Comment Catch Up – Week of July 27, 2014


Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

I present the 2nd Edition of a new-ish feature which offers me the chance to respond to some of my Stellar Visitors’ remarks.

Sunday, July 27, 2014 – 78th Edition of The Sunday Post

sherry fundin @ fundinmental said “I love Jance and Devil’s Claw looks great. Happy reading”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I’ve enjoyed Jance’s J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady series. Devil’s Claw was great!”

Amber @ Young Adult Indulgences said “The Lovely Bones has been on my reading list since the (I know, I know) movie came out. 🙂 I never manage to obtain it to read it though. *sigh*

Oh my gosh, you haven’t finished The Fault In Our Stars? Have you seen the movie or are you a “I want to read the book first” people? I’m like that. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for The Hunger Games. 😦

I wish I had checked out these Sunday Post blog posts before submitting my own. I keep looking at other ones and going “Aw man, I should have added that!”. In regards to your blog, it’s the “TBF” list. I definitely need to start adding that to mine.

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: ” 1) I’m hoping to have a couple of posts about The Lovely Bones go live soon. I’ve found both the book and movie to be polarizing among readers and viewers alike. I can’t wait to read the comments! 2) Yes, I’ve been waiting my turn on the library request list for The Fault in Our Stars and am thankful a friend took pity on me. 🙂 I hope to read the book before I see the movie – even if that means watching it at home in a few months. Sadly, I read The Hunger Games a few years ago and whenever I see the movies, I’m checking the action against the wikis. 3) I’m looking forward to checking out your Sunday Post blogs; I think of them as a “State of a Blog” or “The News You Missed.”

KimbaCaffeinated @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer said “I like Blackstock and I really need to try Conversion. Have a fabulous week my friend!”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “1) I picked up Blackstock from my church’s library for the Summer Reading Program (SRP). Even though I didn’t make the deadline for the SRP, I still plan to finish the book. Also, I imagine I’ll continue reading Blackstock’s Restoration series. 2) Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is one of my favorite reads in recent years and I anticipate the same with her Conversion. Happy August, my friend!

Fiza @ I’ll read till i drop said “I can’t believe it either, I have no idea where the weeks went.
Didn’t know I was a stellar….anything, thanks for the shoutout 😀

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “Of course you’re a Stellar Visitor! 😉 Thanks so much for visiting Jorie’s Reads!

Monday, July 28, 2014 – Books Before Movies! 

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library said “Other than Gone Girl I wasn’t aware of any of these! Of course I’m not a huge movie person so that doesn’t mean anything. Wild has been on my TBR list for awhile and I’d be interested to see that as a movie. Plus, I like Reese Witherspoon. I’m not sure I want to see Tess in movie form! The book was wonderful and awful. I don’t think I want to see it played out in front of me. If they do a bad job it will be dreadful but if they do a good job it will be excruciating to watch!

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I read The Giver and Macbeth but nothing else on this list. Maybe I can lay my hands on Gone Girl and Wild before the movies hit theaters. I read Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and approach her other works with trepidation. I also find Hardy daunting. Time will tell, though! “

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 – Top Ten Most Popular Authors on Jorie’s Bookshelf

ChrissiReads @ Chrissi Reads said “What a great list! 🙂 My sister would have Stephen King on hers, she loves him!”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “Thank you! I like King’s blend of horror and SciFi.”

Anna @ herding cats & burning soup said “Very nice. I’ve only got Shakespeare from the group and I think one from Brown.”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I’ve got to have Shakespeare! Also, Sandra Brown’s dialogue and local color give her a permanent spot on my bookshelf – real or virtual. “

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library said “Interesting list! There’s several authors that I’m not familiar with and several that are on my list of authors that it’s past time I try. Stephen King heads that list! I’d love to reread Shakespeare. It’s been since high school since I read MacBeth but I loved it then. I wonder what I would get out of it now.”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “1) I think King is underrated. While I prefer his less bloody prose, I think he’s got serious talent and I’m sure he would make an intriguing guest at the dinner table. 2) I haven’t read all of Shakespeare’s works but I’ve marveled each time I’ve studied and/or watched his plays.”

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Top Ten Most Popular Authors on Jorie’s Bookshelf


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

top ten authors we own the most books of

(Normally, I prefer borrowing to buying books. Nonetheless, I own books I’ve seen on sale at the Friends of Freeman Bookstore.)

(Thank you, Goodreads, for the images of the following authors.)

1. Julia Alvarez

Julia Álvarez

2. Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown

3. Meg Waite Clayton

Meg Waite Clayton

4. Jeffrey Eugenides

http://www.bookpage.com/the-book-case/2011/02/09/jeffrey-eugenides-and-the-marriage-plot/

5. Katherine Howe

Katherine Howe

6. Stephen King

Stephen King

7. Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver

7. Alan Paton

Alan Paton

8. William Shakespeare

The Chandos portrait of famous writer</p>
<p>http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/britons/briton3.htm

9. Lee Strobel

Lee Strobel

10. Bruce Wilkinson

Bruce Wilkinson

Top Ten Authors That Jorie Automatically Puts on Hold


Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

Julia’s Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors

(Check Out the Revisited Challenge on Jorie’s Reads and vote for your favorites)

  1. Sarah Dessen
  2. Michael Connelly
  3. Katherine Howe
  4. Dan Brown
  5. Sarah Addison Allen
  6. Stephen King
  7. Kay Hooper
  8. John Green
  9. Julia Alvarez
  10. Jeffrey Eugenides

Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes


Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult | LibraryThing

(Written on Monday, 14 January 2013)

Title and Author(s): Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Release Date: March 9, 2007
Publisher: Atria
ISBN: 0743496728 
Pages: 455
Source: Library

Reasons for Reading: I read My Sister’s Keeper several years ago. Later, I posted a review when I reread it before doing a book talk at a senior center. When Nineteen Minutes came out in 2007, I didn’t want to read about a school shooting. Yet, watching the continuous coverage of the Sandy Hook shootings, I realized the importance of understanding such situations. So, I requested the book via HCPL.

Summary: Sterling, New Hampshire is a sleepy little town where denizens settle so they can send their kids to good schools. Nothing of note really happens in Sterling until March 6, 2007. In nineteen minutes, bullied Sterling High School junior Peter Houghton hauls five guns into the high school and goes on a shooting spree. When Detective Patrick DuCharme apprehends Peter in the locker room, he finds jock Matt Royston dead but Royston’s girlfriend, Josie Cormier, stirring. Daughter of Madam Justice Alex Cormier, Josie recalls nothing. Picoult relates a tale of bullying, broken relationships, and a reeling town.

One Thing I Learned from reading Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes: Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition that is classified as ICD-9 code 995.81.

What I Liked:  I liked that Picoult began with the date of March 6, 2007. This gave me an idea of the setting and attitudes to expect. Also, she fed into my preference of having a date stamp.

Also, I appreciate that Picoult deals with relevant events and offers likely reasons for characters’ motives. On the whole, this novel has believable, sympathetic characters.

While I’ve yet to read Change of Heart, The Pact, or Salem Falls, I liked that Picoult brought back characters Patrick Ducharme, Jordan McAfee, and Selena McAfee. This gives me hope that I might see friendly faces if I pick up other books by her.

What I Disliked: I did appreciate the time stamp of March 6, 2007. However, Picoult would toggle between the big event and chapters with titles along the lines of “Seventeen Years Earlier.” Couldn’t she have added “1990” to this?

Then, there was the sense that this book’s plot was “straight from the headlines.” I’d avoided this book dealing with school shootings for a long time, not wanting to be reminded of Columbine High School Massacre around the time Nineteen Minutes hit the bookshelves.

Additionally, I remember reading My Sister’s Keeper and found reading Nineteen Minutes like watching any M. Night Shyamalan movie after I’d seen The Sixth Sense. Thus, I tended to smell a rat early in the narrative. I won’t spoil the end but I wanted to know more about how certain characters were doing. Maybe I’ll see them in another Picoult work.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks – YouTube

Setting :  Sterling New Hampshire

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For more on Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, check out the following sites:
 

Siobhan Vivian’s The List


The List by Siobhan Vivian | LibraryThing

Vivian, S. (2012). The list. New York: PUSH. 9780545169172

Reasons for Reading: When perusing other bloggers’ Top Ten Tuesday lists, I stumbled upon Siobhan Vivian’s The List. The conflict described appealed to me so much that I sought the title at my library. When I found the book online, I requested in via HCPL.

Summary: Every year, some anonymous soul posts The List all over Mount Washington High during Homecoming Week. The List shares the names of eight girls, two from each grade – the prettiest and the ugliest. As the summary inside the book says:

ABBY’S joy at being named to the list is clouded by her sister’s resentment.

DANIELLE worries about how her boyfriend will take the news.

LAUREN is a homeschooled girl blindsided by her instant popularity.

CANDACE isn’t ugly, not even close, so it must be a mistake.

BRIDGET knows her summer transformation is nothing to celebrate.

SARAH has always rebelled against traditional standards of beauty, and she decides to take her mutiny to the next level.

And MARGO and JENNIFER, ex-best friends who haven’t spoken in years, are forced to confront why their relationship ended.

These eight girls struggle throughout the book, confronting their social stature as defined in print in eight different ways. While written in third person, the reader becomes privy to the thoughts of these eight girls.

What I Liked: The mystery of who was posting The List compelled me to read this so quickly I nearly suffered paper cuts. While I figured out the culprit well before I hit the back cover, I wanted to know the motives. Author Vivian formed intriguing characters and dealt with true issues such as: popularity, bullying, eating disorders, and self-esteem. I cared about some of these girls, especially Lauren and Danielle.

What I Disliked: The ending (which will remain unspoiled by this reviewer) left me dissatisfied. I wondered if this was the birth of the series as there were some thread left looser than I would’ve desired. Also, eight different characters was at least four too many characters in my opinion. The author could’ve pleased me by focusing on the story of ex-best friends Margo and Jennifer. Lastly, I sure didn’t like most of the parents featured in this book. Dishonorable mention goes to Abby’s parents, Lauren’s mother, and Candace’s mother.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved – YouTube

Setting: United States

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For more on The List check out the following sites:

Stephen King’s 11/22/63


11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King | LibraryThing

King, S. (2011). 11/22/63: A novel. New York: Scribner. 9781451627282

Reasons for Reading : I read Stephen King’s The Dead Zone a few years ago after reading King’s memoir On Writing. In The Dead Zone, teacher and coma survivor John Smith asks “If you could kill Hitler, would you?” When I saw 11/22/63 on the NYT Bestsellers List, I realized King took this same question in a different direction. I added my name to the waiting list for a copy from HCPL. Later, I purchased a copy from the Friends of Freeman Library Bookstore.

Summary: Jake Epping teaches English at Lisbon Falls High in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He also earns
extra money by taking on GED courses. Reading janitor Harry Dunning’s essay about the horrific night when Harry lost his family and gained a limp fifty years prior moves the normally dry-eyed Jake to tears.

Soon after Harry earns his GED, diner owner Al shares a secret with Jake; there’s a portal outside his supply room which leads to September 1958. Thus, Al enlists Jake on a mission to save JFK from assassination.

What I Liked : I appreciated the short segments which allowed me to read a little bit at a time. I also enjoyed the whole “What if?” aspect. I liked how King limited some of the possibilities by creating a 1958 portal instead of putting Jake into a time machine that could go anywhere or anytime.

What I Disliked : As a Texan (a Houstonian), my familiarity with state geography is above average 🙂 . I wouldn’t describe Dallas and Killeen as being all that close. Also, Killeen has two “L’s” unlike how it’s spelled throughout the book. Then, there’s the whole saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” That’s because the state itself is the second biggest in the USA. Having gone to college in Waco which is in Central Texas, I can attest to the fact that I could not smell the oil fumes from Midland and Odessa. Lastly, I didn’t think this book should’ve been over 800 pages!

 Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: In the Mood by Glenn Miller – YouTube

Setting : Maine, Florida, Texas

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For more on Stephen King’s11/22/63, check out the following sites:

Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | LibraryThing

Chbosky, S. (1999). The perks of being a wallflower. New York: Pocket Books. 9780671027346

Reasons for Reading : The first time I heard about The Perks of Being a Wallflower was in library school. Stephen Chbosky’s work was banned by the Library Patrons of Texas. I hadn’t thought much about it until I saw that a movie based on the book would come out later in 2012. Thus, I requested and checked out the book from HCPL.

Summary : Assuming the alias “Charlie,” a troubled high school freshman writes letters to an unnamed friend, starting in the 1991. Through these rather intimate letters, Charlie describes his family, his teacher Bill who assigns extra essays to write, his senior friends, Patrick and Sam[antha], and his late Aunt Helen.

What I Liked : Nothing was sugarcoated in this book. Actually, it was pretty raw stuff. The characters were original and realistic.

What I Disliked : Maybe it was necessary for Chbosky to set this in the early 1990s. Yet, it would’ve appealed more if it had been set around the time it was published – 1999. Also, I somber read and not for those looking for some gentle literature.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: The Smiths – Asleep – YouTube

Setting : Pittsburgh, PA

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For more on Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower , check out the following sites: