Saturday, March 07, 2009

just some odds 'n' ends

I didn't forget to draw a winner for 50 Reasons to Buy Fair Trade. Well, actually I did forget. But I'm not really that late, am I? Anyway, Chris, you're the lucky winner...and I shall get it out to you soon. Hope you enjoy it!


If you happen to be doing Annie's challenge, you might want to pop over as she finally announced her first contest. (She was going to do it on the first month, but seems we're running behind on everything here, huh?)


And now for this week's Library Loot. Many thanks to our lovely hostesses, Eva and Alessandra. Now as much as I love, love, love the library, I told myself that I was NOT going to get any books this week...because I really, really, really need to get some of the books off my own shelves! Well, this is what "NOT going to get any books this week" looks like:

I am so damn pathetic. But, hey, it does mean I have points to award.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I've been tempted by this book for a long time, and yet reluctant. Mostly afraid that I'd have a hard time with the dialect. But Trish's and Eva's reviews pushed me over the edge. Point for each of them!

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang. I was delighted to read that Eva enjoyed this one, because I'd actually been looking for a good book on the subject. Another point for Eva!

City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in the Jaffa by Adam LeBor. Oh yes, you guessed it...Eva strikes again. I'd actually asked her for a recommendation on the subject earlier and she'd told me about this one. But her review is really wonderful, too, of course! Point number three for Eva!

The Dead & The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Impulse grab. Loved Life as We Knew It so much that I knew I'd eventually get to this one.

Streets of Babel by Carol Blum-Ucci. Just looked so good, I couldn't bring myself to put it down once I'd picked it up.

The Mystery of Mary Rogers by Rick Geary. Yay...our library just bought this one! I've wanted to read more of this series ever since reading The Borden Tragedy. And Joy's review had my craving it even more. Point for Joy!

The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman. Seriously, I really don't need to explain this one, do I? ;) I was sooooo excited to see it there's been checked out for ages.

The Last Temptation by Neil Gaiman. Probably shouldn't admit this, but I'd never heard of this one before. But does one say "no" to a Neil Gaiman graphic novel when one sees it? I think not.


The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg.

Yes, and finally a mini dose of book babble. This book first entered my radar screen with Carl's and Dewey's reviews. Sounded like a book that both Annie and I would very much enjoy.

The book starts with Jane being hurt when a bomb explodes in a terrorist attack in the city where she and her parents live. Her parents react to their fear by moving the family to the suburbs. Not a choice Jane is happy about.

Prior to the attack, Jane had been a popular girl in her school in the city. But on her first day at her new school, Jane makes a conscious decision to avoid the "in" crowd, despite their overtures to her. The attack has Jane questioning a lot of things. Instead, Jane tries to befriend "the misfits" of the school. Each fills a stereotypical niche in your average high school. And I have to say it was here where I was at first feeling a bit let down with the book. But I'm glad I stuck with it, because the story and the characters really grew on me. I hate to tell too much more about the story, but I will say that it's got a lot more going on than a "new kid in school" story. It's about learning to deal with fear, about trying to figure out what really matters in life, about acceptance and stretching one wings.

One small me, it seemed to end too abruptly. But really, all in all, I ended up enjoying the book a great deal. And I am definitely glad that I finally got around to reading it. And yes, I'm definitely hoping Annie will read it before we have to return it to the library.


Amanda said...

Streets of Babel was pretty good. I picked it up on impulse over the summer and though it wasn't as fantastic as I thought it would be, I think you'll like it :)

Chris said...

I won another book! Yay!! Can't wait for that one Debi :D Thanks! Great library loot there! The Dead and the Gone is fantastic but it's quite depressing..just want to warn you ahead of time! I've been wanting to read the Last Temptation for awhile looks really good! Hope you enjoy it!

Literary Feline said...

I hope you will enjoy Their Eyes Were Watching God. I really enjoyed that one when I read it. I am not familiar with The Plain Janes but it does sound good. I'll have to look for it.

Nymeth said...

Congrats to Chris!

If by "pathetic" you mean "awesome" then yes...yes you are :P

That's a fantastic loot. Is The Last Temptation the Alice Cooper book? I read that ages ago, and at the time I actually wasn't too crazy about it. But I can't really remember the details very well, and a Neil Gaiman book I'm not too crazy about is usually still well above average :P

Must get my hands on The Plain Janes! And on The Dead and The Gone too.

Becky said...

I'm so happy to see you've got both Their Eyes Were Watching God--one of my favorite, favorite, favorites--and The Dead and the Gone. While d&g is predictably depressing--as you can imagine--it is also good. Just be prepared to go to a happier book on rebound.

Ali said...

Glad you liked the Plain Janes. I always think graphic novels end too quick!

Debi said...

You know, I was actually afraid that as good as it sounds, it sort of has the potential to be a real let-down if it's not done right. I will definitely try not to go into with my hopes too unreasonably high. Thanks!

You're welcome, of course! I'm really eager to start The Dead and the Gone...Annie and I actually convinced Rich to read Life as We Knew It, which he's reading right now. Somehow that has me wanting to dive into The Dead even more.

Literary Feline,
Thanks, I'm sure I will enjoy it...if I can actually make myself just start it. I don't know why I convince myself that I just won't understand books sometimes. I do it with fiction and non-fiction alike...and frankly, I know what a totally ridiculous thing it is to do and yet I can't seem to stop myself.

Yeah, it is the Alice Cooper book. I'm looking forward to giving it a go...but Dream Country will definitely come first!!!
I hope you enjoy The Plain Janes when you read it. Like I said (or tried to say), at the beginning I was sort of underwhelmed, but then it really picked up for me and I ended up enjoying it very much.

Love your rebound advice! Have I heard there's to be a third book that sort of brings the first two together? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

Wonder why that is anyway...

Scrap girl said...

What a fantastic haul. Hope you have a fab time reading them.

Melody said...

Congrats to Chris!

Wow, what a haul, Debi! Enjoy your books! :)

Trish said...

I have major book envy right now. I want to be reading what everyone else has in their stacks rather than what's on my own. :( Hope you enjoy Their Eyes--I'll be curious of what you think.

Carl V. said...

It does have a bit of an abrupt end, but if you pick up the sequel, Janes in Love, I think you'll agree with me that the two together make for one great story.

Eva said...

Yay!!! I'm so excited about your library loot. :) I'll be posting my review of Bad Samaritans soon.

Joy said...

Thanks for the point. :)

I'm looking forward to reading both The Dead and the Gone and Their Eyes Were Watching God (TBR pile). You'll probably get to them before me, so I look forward to your reviews.