July 26, 2008

All About Anne

This is my latest read: A Lady Raised High, by Laurien Gardner. It is the story of Anne's rise to the crown, then her equally alarming fall. It is told from the perspective of one of Anne's ladies, Frances Pierce. Frances was a nobody, the daughter of a baronet, that is a farmer. Anne sees much of herself in her, and decides to elevate her status. Frances's story revolves around her love and devotion for Anne and the love she shares with her husband, Sir Jack Carlisle.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a quick read, that is for sure. I finished it in about two
days time. Gardner's writing style is simple and is designed to intrigue her readers who do not perhaps have a true grasp for the historical facts about Anne Boleyn's life. While this is obviously fiction, it is really quite entertaining. I would and will recommend this book to those who are looking for more accounts of Anne. This one especially because it portrays her from the perspective of someone who was behind Anne and believed in her virtue and devotion to Henry. It makes for a nice change of pace from the stories that always make Anne a horrible manipulative witch. Whether she was one or not, I don't know. But it is fun to read a familiar tale with a different twist.

book is one in a trilogy about the Tudor women. Gardner also wrote a book about Catherine of Aragon (which for some reason none of my local book stores carry), and another one about Jane Seymour (which I will start reading later this weekend). I'm really excited about the Jane Seymour book because I've never really read much about her. I will of course post what I think about it once I'veread it.

On another personal note, I found an apartment! For one person, it's rather big and is also quite affordable. I was
shocked to be able to find something that I loved and was able to afford on a student's budget. I move in at the end of August, and I can't wait!

July 22, 2008

Oh Ms. Rowling...

So if you've been keeping up with my "Currently Reading" little widget there, you'll see that I've finished off my reread of the Harry Potter series. I don't know if it is sad or not that I am 22, going on 23 in October, and was completely engulfed in the reread.

I was talking to my best friend last night (hi Robin!) who is also 22 and just as *appreciative* of Harry Potter as I am. She is just about to start her first reread of the last book. We simply were discussing some of the more sad parts of the story when we came to discuss certain characters who Rowling killed. (I give no spoiler warning because either you don't care about HP or you've already read it, there's no in between.) There are three moments that I identified where I actually had to stop reading. Not because my reading headache had set in. No no, I've learned how to power through those over the years. And it wasn't because I had something else that I needed to do. No, it was because my tears blurred my vision to the point where I could barely tell that I was even looking at a book.

1. Fred Weasley's Death - Now I am a redhead. For the fifth movie installment, Robin and I made shirts for the midnight premier (I know...). Mine said "I Wish I Were A Weasley." And I do... Ginny to be exact. So needless to say, Fred's death was a kick in the face.

2. Dobby's Death - The elf loved Harry so much that he died to protect him. Need I say more?

3. Harry using the Resurrection Stone - I can't take it when he speaks to the spirits of his mother, father, and godfather. He knows he's about to die and wants to know if it hurts and wants to let them know that he will be with them shortly. It's ridiculous. Stories about child wizards should not be that sad.

I know it makes me a bit of a loser, but I really can't help it. Somehow I got sucked into this crazy phenomena when I honestly put up a valiant fight to resist it for a while. (Ironically, I caved once I got to college...) The sixth movie installment is due out in November. I guess waterproof mascara will have to be added to the preparations list!

P.S. I am not posting a review for Nicholas Sparks's The Guardian. Just read it. It took me less than 24 hours. It's definitely got the Nicholas Sparks romance, but it's also got some thriller/murder stuff going on. Wonderful!

July 15, 2008

Book OCD

I am a little bit OCD about certain things. My books and DVD collections are alphabetized (books, obviously by author, then title unless part of a series). My clothing in my closet is color coordinated going from white (the lightest) to black (the darkest). I really like things to be at right angles.

But these things are quite common in people. I wonder if my fellow book nerds out there share this semi-OCD-like feature?

I love purchasing entire series of books. If one is missing, it drives me absolutely crazy, especially if said missing book is one of the middle books. That's not my OCD thing though. My OCD thing is that I like the entire series to be the same. That is, if I bought the first book in hardback, all following books need to be in hardback also if they're in my library. The same applies if it is paperback. My Harry Potter books are all hardbacked. The "Anne" books by Posie Graeme-Evans are all paperbacked. My Outlander/Lord John books are all paperbacked also.

It drives me nuts that I have the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books (I know they're immature, but the message is good!) and that two of them are paperback and two are hardback. Maybe it's crazy, but that's me.

The problem with this is that I adore Diana Gabaldon's Outlander and Lord John books. Since I bought them in paperback, I need to continue to buy them in paperback... which means I have to wait a long long long time for it to come out since they aren't released at the same time as the hardbacks.

Oh, the troubles of being OCD...

July 1, 2008

LibraryThing's Most Popular

I stole this from a fellow LibraryThing-er and thought it would make for a somewhat interesting post since I won't have any new books to review... I'm currently rereading all of the Harry Potter books. So... just read and enjoy, feel free to respond and copy it yourself! I've done it a bit differently to capture the eye better. I will follow the instructions, but if I own it, it will be red also. If I've read it, it will be blue also. If I've read AND own it, it will be purple.

Here is the Top 100 Most Popular Books on LibraryThing. Bold what you own, italicize what you've read. Star what you liked. Star three times what you loved!

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (32,484) ***
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (29,939) ***

3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (28,728) ***

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (27,926) ***

5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (27,643) ***

6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (27,641) ***

7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (23,266)

8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (21,325)

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (20,485) ***

10. 1984 by George Orwell (19,735)

11. Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics) by Jane Austen (19,583) ***

12. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (19,082) *

13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (17,586)

14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (16,210) *

15. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (15,483)

16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (14,566)

17. Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Bronte (14,449)

18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (13,946)

19. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (13,272)

20. Animal Farm by George Orwell (13,091)

21. Angels & demons by Dan Brown (13,089)

22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (13,005)

23. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (12,777)

24. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (12,634)

25. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (12,276)

26. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (12,147) ***

27. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (11,976)

28. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, Part 2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,512)

29. The Odyssey by Homer (11,483)

30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (11,392)

31. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (11,360)

32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (11,257)

33. The return of the king : being the third part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,082)

34. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (10,979)

35. American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (10,823)

36. The chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (10,603)

37. The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams (10,537) 38. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (10,435)

39. The Lovely Bones : a novel by Alice Sebold (10,125)

40. Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card (10,092)

41. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (9,827)

42. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman (9,745)

43. Dune by Frank Herbert (9,671)

44. Emma by Jane Austen (9,610)

45. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (9,598)

46. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bantam Classics) by Mark Twain (9,593)

47. Anna Karenina (Oprah's Book Club) by Leo Tolstoy (9,433)

48. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (9,413)

49. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (9,343)

50. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (9,336)

51. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (9,274)
52. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,246)

53. The Iliad by Homer (9,153)

54. The Stranger by Albert Camus (9,084)

55. Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (9,080)

56. Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (9,027)

57. The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (8,960)

58. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (8,904)

59. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (8,813)

60. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery - (8,764)

61. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (8,421)

62. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (8,417)

63. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (8,368)

64. The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition) by John Steinbeck (8,255)

65. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (8,214)

66. The Name of the Rose: including Postscript to the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (8,191)

67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (8,169)

68. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (8,129)

69. The complete works by William Shakespeare (8,096)

70. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (7,843)

71. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (7,834)

72. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Barbara Kingsolver (7,829)

73. Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library) by William Shakespeare (7,808)

74. Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by John Steinbeck (7,807)

75. A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (7,793)

76. The Alchemist (Plus) by Paulo Coelho (7,710)

77. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (7,648)

78. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Oscar Wilde (7,598)

79. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk (7,569)

80. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (7,557)

81. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman (7,534)

82. Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan (7,530) ***

83. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (7,512)

84. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (7,436)

85. Dracula by Bram Stoker (7,238)

86. Heart of Darkness (Dover Thrift Editions) by Joseph Conrad (7,153)

87. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (7,055)

88. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (7,052)

89. The amber spyglass by Philip Pullman (7,043)

90. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics) by James Joyce (6,933)

91. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Milan Kundera (6,901)

92. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (6,899)

93. Neuromancer by William Gibson (6,890)

94. The Canterbury Tales (Penguin Classics) by Geoffrey Chaucer (6,868)

95. Persuasion (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (6,862)

96. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (6,841)

97. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (6,794)

98. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (6,715)

99. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (6,708)

100. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (6,697)