Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 5 & 6

A bit behind on my weekly updates… here goes!

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~* Books Finished *~

Club Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 3, by Charlaine Harris
I don’t have that much to say about the books that I haven’t said yet – they are all pretty good, still a nice mix between Mystery/Investigation and Fantasy/Supernatural fiction. I find that they are getting better as we move through the series, and the plots are getting more complex, more intricate, and more characters are being introduced in every book. I think each book COULD be read as a stand-alone, the author does summarize the key parts of the action of previous books to explain some of the things happening in that book, but it’s pretty basic, and I think a reader wouldn’t get the full scope of the intrigue and building up of the stories without reading them from Book 1.
The next few sentences are a bit of a spoiler (but not too much ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so heads up if you don’t want any ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I kind of like that Sookie is not tied in to anyone in particular, portrayed as the ultimate soul mate. I like a good romance story with strong soul-mates like the next girl, but at the same time, it can become pretty predictable and kind of Been There, Done That. Sookie ends up involved with a bunch of different people, as love interests and as friends (or, enemies), it keeps things fresh and real: a real (not perfect fictional character) would have ambiguities, different levels of friendships, people who annoy you but you like anyway, etc. Personally, I found myself routing for various person at different time, and am mighty curious as to how this whole adventure will end up ๐Ÿ™‚
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Dead to the World: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 4, by Charlaine Harris
Same as above ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually really liked this one, (spoiler-alert!) Memory Loss Eric was actually kind of sweet! Made me root for him for awhile, actually, I’m still slightly rooting for him ๐Ÿ˜‰


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Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 5, by Charlaine Harris
Although this book was also good, it’s probably my least favourite of the series so far. Nothing major, just maybe didn’t draw me in as much. But the intrigue is getting more complex, and new elements & characters were introduced. I’m looking forward to Book 6!

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~* Books Started *~

Room, by Emma Donoghue
One of my playgroup hosts regular Book Club meetings, and this is the next selection. I’m free on the evening they are meeting, and my other book club kind of fell through the cracks, so I thought I’d join in! Pretty good book so far, even though the subject matter is a bit of a dark one.


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~* Next Up & Added on the List *~

No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley

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Definitely Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 6, by Charlaine Harris
It’s in from the library – I’ll read it as soon as I’m done with Room!

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Feeding Your Soul, by Jean Fleming
This is our next Monday Night Bible Study book, starting May 30th.

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 4

2 (and ~3/4) books this week!

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~* Books Finished *~

The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley
I liked the Q & A format of this book, made it easy to go through and find precise information. Overall, I’d say the book is fairly basic – a good first overview of the subject, to get basic info and know where to move on from there. It does a fairly decent job at explaining the different aspects of ADD & ADHD, as well as various methods to manage the disorder, including but not limited to medication, and presents ideas for working with teachers and schools. It presents options in a neutral way, neither advocating medications nor condemning it – rather, it presents the facts and guides to reader into making an informed decision, including questions to ask your care provider. It’s fairly easy to navigate and find answers to a specific issue/aspect you want more information on. The Q & A format also lets the reader read the parts that are relevant to him (or their child, etc.) at that moment and gloss over or skip those that are not. I would recommend it to anyone who has a child with ADD & ADHD, or who suspects their child might have, it perhaps even suspect THEY might have it. It’s a very good introduction book and/or first resource book to find more info, and could be a valuable tool to have in your personal library if you need to manage this disorder yourself or for someone under your care.
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Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2, by Charlaine Harris
A little bit different than the first one: not as much mixture between mystery and fantasy, more fantasy with some investigation going on, but more of a fantasy-related investigation than pure police investigation… if that makes sense ๐Ÿ™‚ย  The first book had a feel for both style, but with this one I felt we went more in the vampire/supernatural realm, although there is a murder, and we do follow it through. It was a bit like there was 2 stories in one: the book started with a story, then introduced the 2nd story, we concluded that one, and the came back to conclude the other one. It flowed well, but I have to admit I had almost completely forgotten about the first intrigue until it came back up – in fact, by the time we concluded the first one, I was wondering what the rest of the book was going to be about since there was a good chunk of it left but we had seemingly just tied all the plot lines for that second intrigue! ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  But all and all though, a good book, just like the first one. I couldn’t put it down, and I had to start book #3 immediately ๐Ÿ™‚

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~* Books Started *~

Club Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 3, by Charlaine Harris
I really wanted this book to count as a finished book this week! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I’m almost 3/4 done, and if I didn’t have a conference to attend today, followed by my parents and sister visiting afterwards, I’d have postponed posting this until later today and finished it during naptime ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ah well. No cheating today!
I would have been done sooner, but I gave some priority to my Bible in 90 days reading, seeing as I neglected it for, ahem, 2ish weeks, and I’m now very behind. But I still want to finish on May 5th, so! Also, DD2 gets too distracted with I read paper books versus on my Nook when I nurse her to sleep, resulting in, well, not falling asleep. Since I currently do a bulk of my reading when I nurse her to sleep 3 to 4 times a day, well, paper books go “slower” ๐Ÿ˜‰ The waiting list for them from the library is toooo long for my patience in reading them, so I’ll stick with the paper version my dad lent me. I have them to book 5, and I already placed books 6 to 8 on hold from the library – hopefully they’ll be ready when I am!!

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~* Next Up & Added on the List *~
Iโ€™ve added a couple of books to my list, which now brings it over 25 books. Iโ€™m going to maintain my goal of 25 books, meaning I might not read all the books in my list โ€“ I tend to choose my next book based on what I feel like at the moment rather than a set in stone list, anywayโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜‰

No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley

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Dead to the World: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 4, by Charlaine Harris

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Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 5, by Charlaine Harris

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 3

2 books this week!

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~* Books Finished *~
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Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy
I really enjoyed this book. My counsellor had highly recommended it when I expressed doubts on my parenting techniques (to make a long story short, I had Postpartum Depression/Anxiety/OCD after my first child, which came along with lots of doubting etc. I’m in a much better place now, but being proactive and all, I started seeing a counsellor pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and I’m still seeing her casually every 2 months or so, just to keep on top of it all – PPD can point it’s nose anytime during the first year, in any case. I would say I don’t have it, but I get tendencies, or moments. Anyway – I promise one day I’ll sit down and write about all that in more details!)
In any case, she recommended the book, and I found it to be excellent! Unlike many parenting books, it’s not a “This is a precise method and if you follow it to the letter you will FOR SURE get X results, and if you don’t it’s because there’s something very wrong with either you or your child”. Bah! No, rather, they present their ideas, back their claims, and then give you tools you might choose to use and/or adapt to your needs and parenting. And I can see why my counsellor kept telling me to just read it already (oops – I kept forgetting to check it out!) – it speaks EXACTLY to the type of parenting I was striving for, and was for the main part doing already. Perhaps it’s a bit of a preaching to the converted thing, but for me, anyway, it just reaffirmed my ideologies, as well as what I was already doing, and then gave me some tools and ideas to work on some areas we are currently having more struggles with.
All and all – I highly recommend it if you’re interested in learning more about this type of parenting/teaching/disciplining.
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Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 1, by Charlaine Harris
Heard a lot about this series, supposed to be good. Have not seen the True Blood series on TV yet, but I know it’s based on these books. I like supernatural/fantasy/magic type genre books, so I thought I might like these ones!
I never know how to label these types of books, it seems anyone you talk to will be using a different name for the genre. I suppose there are subgenres too… I guess one could also use the term “vampire fiction”, but I never like to use that, to describe my reading in any case, because it’s not the only fantasy/supernatural genre that I’ll read and like. Example: totally adore the “Charmed” TV series (kay, not a book, but same point :P) I suppose Lord of the Rings would also fit into this broad supernatural/fantasy genre, yet it’s completely different.
Anyway! Moving on.
As it turns out, it is supernatural/fantasy/magic type genre, but with a twist: it’s also very much a mystery/police investigation genre book. Which I normally don’t enjoy that much. But then again, I really liked this one, and I fairly enjoyed Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie too. Hmm…
All this to say it was a good book, and the mix between the two genre was refreshing and entertaining. I already have book #2 of the series on my nightstand ๐Ÿ™‚ And I will be renting the DVDs – hopefully before the new season starts on June 26th. Think I can finish the books before then too…?

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~* Books Started *~
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The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley
I needed more info on ADD & ADHD (for personal reasons), so I searched the library’s catalogue, and thought I’d browse this book. Should be a quick read as it’s all in Q&A form, and I’m skipping those that are not significant for me at this time.

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Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2, by Charlaine Harris
Book 2 of the series – I had it on request as an e-book, but I just finished Book 1 and it’s darn good and I just have to start book 2 NOW, if you know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I got it as a good ‘ol paper book.

Night World is being bumped down the list – the book was due back at the library with holds on them and I hadn’t had a chance to start it yet, and anyway my sister has them so I’ll just ask her to bring them over when she comes to visit next weekend.

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~* Next Up on the List *~
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No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley
I think we might need to address some sleep issues with Miss C, so I thought I’d revisit the book.

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Spring & Easter Activity Share

I printed a gardening Mini Book, which lists flowers by colour – PERFECT to complement a Rainbow Garden book we’ve had since last summer, one of A’s favourite! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  We’ll be reading the book, then colouring the mini book.
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I found an Easter Egg Tree craft on Sunday School Kids. The idea behind it is that egg represents new life, and the tree looks bare and dead in the winter, but will seem alive again in the spring when new buds come out. Together, they represent the new life promised to us through Jesus.

Using an image of an Easter egg with interesting but simple patterns (so that we can cut on the pattern lines and get different shapes to match up, versus for example an egg that would just be straight lines with different designs in each section… does that make sense??), we coloured it, ran it through the magnet laminating cartridge of my Xyron laminator, and made a fridge puzzle!

I found this fun Life of Jesus Cross Craft printable on Pre-Kinders. The Life cards come in a set of 2 on the 8.5×11 page, so I ran one set through the magnet cartridge, and made sequencing magnets for the fridge!

Here’s an Easter egg with shapes to cut and paste on the side – scroll down a bit it’s under the mp3 link.

I used the egg template page from Les Crรฉatifs (but I found it on this website) to make felt board eggs to go with this counting rhyme. I coloured them in Photoshop before printing them. The numbers come from my felt counting set. I also took out part of that set for counting games, using the bunny and chick pieces.

From that same website, I’m planning to do the Chick in the Egg pop-up craft (I copy/pasted the image in Photoshop, combining it to make 2 eggs shell and 1 chick fit on one page, so we can glue 2 shells together and have a pocket for the chick), and the glued feathers rooster craft (the links are to the image to print, from the main page you can see how the crafts look like).

We’ll do some marble painting again because it was so much fun! That set of patterned eggs comes with 2 blank one at the end which I’ll use for the marble painting template, and with the patterned one, I’ll see if I can get Miss A to kind of colour following the patterns, and then we’ll hang them in the playroom as Easter decorations!

I have some left-over foam cross from a Creatology set I got when we prepped for Miss C’s baptism – obviously we didn’t do them all then, and Easter is a perfect time to make some more!

Here are some VeggieTales Easter colouring pages – you’ll need Facebook to access them. (No, VeggieTales didn’t ask me to post these ;))


And, of course, some colouring pages, Easter & Spring themed/coloured craft items (markers, stamps, pompoms, glitter glue, stickers, foam bunnies and foam sticker eggs…), and books!

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I mention a lot of products in this post – in no way am I associated with any of the companies mentioned. They are simply products I have here and use, and linked them in the spirit of sharing methods & ideas. Some products do have a link back to an Amazon page, from which I’d receive a small percentage through the Associates program if a sale is made. Do note, however, that I didn’t mention them simply in order to be able to link them; rather I linked what I was already mentioning.

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 2

First week for me, but officially week 2 of the challenge.
Edit April 3rd: Oops! I had forgotten to list my finished magazines!

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~* Books & Mags Finished *~
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New York, by Edward Rutherfurd
As usual – EXCELLENT. I love Rutherfurd’s books!
I would say though that perhaps the pace was a little too quick – lots of periods covered, and so each section was rather short and quick, except for one or two that lingered longer. I think I prefer it when there’s a huge chunk of story over a couple of years with the same characters, and then a jump of a few generations to another chunk of story with their descendents. You can linger on the characters longer, get to know them, and really get into the story. When it jumps around every dozen pages to a few years later and you only spend a chapter or two with each generation… you don’t get to know them as well.
But that would be my only critic – and it’s very much a personal preference thing anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Other than that – if you enjoy historical novel, then pick this one up, and if you enjoyed Rutherfurd before, you won’t be disappointed!

Today’s Parent, April 2011
I figured I would read the latest issues as they come in, and then work on my backlog in between… ๐Ÿ˜‰
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~* Books Started *~
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Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy (21% done)
My counsellor highly recommended that book, so I’m reading it!

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~* Next Up on the List *~
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No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley
I think we might need to address some sleep issues with Miss C, so I thought I’d revisit the book.

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Night World No. 1 (Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder), by L. J. Smith (I already read Secret Vampire last May, so I guess this is technically a To Finish bookโ€ฆ but anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ ).
Came in from the library, so it’s a next up!

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Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 1, by Charlaine Harris
Also came in from the library.
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Spring Reading Thing 2011

In the fall, I participated in the Fall Into Reading 2010 challenge – and did pretty well! I got 20 books off my To Read list. Granted, Miss C was still a little wee baby then, spending hours nursing and sleeping in arms, so I had a LOT of reading time… ๐Ÿ™‚ย  It might be a bit different this time around! But I still like a challenge!

And so, here is my reading list for March 20th to June 20th. I may add or change up some books in this list as we go along, depending on my mood… ๐Ÿ™‚

25 books, plus some magazines, in 3 months (or 12 weeks). Think I can pull it off?

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Books already finished

  1. Vampireology: The True History of the Fallen Ones, by Archer Brookes

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Books to finish

  1. New York, by Edward Rutherfurd (~70% done)
  2. Green For Life, by Gillian Deacon (40% done)
  3. Preparing my Heart for Easter, by Ann Marie Stewart (41% done – it’s a daily Bible Study, end date is May 1st, one week after Easter)
  4. The Bible (~50% completed; my Bible in 90 days plan is scheduled to end on May 5th. I’m a bit behind at the moment, but I’ve mostly keep ahead so far, so I’m confident I’ll catch up ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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Books to read

  1. Night World No. 1 (Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder), by L. J. Smith (I already read Secret Vampire last May, so I guess this is technically a To Finish book… but anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ ).
  2. Night World No. 2 (Dark Angel, The Chosen, Soulmate), by L. J. Smith
  3. Night World No. 3 (Huntress, Black Dawn, Witchlight), by L. J. Smith
  4. Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy
  5. Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy
  6. Living Beyond Postpartum Depression, by Jerusha Clark
  7. La tueuse de dragons, by Hรฉloรฏse Cรดtรฉ
  8. Revenir de loin, by Marie Laberge
  9. Dancing With My Father, by Sally Clarkson
  10. L’arbre de l’รฉtรฉ: La tapisserie de Fionavar, Tรดme 1, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  11. Le feu vagabond: La tapisserie de Fionavar, Tรดme 2, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  12. La route obscure: La tapisserie de Fionavar, Tรดme 3, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  13. Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt
  14. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
  15. The Vampire Diaries, The Return Vol. 3: Midnight, by L. J. Smith (on hold at the library, I hope I get it before the end of the challenge!)
  16. Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 1, by Charlaine Harris (also on hold from the library, but I’m next in line ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
  17. The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley (also on hold, also next in line).
  18. Wicked Lovely: Wicked Lovely Series Book 1, by Melissa Marr
  19. Turned: The Vampire Journals Book 1, by Morgan Rice
  20. Loved: The Vampire Journals Book 2, by Morgan Rice

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Magazines to cover

  1. Today’s Parent: July 2010, August 2010, September 2010, October 2010, November 2010, December 2010, January 2011, February 2011, March 2011, April 2011
  2. Mothering Magazine: March-April 2011 (their LAST issue!!! snif!!!)
  3. Life Learning Magazine: whenever I get my first issue – it’s my replacement magazine Mothering gave me as a subscriber. I chose this one because it’s an unschooling magazine, looking forward to trying it out! (even if I’m still super bummed about Mothering…)

Booking Through Thursday – Reading Meme, Part V

This was posted a while ago on Booking Through Thursday – never a better time than now to answer it ๐Ÿ˜‰
It’s long – 55 questions! – so I’ll be posting it 10-ish questions at a time, for the next few Thursdays.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
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46. The most money Iโ€™ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Ahem… Too much.
Ok so went I went to Portland, OR in April 2006 for an undergraduate symposium in Art History in which I was presenting, I was directed to Powell’s Bookstore. Oh my gasp – what a bookstore!! It’s HUGE! It’s themed room is about the size of a Chapter’s, it’s a whole city block square, with multiple stories. I spent a whole evening in there – and left with many, many new (and gently used) books. I don’t remember the amount, but I do remember it became problematic when I packed my luggage – it didn’t fit! It was packed to exploding, and the clerk at the airport check-in wasn’t sure it wouldn’t just literally burst open. So a fellow presenter I had met at the conference, a local, who had kindly given me a ride to the airport, rummaged through his car to find plastic bags, and I carried-on part of my purchases. I love that story ๐Ÿ™‚
More recently, I went to a Book Show with my sister for my birthday. I had about $120 spending money, my sister and her boyfriend gave me ~$30 as a gift, and my parents $60. Yea, I had nothing left.
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47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Always – I skim the table of content, and get a grasp of what each chapter is about, for textbooks, or how the chapters/parts of the story are divided, for novel. I have a very organized mind: I like to know how long is a chapter, how many there are, how the book is divided. When I start a new chapter, I often look to see at which page it ends – not that I can’t wait to get through it, but I like to know what to “expect”, so to speak. I don’t usually skim the book itself though, when it’s a novel – but I might do it for a textbook.
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48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Pretty much nothing, although, again, I’m re-evaluating that, as mentioned in question #37.
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49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes – I’m an organization junkie! Right now, they are roughly organized by type, mostly by size (I’m visual – the look of books organized by size trumps the by type/subject) in my bedroom bookshelf. On my Nook, they are organized by type/genre.
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50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once youโ€™ve read them?
Keep. Although I’m starting to have a lot, and I’m actively trying to reduce my clutter. So those I know I’ll never re-read (mostly novels, that were good, but not memorable), I put in my Book Exchange bin, and I regularly host Book Exchange playdates with my various playgroups. Worst-case scenario, I can always rent them back from the library ๐Ÿ˜‰
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51. Are there any books youโ€™ve been avoiding?
Not really. I avoided reading Twilight until I had all 4 books in trade paperback – I prefer that format, and I hate starting a series and not being able to continue it (unless it’s because the following book is not out yet). Then again, I might wait until all books are out too ๐Ÿ˜‰
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52. Name a book that made you angry.
Chat : -), Connect }:-), and Crash ; -), by Nan McCarthy – the ending pretty much killed it for me. I talk about it here.
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53. A book you didnโ€™t expect to like but did?
The Book of Negroes, by Lawrence Hill, and Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, by Azar Nafidi, which were both Book Club selections. They were so uninteresting to me, that, after reading their synopsis, I didn’t even vote for them in the selection poll. But I’m glad I read them, they were both very good indeed!
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54. A book that you expected to like but didnโ€™t?
Brick Lane, by Monica Ali, another Book Club selection, which I had that time voted for, and was looking forward to read. It just – didn’t like. I’ve linked to my review in an earlier question, here it is again.
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55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Twilight Saga ๐Ÿ˜›
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The End.