Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mini Review--Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

Partners in Crime--Agatha Christie

About the book:
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford were restless for adventure, so when they were asked to take over Blunt's International Detective Agency, they leapt at the chance. After their triumphant recovery of a pink pearl, intriguing cases kept on coming their way.

My thoughts:

This was my first Agatha Christie! We read this for my Tuesday night book chat, TuesBookTalk, on Twitter.  The book is arranged like short stories with each chapter being a new case for Tommy and Tuppence to investigate (some cases were two chapters).  It was a quick and entertaining read.  Some of the cases were easy to figure out, but I have to admit that most of them had me stumped.  Christie truly was a master.  I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

Mini Review--The Poetry of Cats

The Poetry of Cats (edited by Samuel Carr) is a slim volume choc full of poems about cats, many written by some very famous writers.  I enjoyed it immensely (big surprise)! Anything about cats is always a good read for me.  I love the writing and poetry of Christina Rossetti so the following poem was my favorite from the book:

On the death of a cat
     A friend of mine aged ten years and a half

Who shall tell the lady's grief
When her Cat was past relief?
Who shall number the hot tears
Shed o'er her, belov'd for years?
Who shall say the dark dismay
Which her dying caused that day?

Come, ye Muses, one and all,
Come obedient to my call;
Come and mourn with tuneful breath
Each one for a separate death;
And, while you in numbers sigh,
I will sing her elegy.

Of a noble race she came,
And Grimalkin was her name.
Young and old full many a mouse
Felt the prowess of her house;
Weak and strong full many a rat
Cowered beneath her crushing pat;
And the birds around the place
Shrank from her too close embrace.
But one night, reft of her strength,
She laid down and died at length:
Lay a kitten by her side
In whose life the mother died.
Spare her line and lineage,
Guard her kitten's tender age.
And that kitten's name as wide
Shall be known as hers that died.
And whoever passes by
The poor grave where Puss doth lie,
Softly, softly let him tread,
Nor disturb her narrow bed.

Christina Rossetti

Anyone who has lost a beloved cat...or any pet...will feel the poignancy of this poem.

Book description (from back of book):

A unique celebration of the cat, with over 50 poems reflecting every feline mood.

Verses by famous poets including T.S. Eliot, Ted Hughes, W.B. Yeats, William Wordsworth and Edward Lear.

Beautifully illustrated with drawings and paintings by Renoir, Manet, Picasso and many others.

Read for the following challenges:

Cat Book Challenge  3 / 12 books
Pages Read Challenge  1900 / 30,000 pages
100+ Reading Challenge  9 / 100+ books
Clover, Bee & Reverie: A Poetry Challenge  1 / 2 books
Buck a Book Challenge

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

First Round of Voting Open for Remake-A-Cover 2 Contest

The first round of voting is open for the 2nd Remake-A-Cover contest over at Princess Bookie.  Here is my cover again:

Head over and check out all the great covers and be sure to vote for your favorite!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A new meme (possibly?)

I ADORE cats and I see so many funny cat pics online, especially from LOL Cats, that I've decided to designate Thursdays as "Cat Thursday".  Usually it will be just a funny or cute pic of a cat, but I might also include little funny tidbits about a funny thing my cat Alis has done (shouldn't be a problem...she's always doing something!) or a snippet about cats I read online or heard about elsewhere.  I'm thinking about making this a blogger participating meme.  If you love cats and you think you might want to participate, leave me a note in the comments.  If I get enough positive response, I'll put up a Mr. Linky next Thursday.  Now, here's this week's pic:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Remake a Book Cover 2

Princess Bookie is having another Remake a Book Cover contest in her Contest Craze which is in preparation for Dewey's Read-a-Thon coming up on April 10th.  Check out my latest entry:

What do you think?  Be sure to watch for when the voting starts.  Wish me luck!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a weekly event hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

Pretty small load this week.  I didn't get anything in the mail.

Click titles for plot synopses.


At a Friends of the Library sale (one of the smaller branches of the Metro Public Library).

Silas Marner--George Eliot

No Shame, No Fear--Ann Turnbull

The Plague--Albert Camus

Dinosaurus: The Complete Guide to Dinosaurs--Steve Parker

This is a large hardcover book that would have cost $50 retail...I got it for 2 bucks! Woot! My boys love dinosaurs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Have you heard about TuesBookTalk on Twitter?

Every Tues. on Twitter
@ 11pm ET/10pm CT
The Little Stranger discussion
starts March 23rd

I started a weekly book chat on Twitter back in the fall.  Initially, we chatted about general book topics like favorite books in a specific genre, favorite authors, etc.  At the first of the year, we decided to take it in a new direction and start discussing a particular book.  Our first book was Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie.  This Tuesday, March 23rd, we will be starting our discussion of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.  We will be reading and discussing two chapters per week so Tuesday will be chapters 1 & 2.  The Little Stranger has received many accolades in the book world including:

Booker Prize Longlist (2009)
Booker Prize Shortlist (2009)
Publishers Weekly's Best Books: 2009 (Fiction)
New York Times Notable Book of the Year (Fiction & Poetry, 2009)
Salon Book Award (Fiction, 2009)(show all 7 items)
Black Quill Award Nominee (2009.06/Dark Genre Novel of the Year, 2009)
Orange Prize Longlist (2010)
Novel synopsis:
From the multi-award-winning and bestselling author of The Night Watch and Fingersmith comes an astonishing novel about love, loss, and the sometimes unbearable weight of the past.
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to see a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the once grand house is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its garden choked with weeds. All around, the world is changing, and the family is struggling to adjust to a society with new values and rules.
Roddie Ayres, who returned from World War II physically and emotionally wounded, is desperate to keep the house and what remains of the estate together for the sake of his mother and his sister, Caroline. Mrs. Ayres is doing her best to hold on to the gracious habits of a gentler era and Caroline seems cheerfully prepared to continue doing the work a team of servants once handled, even if it means having little chance for a life of her own beyond Hundreds.
But as Dr. Faraday becomes increasingly entwined in the Ayreses' lives, signs of a more disturbing nature start to emerge, both within the family and in Hundreds Hall itself. And Faraday begins to wonder if they are all threatened by something more sinister than a dying way of life, something that could subsume them completely.
Both a nuanced evocation of 1940s England and the most chill-inducing novel of psychological suspense in years, The Little Stranger confirms Sarah Waters as one of the finest and most exciting novelists writing today. (from Fantastic Fiction)
If you would like to join us in reading and discussing The Little Stranger, we meet on Twitter at 11pm ET (10pm CT) every Tuesday.  Hashtag to follow is #TuesBookTalk.  There is also a Twitter page to follow @TuesBookTalk.  My Twitter handle is @truebookaddict if you have any questions or comments.
I hope you will join us!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Friday 56


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

I'd nearly dropped out of my Arts degree that year because of it.  During my final year I filled in the green withdrawal form at least once a week.  Nearly as often as I saw Dr. E.  The guy at the Registrar's office got used to me.  He got the form out ready whenever he saw me.  But I always managed somehow to tear it up.  Before it could become effective.  I think he knew I was mad.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character--Beth March

FFC is a weekly event hosted by Ryan at Wordsmithonia.

I decided to do my FFC this week on my other favorite character from Little Women since I've been on a Little Women kick, what with finding out about Little Vampire Women and all!

Beth was the quiet, kind and reliable sister.  She was always there waiting when the other girls were out in the world and she was content to be that way.  Beth was the one who always thought of others first and her care for others would eventually end up contributing to her wasting away.  She was a skilled pianist, but she did not seek fame or fortune from it...she played purely for the enjoyment of herself and others.  I remember reading the book when I was in grade school and I was always so sad when Beth passes.  It still gets me to this day.

This quote from her sister Jo is a wonderful description of Beth:

"There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind."

Beth speaks this passage in the book, which describes her feelings:

"I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is the leaving you all. I'm not afraid, but it seems as if I should be homesick for you even in heaven."

I love the 1994 movie version of Little Women that starred Claire Danes as Beth.  Her portrayal of Beth is subtle and poignant.  I really believe that she captures the character beautifully.  This scene from the movie between Jo and Beth has me in tears every time (in fact, I'm in tears now as I read it again).

Beth: If God wants me with Him, there is none who will stop Him. I don't mind. I was never like the rest of you... making plans about the great things I'd do. I never saw myself as anything much. Not a great writer like you.

Jo: Beth, I'm not a great writer.

Beth: But you will be. Oh, Jo, I've missed you so. Why does everyone want to go away? I love being home. But I don't like being left behind. Now I am the one going ahead. I am not afraid. I can be brave like you.

What a tragic thing it would be to lose a sister.  All the more so to lose a sister like Beth.  Now please excuse me while I ..... *sob*

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Waiting On Wednesday (my first!)

WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Many of my readers probably know that Little Women is one of my favorite books.  So, when I saw this over at Bloody Bad, I couldn't believe that I had not heard about it!

Little Vampire Women
Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina
Release date: May 4, 2010-HarperTeen
Cover art not final
(cover image obtained at Bookalicious)

The March sisters are back, sweeter and more loving than ever. But they’ve grown up since you last read their tale. That’s right—they live on as vampires. Readers will be agog and aghast at the hilarity of the sisters’ transformation—especially now that they have (much) longer lives and (much) more ravenous appetites.

This uproarious retelling of a timeless American classic will leave teens craving the bloodthirsty drama on each and every page. (synopsis from goodreads)

Hey...I wonder if Beth gets to live (technically) in this version?!

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