September 30, 2010

Mini Review - Princess in Training (The Princess Diaries, Vol. VI) by Meg Cabot (audiobook)

Mia is back from her summer in Genovia, where she caused quite a stir with her environmental actions. Now that she's back home, she's starting sophomore year and must face a new challenge - Geometry. School is different without her boyfriend Michael, who is in college across town. Also, Mia's best friend Lily nominated her for student council president (against her will), and now Lily and Grandmere are working together on Mia's campaign strategy. These problems all seem minor, though, when Lana tells Mia that college boys expect their girlfriends to (gasp) DO IT! How much more can a princess take? 

Princess in Training was my favorite so far in the series. I think Mia is growing up a little and starting to stand up for herself more. Of course there's a lot of time spent on Mia obsessing about her problems, but for some reason it was less annoying in this book than in the others. I look forward to the next installment! 

Rating: 4/5

September 29, 2010

Wednesday Web Wanderings (22)

This is a collection of interesting book-related things I've come across online recently. Check 'em out!

Banned Books Week-themed links:
I recently found out that a very popular author (whose books have been recently challenged and banned) may be coming to Indianapolis for a children's book festival this winter. Until it's officially announced, I won't say who it is, but I really hope it works out. :)

Happy reading!

September 26, 2010

It's Monday: What Are You Reading? (22)

What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted over at Book Journey where bloggers gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

This has been a busy week with grad school, and next week will be even busier. Unfortunately I had to ignore a few of my "fun" books this week to concentrate on writing papers and completing projects. 

I finished: 

Princess in Training (The Princess Diaries, Vol. VI) by Meg Cabot (audiobook)
The Princess Diaries, Volume VI: Princess in Training

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (read for a "Recent Trends" assignment in my Materials for Youth class) 
Gossip Girl #1: A Novel (Gossip Girl Series)

I am currently reading: 

No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty (in preparation for the library's NaNoWriMo events)
No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante (from Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours)
The Sweetness of Salt

Good Girls Don't Get Fat by Robyn Silverman (eBook ARC)
Good Girls Don't Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (eBook - no progress this week)
Northanger Abbey

Dracula's Guest, edited by Michael Sims (no progress this week)
Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories

Next up: 

Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith (to read for a "Recent Trends" assignment in my Materials for Youth class) 
Bone, Vol. 1: Out From Boneville

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (audiobook, to read for a children's fantasy book assignment) 
Princess Academy

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (to read for a children's fantasy book assignment) 
Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Book 1)

What are you reading?

Review: Let's Roll!: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage by Lisa Beamer with Ken Abraham

I started reading this book on September 11 after watching a documentary about United Flight 93. I was listening to the story of Todd Beamer and the other passengers on that flight who were considered heroes, and I wanted to learn more about them. Luckily, my boyfriend had this book sitting on his bookshelf, so I was able to pick it up and start reading it right then. 

Todd's wife Lisa tells the story of their lives as children and relates many stories about Todd that demonstrate his character. She describes how they began dating in college, the early years of their marriage, and the birth of their first two children. Lisa and Todd's faith in God was evident in every decision they made in their lives. Todd, while not perfect, was a man with strong values who truly wanted the best for his family. Lisa describes the days leading up to September 11 and the excitement of expecting their third child together. 

Nobody knows exactly what happened on Flight 93, but phone calls from Todd Beamer and other passengers provide some of the puzzle pieces. In the days following September 11 and the loss of her husband, Lisa began to learn more about Todd's experience, and she started attracting a lot of media attention since her husband was being called a hero. Meanwhile, Lisa had 2 young kids to raise and one on the way. This book tells the inspirational true story of how Lisa's faith has helped her get through this tragedy. It is also a wonderful tribute to her husband. Is it the most sophisticated writing? No, but Let's Roll was a book I couldn't put down, and it made me admire Lisa Beamer for her strength and courage. 

Rating: 4/5

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a time for everyone to share what books they acquired over the course of the week. I'll share what I received in the mail, bought at bookstores, downloaded, or picked up from the library.
In the mail
-The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante (Good Golly Miss Holly ARC Tours)

From the library
- No Plot, No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days
  by Chris Baty (I'm preparing for the NaNoWriMo events we're hosting at my library!)

From the bookstore
- Glass by Ellen Hopkins
- Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren
- Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy (Barnes & Noble Free Friday eBook)

My boyfriend and I had a date night on Friday, and we went to the movies. He asked me why I always suggest going to the IMAX theater when there are others closer to our apartment, and I had to admit that it's because the IMAX theater is right next to a Borders, and we usually have a few minutes to shop before the movie. I will use any excuse to go book shopping! Plus I started babysitting his cousins 3 mornings a week, so I have a little extra money to spend on fun stuff like books. :)

What's in your mailbox this week? Leave a link and I'll go check out what you got! 

September 25, 2010

I'm with the banned!

It's that time of year again - Banned Books Week

I love this year's slogan: "Think for yourself and let others do the same." I think this really gets to the heart of the issue - people have the right to read whatever they want (and to monitor their own children's reading habits), but they do NOT have the right to tell anyone else what they can and cannot read. It becomes censorship when people start challenging other people's right to read or trying to ban books so that no one can read them. 
Here's a list of the 10 most challenged books of 2009. 
How many of them have you read? I've read To Kill a Mockingbird (which is my all-time favorite book!), the Twilight series, The Catcher in the Rye, My Sister's Keeper (which is by one of my favorite authors), and The Chocolate War.


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