Book Geek Problem #2

Ugh, I am so torn! Battlemage (Summoner Series #3) by Tarzan Mathau was released May 2nd and The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye was released on Monday and I haven’t started either one because I really, really, really wanted to read the entire series back-to-back.

I’m so tempted to just jump right in! I’m missing out on all the buzz around these grand finale. I feel like I’m already behind. 

Sighs. But school is the priorty. I’ve been able to keep up with the someone grueling schedule (a weekly 1-3 page paper is no easy task, let me tell you). 

And I want the full effect of continuity. That wonderful buzz you get from reading a book series from beginning to end. No cliffhangers. No pauses. No trying to remember what happened in the first book when a character references it in the last.

So, as tempted as I am to just do it, I’m going to hang in there. Plus, I am  at 40% of The Novice, book one in the summoner series. Considering that I started it on Monday–juggling home, work, and school–I’c say that’s pretty good.

Here’s to staying strong! 

Biblio 411: Reasons to Read

For those of you who didn’t know by now, I love to read. I can write a full page of reasons I read, but this captures just about all of them and it is plainly put.

I particularly love the first paragraph because that is the number one reason I enjoy reading so much–I am curious. Reading helps me explore different perspectives, different realities, different experiences. Sometimes it places me in uncomfortable situations because I see inaccuracies in my beliefs, yet, because if this, it makes my beliefs stronger. 

I have no advice to offer those who don’t enjoy reading except to not ignore it all together. Try. Start with subjects you like or want to learn about. Reading doesn’t have to fiction or make believe. Non-fiction reads are based on subjects so find something you like. You always wanted to travel? Pick up a travel guide of the area you want to visit. And if reading is hard for you, skim it. Skim through parts that grab your attention. Read the introduction and the conclusion. Read magazine articles or graphic novels. Read the Garfield Comics or the Calvin and Hobbes. With so many sources of reading it is hard for me to imagine someone can’t find anything that interests them.

Reading expands your universe, pushes your boundaries, and enhance your life. You owe it to yourself to grab at the opportunities to do so.

Around the Corner: Books, books, books

Okay. I have about an hour before Friday is gone I’ve missed another day posting.

And usually, Fridays are the days I like to review a good book. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of books, but I’m still 12 books behind in my GoodReads 2015 reading challenge and there’s still a few categories I need to fill out on my PopSugar reading challenge.

And even though I’ve read a lot of books, lately, I haven’t had a chance to process them fully. I know, I know. Excuses, excuses. To be honest, I’ve been trying to read books that are light in content because of the heavy school work I’m taking on. But that’s for another post. Back to the subject at hand.

Light reading usually equals romance books and in this case, that’s exactly what my light reading equals. I need something light, easy, fast, and fun and romance novels step up to the challenge every time.

With that said, I’m planning to put together a few good reviews and I don’t want to rush into it. I want to do these authors justice. They took time into writing their stories and I want to do it justice.

So, stay tuned for my next book review, which should be out by next week.

In the meantime, here’s what I read for you to look forward to:

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G

The Chronicles of Nick Series by Sherrilyn Kennon

Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey

Then There Were None by Martha H. Noyes

A Charming Fatality by Tonya Kappes

Royally Screwed by Valerie Seimas

The Royal Date by Sariah Wilson

Biblio 411: A new addition

Today I was updating my 2015 Movies Watched Page and my TV Shows I Follow Page when I realized I haven’t really created a listing for the books I read. Now, GoodReads has a great widget in which I’ve added to my website which shows which books I’m currently reading. But to list every book I read? Yeah, not sure about that one, especially when you consider that my reading goal this year is 70 books. However, I decided I can track book series as a list. And we’ll see, if I can keep up with this. If all goes well, I may just add a “Reading Directory” of books I’ve read. For now, though, I’m keeping it simple and sticking with Book Series.

So, introducing … Book Series I’m Following Page. It’s listed under the Book Junkie 411 menu.

Have fun! Oh, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to suggest it in the Comment section of that page.

Biblio 411: Britain at War, 1939 to 1945 by James Lingard

 Author: James Lingard
Release Date: November 4th, 2008
Published by: Authorhouse
Read: March 31, 2015
The Hook: Britain during the WWII

I received a copy of this book from the author, through LibraryThing, in exchange for an honest review.

As as student of European History, you can see why this appealed to me. And I received this copy during my studies of Western Civilization so this was bonus material for me.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

Before I get into it, let me be clear that I did not read this book to fact check. I read this book to gain insight to what life was like in Europe, and in this case Britain, during the war. It was before my time, you see, and I am curious enough to want to have an idea of what it may have been like. I have an idea of how WWII impacted Hawaii, but this is Europe. And it is in this sense that Lingard has offered a valuable perspective.

I like the way the book is organized. It’s a timeline of events, but it’s in a format I like and understand. Chapter 1 being about pre-war life, Chapter 18 about the victory, and everything in between. It’s easy to follow which makes it easy to tag reference points–an item of importance to those of us who love to take notes. We do a lot of that so we can reread things, process things, and eventually form our opinion of things, backed by the evidence we’ve tagged and noted.

I also like that this accounting of events are told from the perspective of someone who actually experienced events. I’ve heard some accounts of WWII in Hawaii from my grandmother and I love those stories because it’s coming from someone who actually witnessed the aftermath. It’s the same feel with this book. As mentioned in the first line of the introduction:

As far as possible, this history of the Second World War is written from the standpoint of people actually involved.

And if you didn’t know, that’s a historian’s weakness. We’re a sucker for primary resources and this book can be put into that category. It’s first witness account of the chain of events that is World War II.

The flow of information reads like a journal, which I love. The text doesn’t get too heavy where you need to reread a paragraph a few times to process it correctly. Lingard has also taken what can be a dense subject and presents it in a way that the reader can easily grasp the idea of what it may have been like during this period in time.

In my opinion, Lingard accomplishes what he set out to do: to give the reader an idea of what living in Britain was like during the Second World War. He covers the progression of the war throughout Europe and told from the perspective of a Britain resident. This knowledge, coupled with my recent studies of Western Civilization, has provided a well-rounded perspective of WWII history. History isn’t just about the events that happened, but the impact those events had on the people, on society. I feel history can never be complete unless we see it through the eyes of those it affected, which Lingard does a great job with.

Overall, I’m glad to have this book in my library and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn anything about history, especially what life during WWII may have been like. Thank you, James, for providing this perspective.

Biblio 411: Childhood Books

Today is Children’s Book Day. A day that promotes books to children. It also marks the birthday of Hans Christen Anderson, author to famous fairy tales such as The Little MermaidThe Snow Queen, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. And you can’t think about Children’s Book Day without reflecting upon the books you read as a child. You just can’t.

I started reading at a young age. I can’t remember my absolute first book (and if you can, I’m impressed), but the first book I remember enjoying was Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol; book 1 of what would become a long-lasting series (1963-2011, 28 books). I read every book my school library had in the series at least twice. I was too young (I must’ve been in the 2nd or 3rd grade) to head to the library myself so I don’t think I read any more of the series past Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand (#11), but this was the series that grew my love of reading, and mystery. Oh, yes. I became a huge mystery buff because of this series. I guess my hope was to become as smart as Encyclopedia. And what a cool name! Weird, but cool. I swear, while other girls my age were day dreaming about being a princess or finding prince charming (stereotypical, I know, but I had girl cousins who had this day dream) I was day dreaming about solving mysteries. Oh, I day dreamed about solving mysteries and living a secret life as a witch. Not the bad kind of witch, but the good kind. I kid you not. I wanted to be uber smart with magical powers.

For some reason, my Encyclopedia faze didn’t upgrade to the Hardy Boys. I think it’s because I didn’t want to betray my loyalty to Encyclopedia. Ridiculous? Probably, but it’s the truth. Instead, my older elementary years found me reading The Baby-Sitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin. And probably because I was the oldest and was always in charge of watching my younger siblings and relatives. I was a subscriber of their newsletter and everything. Their honey bread rolls (pieces of bread with the crusts cut off with honey poured like a spread and then rolled) are genius!

Shortly after my Baby-Sitter’s Club faze, I found author L. J. Smith. Oh gosh. I loved all her books! I read The Secret Circle (#1-3)The Vampire Diaries (#1-4), and Dark Visions (#1-3) in quick succession. Out of the three series she wrote, my absolute favorite is Dark Visions. Followed closely by The Secret Circle and The Vampire Diaries in third. So, psychics, witches, and the supernatural have made up my interests for most of my life, 😉 .

And while realistic fiction (is that a genre? In case it isn’t, I define realistic fiction as fiction based on reality. What an oxymoron! And if that didn’t help, it’s fiction that doesn’t have any supernatural or fantastical flare) isn’t quite my thing, I fell in love with Say Goodnight, Gracie by  Julie Reece Deaver. It was the first book I remembered being intense for me and I must have reread it at least three times, which was a big deal. That was the last book I remember rereading more than once until A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. You’re talking 1992 to 2008.

Oh, and fiction wasn’t the only thing I read for the heck of it. Nope. Not by a long shot. Somewhere in my childhood my father encouraged me to expand my reading palette. He suggested I read non-fiction books. And while I didn’t realize it then, the titles he mentioned were self help books or business books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad. So I read Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom my freshmen year of high school and Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard in my junior year and not because they were assigned or I was forced to, but because I found them interesting. I remember reflecting upon Tuesdays With Morrie a lot. I found the ideas and discussions interesting. A bit heavy for a 14-year old? Probably, but I ate it up and journaled my thoughts.

Children’s Book Day. A day to encourage reading and promote the love of books to children. Sure I remember loving the usuals like Dr. Seuss (Green Eggs and Ham is my favorite childhood book. Today, it’s Oh, the Places You Go which was published in 1990, but I didn’t discover until 2010) and Bernstein Bears (just about everyone I picked up because I thought the stories were pretty cool teaching about manners and stuff), but the books I remember enjoying the most during my childhood were the ones I mentioned. I believe that whether a book is fiction or not, doesn’t take away from what you experience when you read through it. And I believe it’s truly important to start reading at a young age, to engage children in reading as soon as it’s possible. And if they’re not a big fan of words, there are comics, graphic novels, and even audiobooks.

Reading enriches lives. It just does.