Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Books Wrapped in Human Skin

Alright, as if Halloween isn't creepy enough as it is, I came across the topic of 'Books Wrapped in Human Skin', which is actually known as anthropodermic bibliopegy.

I discovered an article titled Top 10 Books Wrapped in Human Skin on the TopTenz website. According to the TopTenz article:
The practice of binding books in human skin, also known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, is not just the stuff of dark legends and horror fiction.  It was a real technique which, although frowned upon and considered ghastly by today’s standards, was officially practiced since the 17th century.  The technique gained considerable popularity during the French Revolution and among the upper classes in the 19th century.  The technique was used to bind such texts as anatomy books, last will and testaments, and judicial proceedings.  Of course, there have been many legends concerning this practice, almost all of which have cast it in an evil light.  But anthropodermic bibliopegy has a distinct history of being utilized for regular, and even mundane, text.

The thought of books wrapped with human skin is something I'd never envisioned before and sounds pretty strange!! Check out the link above to see pictures of books bound with human skin.

Until my next post, have a happy and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families & Friends by Pippa Middleton

Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends by Pippa Middleton is being released today here in the United States just in time for the holiday season!

Pippa Middleton is the younger sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and on Amazon's website in the About the Author section:
Pippa Middleton is the editor of The Party Times, an online party magazine from Party Pieces, the UK's leading online party-supply company, founded in 1987. She has organised many events during her career at London-based events company Table Talk, for luxury brand and corporate companies as well as private parties.
Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends is Pippa Middleton's first book and according to the book description on Amazon, her new book "reveals the secrets to hosting a successful party with recipes, tips and detailed instructions on how to throw a memorable event."

In a recent Los Angeles Times Article titled Are you ready to party like Pippa Middleton? by Carolyn Kellogg, Pippa Middleton "was paid a reported $650,000" for
Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Video discussion: Author Margaret Atwood Talks About Her New Byliner Serial

I'm a fan of Margaret Atwood's writing. So, I was excited to learn that Los Angeles Times writer, Carolyn Kellogg, was having a video chat with Margaret Atwood about her new serial. This video chat is approximately 33 minutes in length. Have fun watching it! Be sure to share your thoughts about this video after watching it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


So, I've come across another book website called Booktagger, which is a new website to me as I'd never heard of it until a few days ago.

On Booktagger's homepage, it states the following:
Tired of cruising book stores trying to judge a book by its cover? Now you can ask those who've read it before.
Booktagger is an online bookshelf application to list the books you've read and to share them with others.
Plus, the Booktagger website offers the following features:
  • Discover books to read by browsing others' bookshelves.
  • List the books you've read and want to read.
  • Find people with similar reading tastes.
  • Keep track of books you lend.
  • Create book lists (scariest, funniest and best).
  • Build an online book club.
  • Review the books you've read.
  • Order books.
This sounds like an interesting website. I especially like the idea of starting and running your own online book club! 

Has anyone joined Booktagger? If so, what has your experience as a member of Booktagger been like?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Finds #1

Friday Finds is a book meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading. It’s a chance to share and show off the books you discovered during the week and would like to add to your reading list. Or feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

This week I purchased the unabridged audiobook version of The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson. I've become quite a fan of audiobooks this year, not that I wasn't a fan of audiobooks before this year, it's just that I seem to enjoy listening to them more than ever this year. Anyway, I was able to purchase this brand new audiobook for the rock bottom price of $1.51!

I've added the following book titles to my wishlist:

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
City of Women by David R. Gillham
Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings 

Which books have you discovered this week?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kidnapped: The Abduction by Gordon Korman

I enjoyed listening to the unabridged version of Kidnapped: The Abduction by Gordon Korman on three audio compact discs. Kidnapped: The Abduction is the first novel in a trilogy that is geared for kids aged 8 years old and up.

Kidnapped: The Abduction is my 1st experience reading anything written by Gordon Korman. I enjoyed this book because it is fast paced, engaging, and well written. The characters are well developed. I also enjoyed that this book features, Aiden & Meg, a brother and sister duo who are close knit siblings. They're smart and resourceful kids who seem to be able to outsmart the bad guys. Aiden & Meg are positive role models for kids. 

Additionally, I enjoyed the shifting points of view between Aiden & Meg from chapter to chapter as this allowed the reader to know what was going on with each character and what they were thinking throughout the novel.

I also loved listening to Kidnapped: The Abduction as an audiobook. The dramatic readers of this novel did an excellent job of bringing to life the story and the characters. 

Here's a book description of Kidnapped: The Abduction from Amazon:
It's every brother's worst fear: As Aiden and his sister Meg are walking home from school one day, a van pulls over and Meg is kidnapped. There's no way for Aiden to stop it from happening. He's the only witness to his sister's disappearance.
Why has Meg been kidnapped? Is it for ransom? As a vendetta against Meg and Aiden's parents? Or is there an even bigger conspiracy at work?
While Meg fends off her kidnappers and plans an escape, Aiden must team up with the FBI to try to find her--tracking down clues only a brother could recognize. 
Until my next post, happy reading!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ten Classic Books Every Lesbian Should Read

I came across an article from Curve Magazine titled Ten Classic Books Every Lesbian Should Read by Kate Lacey. Regardless, if you're a lesbian or not, I think these 10 classic books make for interesting reading! Check out which books made the list by clicking on the link above.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

15 Postcards From Famous Authors!

Not only am I an avid reader and lover of books, but I'm also an avid collector of postcards. I love collecting postcards from various cities & states in my own country as well as postcards from around the world. 

I've actually been collecting postcards for over 30 years now. I can't remember exactly when or what age I began collecting postcards. But, I must have been between 10 to 12 years old and like any child of that age, I loved receiving items addressed to me in our mailbox. Relatives periodically sent me postcards in the mail and thus my collection of postcards began.  

I now have countless postcards in my collection. Many of the postcards I've purchased for myself and plenty of them I've been sent to me in the mail by other friends and family members. I've recently discovered and joined Postcrossing, so now I've begun exchanging postcards with people from around the world.

I came across an article on Flavorwire by Emily Temple titled 15 Postcards From Famous Authors. I couldn't wait to read this article as it combined my love of postcards & the fabulous authors who write the wonderful books we read! It was fun to see the actual handwriting of these authors on the back of each postcard.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Books

2012 has been flying by for me. I can hardly believe that the Halloween holiday is only 9 days away!!

So, with the upcoming Halloween holiday, it has me wondering if you'll be reading any Halloween themed books this season? 

I do not have any Halloween holiday books lined up to read myself, but I did come across an Halloween interesting reading list that looks divine!! Check out Emily Temple's article, A Highbrow Halloween Reading List, on Flavorwire.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

I enjoyed reading Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse very much and I can see why this novel won the Newbery Medal in 1998.

This novel is a work of historical fiction set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl era in the years 1934 & 1935. The story is told through the point of view of a girl named Billie Jo. 

My favorite part of this novel was that it was written entirely as a series of free verse poems and feels very much like reading someone's personal diary.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

DIY Book Headboard

DIY Book Headboard
Calling all book lovers and DIY crafty types!! I have the perfect book themed project to make any bedroom look more inviting with a DIY Book Headboard from the Design Every Day blog site.

Okay, I L-O-V-E the idea of making this DIY Book Headboard!! The finished product looks super cool to me and like a lot of fun to make. Unfortunately, I'm not sure my hubby would be as wild about having this headboard in our bedroom as I would.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

“[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” Judy Blume

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Speaking in Tongues by Jeffery Deaver

Speaking in Tongues
Earlier this week, I finished reading Speaking in Tongues by Jeffery Deaver. This is the first novel I've ever read by Jeffery Deaver and I enjoyed reading this captivating novel.

Speaking in Tongues is filled with several suspenseful scenes that have you sitting on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what's going to happen next. I enjoyed the characters in this novel, the storyline, and plot development for the most part. 

I felt that some of that some of the actions of the characters were a tad far fetched and not very plausible. 

I also thought that the last chapter of this novel was too convenient. The storyline was wrapped up too quickly and certain people and events mentioned earlier in the book needed to be flushed out in a couple of paragraphs, not in a sentence or two.

Otherwise this was a great novel to read. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Author Name Pronunciation Guide

Have you ever wondered how to pronounce the name of an author?

The Teaching Books website offers the following service:
A collection of brief recordings of authors & illustrators saying their names.

Hello, my name is …

Personalize reading with these one-minute audio recordings of authors and illustrators pronouncing and telling stories about their names.
  • Learn the correct pronunciation for names you didn't know how to say
  • Discover historical and cultural details about authors' names
  • Over a thousand "Hello" recordings—and more added weekly
  • Exclusively on
I was a bit disappointed with the website, because I was unable to find the pronunciation of a few author's names that I'm not sure how to pronounce. It would be fabulous to know how to correctly pronounce the names of authors who have unusual names.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Evening with Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz
Last Friday night, my hubby and I attended an event at UCSB's Campbell Hall titled 'An Evening with Fran Lebowitz' as part of the UCSB Arts & Lectures program.

This was our first introduction to the world of Fran Lebowitz. I'd heard Fran Lebowitz's name mentioned before, but was completely unaware of her background as social commentator, author and journalist until purchasing tickets for this event.

'An Evening with Fran Lebowitz' featured an interview style discussion with Fran Lebowitz and a commentator. The interview was followed by a lengthy question and answer session in which Ms. Lebowitz answered questions posed by the audience.

Ms. Lebowitz is an interesting, engaging, and witty person to hear speak as she is very candid in sharing her thoughts and opinions. She appears to be very politically savvy and strongly opinionated with a liberal slant. I found the thoughts and ideas she shared to be thought provoking.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Which Books Would Neil DeGrasse Tyson Recommend?

From the Open Culture website, I came across an article about which books astrophysicist & director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson would recommend. The article is titled Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read.

Apparently, "A user posed the question to Neil deGrasse Tyson: 'Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?'”, which is how I'm assuming this particular article received its title.

After providing his list of book recommendations, Neil deGrasse Tyson is quoted as saying: “If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.”

Checkout the 8 (Free) books Neil deGrasse Tyson recommends by clicking on the link above!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Liquid Bookmarks!!

Liquid Bookmark made from red silicone.
Love unique bookmarks?? Are you a fan of the horror genre?? Then the 'Liquid Bookmark' may be the perfect bookmark for you!! 

These bookmarks are made from red silicone and imported from Japan. Each bookmark is unique and hand poured. These bookmarks look like dripping blood if you ask me!

I learned about these bookmarks from the ThinkGeek website. Click on link for more information and to place an order for your liquid bookmark!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble." --Peter S. Jennison

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize in Literature

I read an article in the Washington Post, written by Steven Moore titled Chinese fiction writer Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize in Literature. In the article, Moore writes:
In recent years, the Nobel Prize in Literature has often gone to deserving but little-known and under-published writers, setting off a scramble to reissue whatever might be available. This year, fortunately, the prize has gone to a well-deserving and well-published writer: the wild man of Chinese fiction, Mo Yan, whose pen name means “Don’t speak.”

Announcing the prize Thursday morning, the Swedish Academy praised Mo Yan’s “hallucinatory realism,” which “merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.” The prize is worth about $1.2 million.

I've never read anything by Mo Yan, let alone heard of him before!! I am, however, looking forward to reading some of his published works.

Click on above link to read the full store and watch a video.

Sherman Oaks Little Free Library!!

Nice Selection of books.
Once again, I had the honor of visiting another Little Free Library. This one I found in Sherman Oaks, California last weekend with my hubby while on our way to visit my in-laws. 

This is the second Little Free Library that I've visited and it was another fun place to discover on our road trip through the Los Angeles area. 

I loved how easy it was to find this Little Free Library and that it wasn't that far a distance off of the 101 Freeway.
A Little Free Library with benches!!

This particular Little Free Library was also filled with a nice selection of books to choose from. 

There were even benches to sit on while perusing the shelves, which I loved!! 

I ended up releasing a copy of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot that is registered on Bookcrossing and taking a copy of Kissing Snowflakes by Abby Sher, which I've since registered on Bookcrossing.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ernest Hemingway's Promotion of Ballantine Ale

Buzzfeed recently featured an article titled How Ernest Hemingway Probably Got Free Beer For Life, which I found interesting because in this article the staff writer states "Why write your own ads when Hemingway writes a better one for you? Papa actually wrote this sales pitch for Ballantine in 1951"! 

Who would have guessed that a famous writer would have written an endorsement for beer! This same Buzzfeed article also states that "John Steinbeck also appeared in a Ballantine ad, two years later."

Click on above link to read what Hemingway wrote about Ballantine Ale.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vertigo Inducing Library!

Check out Japanese architect Tadao Ando's Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum in Osaka, Japan. It's an amazing looking library and memorial museum, not for the faint of heart. Or at least those that suffer from vertigo!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nightmare In Shining Armor by Tamar Myers

Nightmare In Shining Armor by Tamar Myers is the 8th novel in the Den of Antiquity cozy mystery series.

I've been reading this series of cozy mystery novels off and on over the past few years. Not in chronological order mind you, but reading them ever since I read the first novel in the series. Some of the novels in the Den of Antiquity series have been awesome; Well written, funny, engaging and quirky. Other books in this same series have not been so wonderful at all.

Fortunately, Nightmare In Shining Armor, is one of the better novels in this series. I enjoyed the storyline immensely. The plot moved along at a good pace and was cohesive. The characters were entertaining and engaging. I found myself laughing and smiling at appropriate places within the story and so on. 

The only complaint I have with this particular novel, is that the last two chapters were kind of weak and seemed rushed, like the author was in a hurry to end the novel. I think that more could have been embellished as to how the leading character, Abigail Timberlake, was rescued at the end of the novel. Also, the last chapter was too short and tidy. More embellishment was once again needed with regards to Abigail's nuptials and pending decision to move to Charleston, South Carolina.

Otherwise on the whole, Nightmare In Shining Armor, was a wonderful novel to read and I would recommend it to other avid cozy mystery readers!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Awesome Library in Spijkenisse, Norway!!

OMG, how awesome is this public library in Spijkenisse, Norway!?!?!?!?! 

My husband shared a link with me to the Gizmodo website, where I read an article by Andrew Liszeski titled I Want to Climb Every Page of This Book Mountain. I now want to climb every page of this book mountain too. 

I wish we had a public library here in Carpinteria, California that looks like the public library in Spijkenisse, Norway. Click on above link to view photographs.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gotta Love Those Female Villains!!

Warren Adler wrote an article for the Huffington Post titled Female Villains: 10 Evil Women In Literature, which I enjoyed reading for two reasons:

1) Usually, there isn't much of a spotlight shining on the subject of 'evil women in literature'. So, I enjoyed reading which female villains in literature made the list! Some of the female villains were new to me, but most of them I'd heard of before.

2) Cathy Ames, my favorite female villain in literature from John Steinbeck's East of Eden, made the top ten list of evil women in literature.

Who is your favorite female villain in literature?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance." Lyndon Baines Johnson

Friday, October 5, 2012

Banned Graphic Novels

The banning of graphic novels is something I never though much about, but apparently it's an issue that I've only become aware of this week. 

According to a Digital Spy post titled, Banned Books Week celebrates 30th anniversary by Hugh Armitage, "the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has published a list of 19 graphic novels that have been the subject of attempted bans."

I was surprised to learn that Maus by Art Spiegelman and Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons made the list of challenged/banned graphic novels.

Click on the above links for further details!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LA Authors Talk About Banned Books Week!

I came across an interesting article in the Los Angeles Magazine titled Banned in L.A. -- Local Authors Talk About Banned Books Week by Elina Shatkin.

I think it's awesome to learn how authors feel about Banned Books Week. Plus, what they think about their own book being banned and also which book is their favorite banned book.

In Elina Shatkin's article, I loved reading Sonya Sones answer to the question "What’s it like to have a book you wrote get banned so frequently?" Sones stated:
Sendak, Salinger, Steinbeck…and me? I never met a banned book list I didn’t want to be on. I dance a happy little jig every time my book makes the cut again. Not because this will increase sales (though it does) and not because it will lead to more teens discovering and reading my book (though it will). The reason I love being on the list is that when I am, I get invited to speak at schools about why books shouldn’t be banned. Which is wonderful, because there is still the possibility that I can lead a child in the right direction, before they’ve been dragged too far down the wrong path by a misguided parent.  The ironic thing is that, in the scheme of things, What My Mother Doesn’t Know isn’t even particularly racy—no drugs, no alcohol, no bad language, and no sex. All it’s got is a little kissing. Go figure.
In Elina Shatkin's article, I also enjoyed reading Amy Gerstler's answer to "Is this week important and why?" Gerstler stated:
Literary censorship destroys and/or impedes human knowledge and erodes progress. It’s essential for our survival that we to be able to think, speak, and write freely, and that we humans remember the vast differences between works of the imagination and what happens in “real life.”
What did you think about Elina Shatkin's article Banned in L.A. -- Local Authors Talk About Banned Books Week?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Last night, I finished reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie for Banned Books Week 2012. 

I chose to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for Banned Books Week as it is a novel that had been on my wishlist of books to read for longer than I can recall

I learned through the Banned Books Week website that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was one of the ten most challenged book titles of 2011 for the following reasons: "offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group."

Additonally, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is the first book I've read by Sherman Alexie and I really enjoyed reading this novel. In fact, I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in just two days!! At this point in time, I'd say that this novel is one of best books I've read this year so far.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a novel that falls into the young adult genre, but it also a great book for adults to read too. 

I enjoyed reading a book that is from the Native American perspective.... More specifically from the perspective of a teenage boy. It's a coming of age story and one that sheds light on the Native American experience. I highly recommend this book! It's a wonderful novel.

For more information regarding The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, check out the following New York Times Book Review.

Also, check out the following YouTube video!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

10 Biggest Book Burnings in Literary History

This week is Banned Books Week here in the USA. I don't believe in banning, censoring, or burning books. Books aren't dangerous. Ban ignorance, not books!

Unfortunately, throughout history, books have been banned or burned. I stumbled across an online article by Samantha Gray titled The 10 Biggest Book Burnings in Literary History

It's disheartening to think of all the valuable historical and literary texts we've lost over the centuries due to book burnings... Or the very real fact, that book burnings are still going on around the world.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Books Week in the News!

The Christian Science Monitor publishes an article titled Banned Books Week celebrates its 30th anniversary by Molly Driscoll. In her article, Ms. Driscoll writes:
One part of the celebration this year is the “50 State Salute,” a movement organized by the American Library Association in which organizations from each state record a video representing the importance of having the liberty to choose books freely. Organizations such as schools, colleges, libraries, and bookstores can participate with videos of up to five minutes long.
Sponsors of Banned Books Week are also holding the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out campaign for the second year in a row, in which users can upload to YouTube a video in which they read a banned or challenged book out loud. Participants can also videotape a person who saw a book being banned or challenged recounting their experience or make a video that in some other way promotes Banned Books Week. Users can upload their videos to the Read-Out YouTube channel.
Click the link above to read the full story written by Molly Driscoll.

Banned Books Week Meme

Banned Books Week 2012
This year marks the 30th year celebrating the freedom to read!!

Do you read banned books? 

Yes, of course, I do!

Are you planing to read a banned book during Banned Books Week? If so, which one? 

Yes, I'm planning to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie during Banned Books Week.

Do you have a favorite banned book? 

I don't have a favorite banned book. I've enjoyed all the banned books I've read to date, so it is difficult to pick a favorite one.

Why is Banned Books Week important to you?  

For me, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read what I want to read. It's the fight against censorship and those individuals or groups that want books to be censored or removed from libraries, schools, and so on.

How will you be promoting Banned Books Week this year?  

I plan on promoting Banned Book Week this year by making daily posts to my blog about topics that are relevant to Banned Books Week and the topic of banned books in general. 

I'll also be wearing a Banned Books Week tee shirt during Banned Books Week. 

I've also started a Banned Books Week Reading Challenge on Bookcrossing and also here on my blog. Click on either of the above links to join and participate in the Banned Books Week Reading Challenge.