Archive for August, 2008

Free Coffee Recipe E-Book

Posted August 28, 2008 By Jandy
 


Starbucks Coffee Recipe E-book

From CoffeeFair.com:

OK… Get ready to grab (for free of course) one of the most delicious collections of coffee recipes available online. It’s an amazing 32 page collection of their world famous coffee recipes such as iced Frappuccino, Caramel Macchiato, Chai Tea and many more.

Plus delicious and one of a kind coffee pastries and amazing coffee sauces.
For your safety our e-book has been virus scanned and checked for any of that bad stuff and is completely safe and clean. There are also no irritating ads in it and there is nothing in it for you to buy.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008

Posted August 28, 2008 By Jandy
 

While poking around the web today, I found a post for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008 at My Friend Amy‘s blog. I didn’t know there were people looking to give awards to Book Blogs. But if you’re going to vote, it has to be soon. The final day for voting is August 31st.

Her categories for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008 are:

Best General Book Blog
Best Kidlit Blog
Best Christian/Inspirational Fiction Blog
Best Literary Fiction Blog
Best Book Club Blog
Best Romance Blog
Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog
Best Non-fiction Blog
Best Young Adult Lit Blog
Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog
Best Challenge Host
Best Community Builder
Best Cookbook Blog
Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
Best Design
Most Chatty
Most Concise
Most Eclectic Taste
Best Name for a Blog
Best Published Author Blog
Best Book published in 2008
Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Most Extravagant Giveaways
Best Book Community site

The best part about the awards? I think that it is getting the lead to so many more book blogs – like I need that. My Friend Amy‘s blog includes book reviews, author interviews, and thoughts on whatever.

Speaking of book blogs, check out Have Pen, Will Travel by one of my family members. It has transitioned into a book review site. It could be worth an award nomination.

Family Weekends

Posted August 25, 2008 By Jandy
 

This past weekend my daughter came home to visit before college starts this week. She, my other daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters, had a great time at the San Diego Zoo. I don’t remember having to teach my daughters what you’re supposed to see at the zoo. We had to point out to my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter what she should look for in those cages. The only animals she’s been around are domestic cats and dogs. By the time we found elephants and giraffes she was getting it.

After we came home, my younger daughter and I spent most of the rest of the weekend reading. She was reading the newest Nora Roberts novel while I’ve been reading an older Anne McCaffrey. We both finished our books and started new ones yesterday.

We did go out once yesterday – to the library. Every time she’s home she has to visit our library bookstore. Between us we walked out of there with six or seven more books. We stopped to watch The Devil Wears Prada, but then went back to book related activities. She and I agreed it was a good, relaxing weekend that we enjoyed.

Doctor Zhivago

Posted August 20, 2008 By Jandy
 


My book club read Doctor Zhivago this month (as I’ve mentioned before). We met last night. I finished it Sunday, which gave me time to think about the novel before our meeting.

After listening to the others in the group, I’ve decided one of my problems with the book is because I’m reading a translation and it’s uneven in its flow. Admittedly, the political scenes bored me. The characters, though, are shaped by the politics in Russia at the time, and the story would be very different without the upheaval.

One of our members is a Russian immigrant. She brought the native perspective and talked to us about Russia and Pasternak and the history that lead up to this book. It was very interesting to hear what she said. This is one of her favorite books of all time. It wasn’t allowed to be published in Russia until the late 1980’s. Thanks to her for the lessons that help fill out the book.

Best Loved Author in the U.K. – Enid Blyton

Posted August 20, 2008 By Jandy
 

Enid who?? Blyton. An incredibly prolific writer of children’s books in England. Just “voted” the Most Cherished Author. (þ: Literary Saloon)

From LazyGal

——–

I loved Enid Blyton’s books when I was a kid. I read every one our small library had numerous times. I believe they were my introduction to mystery novels.

The Costa Book Awards are sponsored by Costa Coffee in the U.K. The top ten best loved authors are:

Enid Blyton
Raold Dahl
J.K. Rowling
Jane Austen
William Shakespeare
Charles Dickens
J.R.R. Tolkien
Agatha Christie
Stephen King
Beatrix Potter

Check out their site for the rest of the top 50 list.

It’s Slow Going

Posted August 16, 2008 By Jandy
 

Call It Sleep by Henry RothFor the past few weeks I’ve been reading Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. I interrupted it because I had promised Penguin Classics a review on Call It Sleep by Henry Roth. Then my copy of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer came in at the library and I had to see what happens to Bella, Edward, Jacob, and their friends.

After finishing that, I returned to Dr. Zhivago. This book is a slow read. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a Russian book or Pasternak’s writing or because I’m not reading it in its native language (I’d never finish it if I tried to read it in Russian!) The language frequently is unwieldy and heavy. The sentences and structure are often clumsy.

The book is interesting when Pasternak focuses on the people in the story. In fact, the first thing I did was make post it notes on the ancillary characters so I could keep track of who is who.

I find some of Pasternak’s descriptions beautiful. When Zhivago and his family are on the train from Moscow east to an old family settlement, there is a description of the water as the snow thaws in the spring. You can almost see the water playfully rushing along as it unfreezes.

But the politics…which is why the book was written, not for the love story between Zhivago and Lara like the movie centralizes. Those scenes during political discussions or when the reader is following the revolutionist army from camp to camp or the battle scenes – those weigh me down.

Book club is Tuesday night and I’m only 2/3 of the way through. One of our members grew up in Russia. She chose this book for us to learn and appreciate some great Russian literature. I hope I finish it…

Fiction Database Site

Posted August 5, 2008 By Jandy
 

A few years ago there was a wonderful site (I think it was called Book Browser) that had lists of books – by author, by genre, by series, etc. It was wonderful for looking up series lists in any genre. I was in and out of that site all the time. Then Barnes and Noble bought the site and all the list pages disappeared. I was angry but couldn’t do anything about it.


Since then I found Stop, You’re Killing Me! for mysteries. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s a superb site. It’s a site of love rather than commercial, although it has Amazon, Barnes and Noble’s, and other book sellers ads. Now I always go there when I’m checking out the order of a mystery series or just looking for something new. (Mt. Bookpile is so big I haven’t looked for anything new there for a while…) Occasionally I don’t find an author I’m hunting, but it’s rare.


For science fiction and fantasy (and mystery) there is Books ‘n Bytes. It has a wonderful database. I believe I’ve found every sci fi or fantasy author I’ve ever hunted there. (I just checked their home page to check my link – they carry all genres now, but I never noticed because I always go for sci fi/fantasy. It looks like I’ll have to poke around there now.)

I know there are others, but those two sites worked for most of my needs. They don’t cover general fiction or romance, though. (Well, so I thought – see my addition above.)

Now there’s FictionDB. I’ve poked around there for the last week or so and am impressed. The first disclaimer is that for now it lists current or popular authors, especially those with series. Nora Roberts is at the top of their author search list. I’ve looked for Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, and Charles Dickens with no results. But I’ve found Jonathan Franzen and Joyce Carol Oates, neither of whom have any “series” books. I’ve searched numerous romance authors with good results.

I also like the pseudonym list. It shows Barbara Michaels as a pseudonym for Elizabeth Peters, but doesn’t show that her real name is Barbara Mertz. Until I poked around, I didn’t know that Orson Scott Card wrote a story under the name Scott Richards.

Of course all the sites have links to reviews and to bookstores like Amazon, Powell’s, or Barnes and Nobles. That makes purchasing a title you want much easier. Of course, I always like checking my public library as well…