

Edited: Feb 28, 2012, 8:40pm Top

8. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak

I don't know how many music videos and novels have been made about "random acts of kindness" or how many times that phrase has been bandied about by people. You hear it so often that it starts to lose meaning, and so "random acts of kindness" has become almost a cliche. I Am the Messenger brings it back with a freshness and new perspective that intrigues and educates the reader. I don't like the feel-good music videos about doing good deeds for others (sometimes I'm rotten like that), but I do like this book, and I am happy that the subject of doing good things for others is not treated in a gushy, touchy-feely manner, but as a moral obligation.

The main character of this novel is Ed Kennedy, a nineteen-year-old guy who isn't really quite sure what he is going to do with his life. He's drifting along, working as an underage cabbie, in love with his best friend, playing cards with his buddies, and taking care of his beloved smelly dog, the Doorman. Life is pretty pathetic until Ed stops a bank robbery. And then the aces start to arrive in the mail. Suddenly, thanks to messages on the mysterious playing cards, Ed is helping people he never met, and learning more about himself. As he goes through each task, the only question that seems to be unanswered is who is sending the aces?

It's not a life changing book for me, and it didn't emotionally affect me like Zusak's other book, The Book Thief, but it made me think and muse about how much an act of kindness can help a person's life. I enjoyed the characters and how different they all were from each other, and the progress of Ed as a protagonist throughout the book. The descriptions, metaphors, and sentences were elegant and rich, and I liked how there were no cliche lines in this novel. The twist ending was particularly enjoyable for me - Zusak knows how to stretch creativity to its limits.

Feb 28, 2012, 8:49pm Top

Natalie: Thank you for commenting and talking about Markus Zusak's books! I am definitely looking forward to his next book "Bridge of Clay," because knowing him, it will be artful.

Pam: It's a really good book and I heartily recommend it. It always makes me so happy to come across a good YA novel, and this book is one of those. What I really like about Zusak, is that the impression I get from him is not that he's publishing a book so that he can get acclaim, money, or fans - he writes a book because he honestly enjoys writing. If you do read I Am the Messenger, let me know what you think!

Edited: Mar 3, 2012, 4:24pm Top

In Which I find EVERYTHING I've ever wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, God, for the donated book section of libraries. And thank you, Mom, for getting me a bigger bookshelf. I love you. And thank you, my lovely LT'ers for reading this thread. You now have the option of reading another Eris-going-nuts-about-her-new-books. Remember that last haul I had? It. Is. Nothing. When I saw these books come in to the library, I started squealing. Literally. I was squealing.

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Solzhenitsyn (I won't have to keep checking it out from the library anymore - hooray!)

War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens (I already have a copy of this book, but the print is so tiny! Plus it doesn't have pretty pictures like this one.)

Great Expectations, by Dickens (my old copy of this book had been given away stupidly by me, so I am so happy to have an even prettier copy of it back in my possession. And speaking of possession...)

The Possessed, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (I love you, Fyodor.)

The Histories by Herodotus

Faust, by Goethe (I've read The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, by my love, Christopher Marlowe, but I've never read this version of the tale. Should be interesting.

The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells, all in one lovely volume. (A fun story: when The War of the Worlds was broadcast as part of a show on the radio, my grandma and her family actually believed that the Martians were attacking, the show sounded so realistic. So they ran for the hills!)

Tales of Mystery and Imagination, by Edgar Allan Poe (I have all of his poems and stories, but this book was irrestible! I am a sucker for groutesque illustrations of people being tortured.)

The Divine Comedy, by Dante (A must.)

Gulliver Travels, by Jonathan Swift (I tried reading this when I was about ten and I was dissapointed when it was more complicated than the cartoon that I had watched on television. Hopefully I'll have more luck with the book a second time around.)

Metamorphoses, by Ovid

So, to sum everything up... I'm in love.

Mar 3, 2012, 1:20am Top

Wow, what a haul!! Talk about jealous!

Mar 3, 2012, 1:25am Top

Thank you, Roni! As much as I love to complain about the area that I live in, I am lucky enough to have one of the most popular libraries in the whole city, a library where people are happy enough to drop the most incredible donated books at. It's amazing!

Mar 3, 2012, 2:00am Top

I am smiling at your squealing. Congrats on the book haul!

Mar 3, 2012, 4:08pm Top

My goodness, what a haul!

Mar 4, 2012, 4:42am Top

Wow, you have some great books there, enjoy!

Mar 4, 2012, 12:15pm Top

You must live a good and saintly life to get a haul like that.

Mar 4, 2012, 4:42pm Top

great haul!
With those classics added we share more books now ;-)

Mar 4, 2012, 5:45pm Top

Hi SugarCreekRanch, drneutron, Dee, Pam, and FAMeulstee - thank you so much for commenting (173 posts - I never imagined this thread would have that many comments *big grin*).

SugarCreekRanch - It used to be that I got strange looks whenever I, er, expressed my happiness about coming across an amazing book in the used books section of the library. Now the librarians are getting used to my operatic shrieking every time I unload a box of books.

Thank you, Dr. Neutron! I haven't been commenting on your thread lately, but I have been reading through it. I just got I am Not a Serial Killer from the library, and I hope to start reading it soon. Between it and Crime and Punishment, I should have a lot of fun with dysfunctional personalities!

Dee - Thanks so much, and I will definitely enjoy all my beautiful books. Of course, all the books I am currently reading will get shoved aside once I get my grimy paws on The Snow Child! Your review has made me more impatient to read it.

Pam - That's because I am a saint. I just haven't been canonized yet. ;)

FAMeulstee - Classics are so wonderful, and I'm happy to share more books with you. :D By the way, I noticed you just added a bunch of Asterix comics to your library. I love those comics so much! I can't believe that they're not more popular here in the U.S.

Mar 4, 2012, 7:02pm Top

LOL!! You seem like a saint! I love your thread :)

Mar 4, 2012, 9:27pm Top

Hey, no prob! :)

Mar 5, 2012, 2:56pm Top

I am gradually adding books that left my house in 2005, amongst them those Asterix comics, as they fell apart. Recently I bought a box with almost all Asterix adventures, published in 6 bands. As I want to rate each one on its own, I use the unowned books for that purpose.


Mar 5, 2012, 3:00pm Top

Playing catch-up! I see you finished I Am the Messenger. I really liked that book. Between it and The Night Thief it cemented my love of Markus Zusak. I need to check out his other books you mentioned.

Mar 5, 2012, 3:16pm Top

She is a saint! And she's so much fun!

Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 11:54pm Top

I'm sorry I haven't commented in a few days. Things in my life have been rocketing between extremely happy and extremely sad. On the happy side of things, my mom and I have found a church that is exactly what we think a Catholic church should be, so we are overjoyed about finding a place of worship that we feel at home in. But then a family friend, a wonderful man who was a Naval aviator that blogged under the name Neptunus Lex, died in a jet crash. It's been crushing for my family, let alone how horrible it is for his wife and three kids. :(

Despite this, when I'm not doing schoolwork or crying over Lex's blog, I have been trying to read. I got Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy from the library today, and am 40 pages into it. It is very enjoyable, and George Smiley is really starting to grow on me! I'm going to have to finish it quickly though, because I have moved to the front of the line for getting The Snow Child. I can't wait to read it.

Mar 9, 2012, 12:04am Top

So sorry about your friend, but glad you have found a home for worship.

Mar 9, 2012, 7:57am Top

Also so very sorry to hear about Lex. Thinking of you and his family.

Mar 9, 2012, 8:18am Top

My condolences for your loss, Eris.

Mar 9, 2012, 8:52am Top

{{virtual hugs}}

Mar 9, 2012, 12:12pm Top

Thanks Roni, Dee, Marie and Faith for stopping by and for your kind thoughts about Lex. It's going to be tough, especially for his family, but fortunately, the huge military and aviation community will be helping them out, never mind the hundreds of devoted readers of his blog. It's the emotional pain that I doubt anyone can fix.

I'm sorry if this depressing. It's just been weighing on my mind for these past two days, and it's nice to talk about it. Thank you for reading this and for caring.

Mar 9, 2012, 1:05pm Top

How horrible, Eris. I'm so sorry for all the people that loved your friend :(
It's good to hear that his family has a good support base. Community is very important.

Mar 13, 2012, 4:46pm Top

That is tough Eris, I am sorry for his family and all others involved...


Mar 16, 2012, 1:17pm Top

Thank you, Pam and Anita for your thoughts and hugs. Everyone here is wonderful for reading all these posts, and I am glad that you all were thinking of Lex. You can tell when someone has had a meaningful life by the amount of people that remember that person.

In my EPIC (albeit slowly paced) book adventures I have finished another book! Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was incredible, and I am still collecting my thoughts about it before I embark on a full review. I will say this - it is definitely not James Bond, and it is not action packed. It is thoughtful and deliberate, and it is my kind of book.

I am now very much looking forward to the film (trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aco15ScXCwA ). Admittedly, the only reason I got this book was so that I could understand and watch the movie (*cough cough* Benedict Cumberbatch *cough cough*), but now I can't wait to see the film because of the story's merit, not just because a certain actor is in it.

Mar 16, 2012, 2:20pm Top

Dude, Benedict Cumberbatch is enough reason to watch ANYTHING. :D

Mar 16, 2012, 6:45pm Top

^ agreed!!!

Mar 16, 2012, 9:59pm Top

I could watch Benedict Cumberbatch read the phone book, so you can only imagine the misty eyed look on my face when I saw this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmNt31Gwf4c


Mar 16, 2012, 11:40pm Top

Eris - hope your planning to work your way methodically through all those great books you picked up from the library sale as noted. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the thinking persons Bond/Bourne/Reacher etc. If you haven't already try The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Funeral in Berlin as I rate those even higher. Have a great weekend in Narnia.

Edited: Mar 24, 2012, 3:04pm Top

Thank you, Paul! I can't wait to read the books that I got from the library sale. I have to make my way through just a couple more library books that have to be returned soon (I just got The Snow Child, and I hope to finish Specials soon), but after that I am very excited to indulge my love of classics. And I will look into the books that you mentioned - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has given me an appetite for other spy novels that are more realistic to what real espionage is like.

I hope that everyone has a great week as well!

Mar 17, 2012, 1:17am Top

Ooh and I forgot to plug David Downing he has four books (soon to be five) about a spy in Nazi Germany which is cerebral, creepy and needless to say, great fun. Finished the first recently and have all the rest lined up to go.

Mar 17, 2012, 7:02pm Top

>190 ErisofDiscord: I've seen that video before. And I heart it so much. :)

Edited: Mar 26, 2012, 11:58am Top

9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John le Carre

I may not be old enough to remember the Cold War, but it is something that I've known about even when I was a young girl. My dad served in the military at the height of the Cold War, and although the Vietnam War was happening during the same time period, his work dealt almost entirely with the Soviets. Although he doesn't discuss his work very often, the small glimpses he has given me make me stand in awe of what he did. Thanks to him, I know a bit about the military actions during the Cold War, but the espionage of the Soviets and the Allies during that war is not a subject that I have studied in depth before. However, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy makes me want to!

George Smiley, a quiet and observant middle-aged intelligence agent, was forced to retire from the British Secret Intelligence Service (nicknamed the Circus), but he is asked to come out of retirement to investigate a matter of paramount importance that only his investigative abilities and knowledge of the people in the Circus can solve. There is a Soviet mole (what we would know in the United States as a sleeper agent) who has been giving information to the Soviets, while debilitating British operations. Smiley's job is to find the mole. The mole has been narrowed down to be one of four men who occupy the highest positions in British Intelligence. Each man has a code name - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier and Poor Man.

The plot is very complicated, there are quite a few characters to keep track of, and the beginning of the book launches you right into the middle of the action, with background information being supplied as you go along. There is also a lot of spy jargon that Le Carre invented for the book, which can be a little confusing to remember. I didn't have too much of a problem with it, however, and not knowing what a "pavement artist" was until after I had finished the book did not impede my understanding of the main storyline. Actually, despite the plot complications, I didn't have a lot of difficulty comprehending the book. Sometimes I had to reread a couple of paragraphs in order to figure out where I was in the book, but other than that I didn't have too many problems understanding what was going on.

The characters of TTSS are what makes the book, however. George Smiley is a shining example - reserved, thoughtful and intelligent, and the perfect spy. For a man who hardly says anything, you get a good gauge of his character throughout the book, a testament to Le Carre's writing. There's also Peter Guillam, Smiley's agent inside the Circus, whose relationship with Smiley is like a son's to a father's.

This book was a good introduction for me to the genre of spy novels and it leaves me wanting more. There is no fancy gadgetry, car chases, or James Bond-esque action adventures in this book - only mind games, and that is precisely what I am looking for.

Mar 24, 2012, 7:02pm Top

I am now reading The Snow Child and Moonwalking with Einstein, both of which I am enjoying. The Snow Child is written so lushly, and I can truly see the harsh, yet beautiful wilderness of Alaska. I am hoping that Jack and Mabel are not just imagining the snow child - I really want the little girl to be real.

Mar 26, 2012, 8:54am Top

195: Really nice review! I have not read a lot of spy novels, but I may have to start.

Mar 26, 2012, 2:48pm Top

Thank you so much, Marie! Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy does take a lot of patience, but it really pays off once you get into the story.

Mar 26, 2012, 5:52pm Top

Hi Eris - catching up after far too long. I've never read any John le Carré, really should one of these days. Must be especially interesting to read about that era when your father was involved in some way.

Oh, and I'm glad you've discovered the joys of Pooh, even if you missed them in childhood. Eeyore is wonderful - and Tigger too, and Wol Owl. Now that you have met these characters, you can start playing 'Spot the Eeyore' or 'Spot the Tigger' etc among your friends and family; I certainly know a few folk who are closely related, as well as a few motherly Kangas and excitable Roos too!

Mar 26, 2012, 6:28pm Top

I am so happy that you came by, Genny! And yes - it is funny how family members and friends resemble the Pooh characters. As soon as you mentioned it I was nodding to myself, saying, "Yep. I definitely know a Tigger. And an Eeyore. And an Owl, and a Pooh, and a..." The similarities are endless! It's a sign of a good story when you can see the characters in real life.

Oh, by the way, I know this doesn't mean anything, but... 200th POST BABY! WOOT WOOT!!!!!!! *throws confetti everywhere*

Mar 26, 2012, 6:49pm Top

Congratulations on passing the 200 mark! Now you can automatically continue your thread - if you should so wish!

Mar 26, 2012, 6:54pm Top

I'll wait for the 250 mark and then I'll start another thread. The reason I'm so excited is that I never expected that anyone would be interested in my book adventures, so to reach 200 posts is a big deal for me! Thank you everyone so much for reading and commenting! :D

Mar 26, 2012, 7:48pm Top

Hey, that's a great milestone, Eris. We're so glad you've part of the 75ers this year!

Mar 26, 2012, 9:08pm Top

Well, if you're going to read good books and say interesting things about them, of course we're going to be interested! :)

Mar 27, 2012, 12:39pm Top

> 195: There are a lot of books by John le Carre on our shelves, part of my husbands collection. After reading your review I might go and try one.

Mar 27, 2012, 11:07pm Top

Thank you Roni, Dr. Neutron, and Anita for coming by! It is real nice to hear from you all. ^_^

Roni - I'm so happy to be a part of the 75ers this year! I hope to get more reading done during the summer, when I won't have homework bogging me down. Hopefully that'll push me closer to the 75 goal.

Dr. Neutron (I know that isn't your real name but I think it sounds really cool!) - Thank you so much for having me, and for creating this group! I may not have gotten a huge amount of reading done, but this thread has encouraged me to write down my thoughts about books in an understandable manner, and that has helped my writing skills tremendously.

Anita - I hope you like le Carre! Like I said TTSS wasn't very action packed, but the strategies and characters that are in the book certainly make up for it. Let me know how you like his books!

Mar 27, 2012, 11:22pm Top

I also acquired a book today, one that cost my poor mother 40 dollars, but a book that she and I have agreed was worth every penny. That book is the Novum Testamentum! This book is the Latin translation of the New Testament, and it also has an English translation right beside it.

It is one of my life goals to learn Latin, an extremely beautiful and timeless language (it is most certainly NOT dead), and I hope that learning to read the Bible in Latin will help my understanding of it. I think that it's important to have at least a basic grounding in Latin, as that helps to comprehend even more languages, and to also have a better grasp of English.

Mar 27, 2012, 11:42pm Top

Good luck to you! Having a translation right at hand should help you pick it up quickly.

I taught myself a good chunk of Latin in college, using a prof's old Catholic-school workbooks. The conjugations and structure aren't as difficult as you'd think, especially if you've studied the Romance languages before, but for me the hard part was remembering the vocabulary. Some things are self-evident but then so much isn't! Latin doesn't exactly roll off the tongue either.

Mar 28, 2012, 1:19am Top

I studied Spanish for a year and Italian for one semester, so I'm not a stranger to Romance languages. I can understand about not remembering any of the vocabulary! I can barely remember any of my Spanish vocabulary, let alone Italian. Fortunately, the grammar rubbed off on me, so I hope that will help me in Latin. My pronunciation is probably going to be terrible, but I mostly just want to read books (such as The Aeneid or Metamorphoses) in the original Latin.

Mar 28, 2012, 8:43am Top

Good luck with the Latin-learning. When I was trying to teach myself years ago, I had a copy of the Vulgate translation of the Bible, and used to come home from church after hearing the gospel in English, and then look up the Latin for that same passage. It was a good way to build up familiarity with the vocab and phrases. However, I think the kind of Latin used in the Bible translation is not as complex as classical Latin used eg by Vergil, so I never got to the stage of being able to read classical authors. But you go for it! You are young, your brain is still agile, unlike my ageing and increasingly feeble one!

Mar 28, 2012, 8:56am Top

Yay, Latin! I was lucky enough to have Latin in high school, and I studied it in university as well, but I never quite got to the point of comfortably reading Latin books. I'll have to work on it again.

Mar 28, 2012, 10:25am Top

I just starred you back!! I had to 'ctrl+f' to find you :P

Mar 28, 2012, 10:27am Top

Hmmm I studied Chinese in college....didn't really do me much good seeing as how I still can't write it very well.

Mar 28, 2012, 11:57am Top

Genny - Church is partially the reason that I want to learn Latin, too. My church sings quite a few hymns in Latin, and I always want to understand what they're singing. Plus, I also want to attend a Latin Mass someday, but before I do it'd be helpful to know what they were saying.

Zoe - What a high school you must have gone to, that they taught Latin! Schools definitely don't do that anymore, which I find sad - it is an important language that can lead you so many other places, and I think high-schoolers are missing out.

Danielle - Yay! I'm happy you found me. :) And I've heard how difficult Chinese is - once I knew a girl who had recently come to the U.S. from China, and she was pretty good with the language, but some of the more traditional forms of Chinese tripped her up. Can you speak any Chinese?

Mar 30, 2012, 5:20pm Top

I just finished The Snow Child, and I hope to have a review about it coming shortly. It was a beautiful book, and an excellent retelling of the Russian fairy tale.

Apr 5, 2012, 2:35pm Top

I can speak Chinese but unfortunately I can't read or write it :(

Apr 5, 2012, 2:37pm Top

Hi, Eris. I remember you posted before about your faith.

If you could please add my mother, Betty to your prayer chain, I would be most grateful. She's been diagnosed with a terminal cancer.

Thank you

Apr 5, 2012, 2:55pm Top

I will pray for her too, Kitten.

Apr 5, 2012, 3:24pm Top


Betty is in my prayers, as are you. Whenever I can, and whenever I think of her, I will pray. If there is anything else that I can do, Kitten, please let me know.

Apr 5, 2012, 4:01pm Top

Thank you. She's my best friend and has been so healthy and active...it's just so terrifying and shocking. And well...I do believe in the power of prayer so I am extremely grateful that you and Danielle would remember her. Thank you...more than words can express.

Apr 6, 2012, 1:32am Top

You're welcome, Kitten - I feel so much for what you and your mother are going through right now, and I wish there was more I could do. I'll keep sending the prayers up to Heaven, though, and I've asked Mother Mary and Saint Jude to pray for you, too. I pray that God will keep you and your mom strong, and that there will be angels around her and you all the time.

There will be many more prayers for your mom. I promise that.

Apr 6, 2012, 10:20am Top

Eris, you are starred. I love the title of your thread and your eclectic reading list. Good luck with creating order in your life! I've been working on that for many years. All I've learned is that you can make time for those things that hold high priority for you. You seem to be doing well with time management. I'm amazed by the amount of recreational reading you can do along with being a full-time student.

It sounds like you may have to talk your mother into buying you some more bookcases if you keep going to library book sales. Ours is coming up in a few weeks, and I'm looking forward to bringing a few new friends home with me. ;-)

>217 kittenfish:, 220: Kitten, I'm sorry your mother had to share such sad news with you. I wish you and your family great strength to cope with her illness. You are in my prayers, too.

Apr 6, 2012, 11:29am Top

I actually went to a regular public high school; it was just luck that they had a Latin program. But one of the Latin teachers retired while I was still there, and the other was planning to retire soon, so I don't know whether the program is still around today. I agree that learning Latin is extremely useful, and I wish it were more broadly offered.

I've been waiting on the hold list for The Snow Child for quite a while now, but it doesn't seem to be progressing very quickly at all. I'll read it one day, though.

Kitten, you are your mother are in my thoughts.

Edited: Apr 6, 2012, 1:38pm Top

Donna - Thank you so much for coming! I'm honored to have you here, and thank you for reading the posts on my thread! It makes me feel all buttery-happy inside. ^_^ Although, truthfully, my time management skills are horrible - I have a disgusting amount of free time, thanks to me being homeschooled, and I don't make use of it well enough.

I hope that I am getting better at managing it, though, and fortunately my passion for reading and studying has not been exceeded by all the tempting luxuries of the internet. Writing reviews for this thread has really helped me to focus on books, however, and I am thankful for the wonderful discussions about them that I've had here.

Also, since I had last written that post about my shortage on bookshelves, my wonderful, blessed, beloved and kind mom cleared out a bookshelf that we had in the house (it was mostly just holding magazines), and I moved it up to my room. Now, books that were on the floor and that I had been tripping over are safe in a bookshelf. I love my mom - words cannot say how much.

Apr 6, 2012, 1:38pm Top

Zoe - So true about how Latin should be more popular in the schools, especially since I just met up with one of my public-schooled friends and she expressed an interest in learning Latin. I think that students would enjoy a well done Latin class, and it would help them with learning Latin.

It's so curious - in the early 1900's and before that, learning Latin and Greek was an essential for any good Classical education, but now the idea of an education in the liberal arts has almost been erased in the public schools. Sad.

Speaking of The Snow Child, I really should write my review of the book. I've also finished The Horse and His Boy, which I haven't read since I was seven, and I could barely understand it then. It has now become one of my favorite books in The Chronicles of Narnia (to be honest, all the books in that series are my favorites!), and the lessons in the book are ones that I've been thinking a lot about since I finished it.

Apr 8, 2012, 3:23pm Top

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope that today is a joyous and meaningful day for everyone here at LibraryThing. Thank you for bringing your thoughts and prayers for Kitten and her mom, and thank you for every time you read this thread. I am blessed to be acquainted, even virtually, with such wonderfully mannered and book enthusiastic people as you all! God bless you.

Apr 8, 2012, 4:39pm Top

Happy Easter, Eris!

Apr 8, 2012, 5:01pm Top

Happy Easter to you and your family, Eris :)

Apr 10, 2012, 7:02am Top

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

Edited: Apr 15, 2012, 3:01am Top

School has occupied my attention for the past week, hence my quietness, and although I should technically be doing some of my friend's homework right now, I am feeling uninspired by it all. So I figure that it's the perfect time to finally do my review of The Snow Child - it's almost 11:30 at night, I'm tired, I have Nightwish blasting far too loudly into my head (the song is the incredible "Ghost Love Score" - it's opera and Edgar Allan Poe and metal perfectly mixed together), and I've eaten too much chocolate cake, so my stomach hurts. In other words, I'm happy.

10. The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

One of my favorite fairy tales when I was a child was "The Snow Maiden," an old Russian story about an elderly couple longing to have a child for their own, so they make a snow girl in their yard, and the girl comes to life. The fairy tale's plot gives the novel its basic bones, but Ivey's book expands upon the tale in many deep and emotional levels. There is a married couple who are fairly advanced in age, just like in the original fairy tale, and their names are Jack and Mabel. But unlike the fairy tale, the setting is not in Russia, but in Alaska during the early 1900's.

Jack and Mabel have come to settle in Alaska to escape the pain of losing their child during birth, and to create a fresh start in life. It is not going well, though. Mabel is contemplating suicide and Jack is worried about how they will survive the harsh winter. Their marriage is fracturing and the distance is growing between them, but in a moment of happiness during the first snow, they build a snow girl in their yard. The next day the snow girl is gone, and over the weeks they see glimpses of a girl who seems like she was carved out of the wilderness slipping in between the trees, a wild red fox by her side as if it were a pet. Is she real? Or are their grief stricken minds creating her from their imagination?

Alaska is such a perfect setting for this book, and I am jealous of the Ivey's ability to paint the frigid, icy and eerie location so lushly onto the pages. Ivey is gifted with a writing style that is descriptive without being overbearing, and it shows in every aspect of the story. From the setting to the plot to the characters, she crafted them excellently.

Characters are my favorite aspect to analyze in a story, as they are often what makes or break a novel. In The Snow Child, not a single one of them is obligatory or thrown together haphazardly. The main characters are particularly shining. Although I am a teenager who has never been a mother or longed desperately to have children, I felt Mabel's pain about her loss very keenly, and I sympathized with her loneliness and isolation. On the other hand I felt for Jack, who was suffering from the death of his child in his own quiet and distant way. I also loved the character of Faina, the snow girl - her innocence and wiseness, plus her unearthly knowledge of the wilderness of Alaska, made her unique from any other character I've read.

This is a story I wouldn't mind reading again later on, at a slower pace, just so I can absorb the language deeper into my skull. The characters, plot, pacing, and writing were eloquent and beautiful, and it conjures up the same feelings that I felt when I first read the fairy tale when I was a girl. I love fairy tale retellings and this one definitely joins the hallowed ranks of some of the best I've ever read.

(Sorry if the review has any grammatical errors or if I repeat myself over and over - it is now midnight and my mind tends to go a tad bonkers at this hour.)

Apr 15, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Great review of The Snow Child. I have seen this book cropping up on other threads, all mentioning great things about the book. Guess I need to get around to reading it myself sometime soon!

Apr 15, 2012, 3:57pm Top

Wonderful review.......I'll be reading The Snow Child sooner than later

Apr 15, 2012, 5:47pm Top

Thank you, Lori and Kitten! It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. It's not a fast paced novel, but the emotions and characters bring life to it in a way that action cannot.

Apr 15, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Thanks for the nice review of The Snow Child. I plan to read it next winter, when I'm in a "snowy" mood. :-)

Apr 15, 2012, 10:26pm Top

Eris, I loved your review of The Snow Child. My name is slowly moving up the library hold list. With any luck, I'll have it in my hands next month. It's not my usual kind of book, but my goal is to not have a "usual kind of book" anymore. In other words, I'm opening my mind and heart to other genres. I attribute some of my openness to reading The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time at my "grandmotherly" age. I guess it's never too late to get in touch with one's inner child. Speaking of which, your mother is lucky to have such a loving daughter. ;-)

Apr 16, 2012, 4:47pm Top

Donna, I am also moving out of my comfort zone and trying genre's that I previously had not looked at before. It's going to be a nice change I think ;)

Apr 18, 2012, 2:06am Top

Carol - It is a very snowy book, and it'll be perfect for the winter. Plus, several of themes in the novel are very Christmas-y (such as love and parenting), so that will be a nice addition for the season. I hope you enjoy it when winter comes around!

Donna - It is amazing what reading The Chronicles of Narnia again at a different age can do. I'm reading the series for the first time as a teenager, and it is making me reconnect with children's literature. I just picked up some books from my childhood at the library today (Dealing with Dragons, The Fairy's Mistake and For Biddle's Sake) and it is like I'm eight again!

Good luck to you and Danielle for reading books outside of your comfort zone. That always does wonders for expanding the horizons in your mind - reading does that. It's so amazing... I love books. :)

Apr 18, 2012, 8:00am Top

That's a lovely review of The Snow Child, Eris. I'm glad you enjoyed the book especially as the fairy tale is an old favourite of yours!

Apr 18, 2012, 7:38pm Top

Adding The Snow Child to the Black Hole. Thanks for the recommendation!

Edited: Apr 19, 2012, 4:31pm Top

BEWARE! Eris Muses About Critics and Goodreads

Recently I have joined the other book cataloguing site, Goodreads, partly out of curiousity as it's been compared to LibraryThing numerous times, but mostly because one of my favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater, is on the site. One of the first books I added to my library was The Scorpio Races, and I read some of the reviews for the book. Most of the reviews were positive, and I was happy that the review with the highest number of likes was a very well written review that illustrated why The Scorpio Races is such an excellent book, despite a few flaws.

Then I came to this other review, which had 32 likes, and was (to say the least) a negative review. Nothing wrong with that. A person is entitled to their opinion, and they might have very good reasons for it. However, in my opinion, the author of the critique shot himself in the foot with how he went about his critique. Allow me to explain. (Original review here, if you're interested in reading it: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/280202666

The critic addressed his review directly to Maggie, and stated that he believed that one of the first books she published, Shiver, was "shitty." Wow. Lowering himself to curse words - that must mean he has quite an eloquent command of vocabulary. He then apologizes for insulting her in one of his previous reviews, where he had said that Maggie was a worst writer than Stephenie Meyer. The Goodreads critic says that Meyer is "way shittier" than Maggie. He then goes on in his review to complain about how Maggie described everything in The Scorpio Races (excessively in his opinion) and how she focused too deeply on the feelings of her characters (the critic is writing an incredibly emotional review, so that it seems a tad contradictory on his part). He also couldn't tell the difference between Sean and Puck's narrations (I could, but maybe that's just me).

So, all in all, his review did little constructive, but he had fun writing his biting review, and the commenters that enjoy his reviews relish it as well. But this whole review couldn't help but remind me of a quote from the film, "Ratatouille" where a food critic muses about the profession of critics:

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so."

I try to keep this in mind when I write my reviews. Even with Twilight, a book that I am not particularly fond of, I know that there are people out there that love the book, and that book means something to them. I know that when I write a review it is best to be polite and to not try to tear down a writer, but to say something constructive. Negative critiques should never go away, and a review should be honest, but just as a writer should not be offensive and vulgar, critics should also follow that rule. Even if they're just average people on Goodreads.

And one more thing - I think I prefer LibraryThing to Goodreads. The reviews here are better, there is more focus on books, and the cataloguing system is more up my alley. Also, the people here are nicer and I adore the groups on LT. The 75ers group is brilliant, and I love how my knowledge of books has expanded ever since I joined LibraryThing.

Apr 19, 2012, 3:57pm Top

Dee - I'm so glad you liked my review! *dances* Your review of The Snow Child was wonderful, too, Dee, and I felt that I had to do one that was almost as engaging as yours. :)

Stasia - The Black Hole? Haha! That's a perfect way to describe all the books I should read - I shall have to use that term in the future. Thank you!

My apologies to everyone for my overly long musings about critics and Goodreads - I just needed to get that off my chest. I'm off to read Dealing with Dragons, so until my next comment, happy reading to everyone!

Apr 19, 2012, 4:25pm Top

I can't handle Goodreads! The discussions are vapid, there are too many people with no apparent common sense, much less literary sense. I love to talk with (and joke around with!) youth who can hold their own end of a conversation and are willing/able to learn about new things, and teach in return. But reading the threads over there is like hitting myself with a brick. It hurts. Which boy is cuter, who should play whom in a movie version, OMG celebrity gossip, and plenty of HUH? It's disheartening to see, for instance, that some people don't even realize that Alice in Wonderland is a book. :( I feel like an ancient old hag who has stumbled into a girls' dormitory on pizza night.

I much prefer LT because it seems, like you said, more focused on the books and the community in general seem more sensible. Maybe we're all just older, lol! And then there's Eris, our resident rational teenager. ♥

I also can never win any review copies. I've given up.

As for the negative review, the negative content doesn't bother me as much as how much energy and vitriol he put into it. The reviewer sounds like a man who should not be reading certain types of books, since they obviously bring him so much displeasure. Why would he bother reading Scorpio Races if he despised Shiver so very much? It seems from the ensuant comments that he enjoys being the literary bully.

It reminds me of this LT thread:

Why are some adults so upset that YA is popular right now? I certainly don't think it's "taken over" as the primary literature genre. Rather, the veil of stigma has been dropped, making it accessible and enticing to a wider audience.

Apr 19, 2012, 5:18pm Top

I agree about Goodreads. I was trying to find some worthy groups on Goodreads last night, and mostly I was going, "Huh? Okaaaaaaay, where are all the book nuts at? And why are you talking about this? Wow, this is stupid." I am so appreciative of LT now. Everybody's very courteous here, and I've learned a lot about what to look for in a book.

Apr 21, 2012, 10:56am Top

Eris just stopping by to wish you a lovely weekend.

Apr 21, 2012, 11:18am Top

Thank you so much, Paul! It will be very enjoyable as I will be re-watching The Fellowship of the Ring (the extended version, of course!) and maybe I'll even have time watch "Memento" again, just so I can figure out the chonology of everything that happened in the movie (putting the ending of a film at the beginning can make everything a tad confusing). I hope your weekend will be a lovely one as well, and Aslan and all my faun homies say hii! ;)

Apr 23, 2012, 11:30am Top

Well, in case you were wondering where I've been as of late....I've been on Goodreads....

I don't do their communities though because I can't seem to find the "book people." So I stick to Librarything.com for the communities and groups. However! I do indeed enjoy their recommendation page, you know, after you rate all your books. It's given me some really great books to try out and read, especially when I'm in a reading slump and don't know where to look for my next book. Aaaaand last but not least, I enjoy their giveaway page, though I've only won 1 book so far. Oh oh oh! And I also enjoy their listopia because it lets me find books that I've forgotten I've read already! Then I go through and rate those :)

Apr 23, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Danielle - It's good that you are finding useful things about Goodreads! I do admit that the recommendations after you rate a book are fun, especially because it reminds you of books that would be good to read. I have so many books that I need to read, however, that finding out even more wonderful unread books is troublesome. ^_^

As far as books in my life go, I have finished Dealing with Dragons, The Fairy's Mistake and For Biddle's Sake, all three of which are delightful books from my kidhood. I am now balancing out all those sweet and light hearted fairy tales with a book that I have finally decided to finish - Crime and Punishment. I'm almost a third in and have quite a bit to go, but I'm enjoying every sentence. Dostoevsky is King.

Letsee, I also have Moonwalking with Einstein which I have to finish before it must be returned to the library (phooey!), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Silver Chair, and I'm also doing a reread of The Scorpio Races, since I just bought it from Barnesy.

Too many books, so little time. And I have to do schoolwork or I'm doomed. Blah.

Apr 23, 2012, 1:58pm Top

I have to split my time between working/studying the LSAT/reading/playing SWTOR. I wish I had enough time in the day to do all four of those things for hours and hours at a time. Reading and SWTOR being my favorites ;)

I'm about to start reading Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell. Hope it's super good!

Apr 24, 2012, 9:06am Top

*waves* Good luck with your Latin learning! Though I should mention, if you want to understand the Bible better, it would be highly beneficial to read it in the original language(s) it was written in, since the Vulgate is still a translation... :)

I also agree about GoodReads. I was only on there for a few months several years ago, and I found it clunky and difficult to navigate. It may be better now in terms of user interface, but I also had trouble finding people to connect with the way you can here on LT. Hence, no more GoodReads for me!

Apr 24, 2012, 10:46am Top

Eris I agree with you on Crime and Punishment. Seen many critiques of the book on here absolutely slating in but I adored it when I read it 25 years ago and it is about due another turn.

Apr 24, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Danielle - I'm glad that SWTOR is great! I don't play that game or the older versions (I'm a Nancy Drew girl: point and click and solve puzzles - that's me!), but I'm glad it lives up to the acclaim.

Faith - Oh. No. I should learn Hebrew? *bangs head on keyboard and sobs* MY BRAIN CANNOT HANDLE THE KNOWLEDGE! *clutches head and screams*

Okay, seriously though, I'll look into Hebrew. I doubt that I'll be able to learn it or speak it, but I'll try to have a basic understanding and learn a bit of the grammar. Just to have a grasp of where the Vulgate translation is coming from. Many thanks for the suggestion!

Paul - Wow, Crime and Punishment is not appreciated on LibraryThing? Shame, shame! I shall have to write a worthy review to balance them out, once I've finished the book. The psychology in this book is incredible - I am repulsed by Raskolnikov, but at the same time I feel sorry for him. Now that's good writing!

Apr 24, 2012, 4:19pm Top

I've started a new topic, since this one has hit the magical 250 mark (250 POSTS! YEEP! ^_^). Here it is, and I hope you'll join me for all new book adventures with Eris there: http://www.librarything.com/topic/136240

Thank you so much!

Dec 23, 2013, 10:15pm Top

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