Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorite Books of 2012

Surprisingly enough, I've read 102 books this year alone, which is an impressive number of books read for me as I usually don't read that many in any given year.

Fifty-two books read annually is usually the goal I've set for myself to read each year since 2009. 

This year though, I pushed the envelope and surprised myself with the number of books I could read.

Here's the list of books I enjoyed reading the most this year:

Grayson by Lynne Cox
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
May Day by Jess Lourey 
Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 
Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales by Jen Wylie & Sean Hayden
The Forty Fathom Bank by Les Galloway 
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen 
Aromatherapy For Everyone by P. J. Pierson and Mary Shipley

Share some of your favorite 2012 reads with me!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

22 Words Blog

I found an interesting picture and quote on a blog called 22 Words! The picture was taken at Orca Bookstore in Olympia, Washington and the caption attached to the photograph states "It's OK for adults to read from the Young Adult section of the bookstore."

Like we need permission, right? I read books from the Young Adult section rather frequently myself and I'm not even close to being a young adult! Yes, some young adult books contain both complex characters and provocative themes. 

If you're an adult, do you read books from the Young Adult genre?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Here's a List of the Best Books for Language Lovers

Calling all language lovers!! Here's a link to an article I discovered on the OnlineCollege.Org website titled The 20 Best Books for Language Lovers. This article has the following to say about language books:
Seeing as how the entirety of organic history exists thanks to communication — even rudimentary chemical exchanges between cells qualify — it makes perfect sense that many find the concept utterly engaging. Language pervades everything, building and destroying as time marches ever forward. And while even the most learned scholars can't even begin to fully explain its physiology, origins, structures and pretty much every other component, they've certainly done a pretty lovely job scratching the surface. Maybe a subcutaneous layer or two. While far more illuminating reads beyond these sit on the shelves, crammed with gripping concepts, the following provide a fantastic introduction. Diverse perspectives and suggestions abound, but don't think these necessarily represent all the possible answers!
I'm familiar with two of the book titles mentioned in the above mentioned article, but the rest of them are ones I've never heard of before! 

I must say that Cunt by Inga Muscio and The F-Word edited by Jesse Sheidlower have captured my curiosity! I may just have to read both of these books to see what may be learn from them. After all, who isn't interested in knowing where the words with negative connotations in ones own language come from!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"The true felicity of a lover of books is the luxurious turning of page by page, the surrender, not meanly abject, but deliberate and cautious, with your wits about you, as you deliver yourself into the keeping of the book. This I call reading." Edith Wharton

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Murder of a Botoxed Blonde by Denise Swanson

I finished reading Murder of a Botoxed Blonde by Denise Swanson this week. I wasn't impressed by the storyline or the characters.

Many of the characters were annoying in this cozy mystery novel. Also, the storyline was one that couldn't capture or hold my attention for very long, which is why it took me more than a month to read this novel... I kept finding more interesting books to read instead!

I have another Denise Swanson novel in my to be read pile, but I am contemplating passing on it. I don't want to read another slow novel, with an uninteresting story, and characters that I am uninterested in learning more about as the storyline moves forward.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Be Amazed With a 250,000 Book Labyrinth!

I love artists who create amazing sculptures with books! Brazilian artists Marcos Saboya and Gualter Pupo created the following book maze with 250,000 books. Checkout the pictures on the Colossal Art & Visual Ingenuity website.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to You!!

I personally want to take a moment to wish you, your family & friends a very Merry Christmas this year! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating with loved ones. Also, have a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!

Thank you for visiting my blog... It's readers like you who've made my blog a success and kept me motivated to keep posting on a daily basis about anything and everything book related!

I've enjoyed reading the  comments you've left on various posts on my blog as well as responding to what you have shared with me.  

When I began Captivated Reader on January 1st of this year, I knew I wanted to blog about books on a daily basis. I'm happy to confirm that Captivated Reader is a success! Thanks to you in helping it be such a successful blogger! I am grateful for the 13 people who are following my blog and other frequent visitors to my blog as. I've had over 10,900 pages views to date, which I consider to be a lot. Thank you!

Enjoy your holiday today! I hope you received a book or two as gifts today enjoy reading in your spare time. Share with me the books you received today and/or books you gave as gifts. I gave three audiobooks on compact disc to my maternal grandma.We haven't opened gifts yet, so don't know if I've received any books as gifts. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 24, 2012

UCSB Reads Picks ‘Moonwalking with Einstein’ for 2013!

In the Noozhawk, I came across an article titled UCSB Reads Picks ‘Moonwalking with Einstein’ By Joshua Foer and written by the UCSB Office of Public Affair.
When journalist Joshua Foer covered the 2005 USA Memory Championship in Manhattan for Slate magazine, he didn’t expect to return a year later as one of the competitors. He was more than a bit skeptical during that first go-round when experts told him anyone could learn to memorize entire decks of playing cards or strings of numbers hundreds of digits long.

All it takes, they said, is training. And for those of us who consider it a great feat of recall when we remember what we had for breakfast or where we parked our cars, that’s really good news.

Foer’s memory-building –– and memorable –– odyssey is recounted in his book, Moonwalking with Einstein –– The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Penguin, 2011). The UC Santa Barbara Library has chosen the book as this year’s selection for UCSB Reads.
This book sounds like a fascinating one to read on memory-building, which I look forward to reading!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

100th Read For the Year Milestone!!

As of Monday, December 17th, I've read my 100th book for the calendar year!!  I usually never come even close to reading 100 books in any given calendar year, but this year I did and it feels amazing!! 

Reading 100 books this year kind of caught me off guard really. I knew I read a lot this year, but didn't realize how many books until I finished my most recent one.

Usually my reading goal during the past few years has simply been to read 52 books a year or an average of one book a week. If I read more than 52 books a year great. If I read less than 52 books, no big deal. Either way, reading several books a year is a good thing in my book. It's all about enjoying the process and keeping it fun.... Otherwise what's the point of having a hobby?

I read books mainly as a way to relax and unwind. Books are a distraction from everyday life for me and a way to entertain and engage my brain.

I also like to learn new things as well, so reading is also educational for me as well. I like reading nonfiction books about subjects I'm curious about and believe me there are lots of topics I want to learn more about!

I think cutting our cable bill and ditching television as well as reading shorter length books and novellas attributes to my success in reading more books this year.

How many books have you read this year? Do you make annual reading goals for yourself? Share your story here!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"He felt about books as doctors feel about medicines, or managers about plays -- cynical but hopeful." Dame Rose Macauley

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Finds #6

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 simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

I've purchased another four books to add to my reading pile!! Lucky me!!

1) Little Bee by Chris Cleave

2) Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

3) Moby-Duck by Donovan Hohn

4) The Parrot Who Owns Me by Joanna Burger

I love books, so I look forward to reading these books! 

Share with me your latest book finds! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes this week.

This is the first book I've read by Julian Barnes... Or listened to rather. I'd seen his books sitting on bookshelves in bookstores before, but had never bothered to purchase any books written by Mr. Barnes.

It wasn't until another Bookcrosser sent  me the audio version of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes as a Random Act of Bookcrossing Kindness some months ago now that I finally became acquainted with the writing of Julian Barnes.

The Sense of an Ending is the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize and I've heard a couple of people say they've enjoyed this book, so was happy to give this novel a go to see what it was all about.

I'm not sure what I expected of The Sense of an Ending or Julian Barnes, which is unusual for me as I usually have some sort of preconceived notion or idea of what to expect from a book or its author before I begin reading a particular book.

With that said, I felt the storyline in The Sense of an Ending was a little bit slow in parts, but good none the less. It has a good storyline and is very well written. I also feel that Richard Morant did a superb job performing a dramatic reading of The Sense of an Ending. Overall, I enjoyed The Sense of an Ending. I'd give it a 7 out of 10 star rating.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Authors Over 80 Who Are Still Writing!

The Telegraph recently published an article  online titled The authors over 80 who shun retirement.

I find it amazing and awe inspiring that some authors who are 80 plus years old, are still writing and appear to be shunning retirement. These authors still have something to share with their readers and have not let fame and success go to their heads. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

13 Dream Homes Built for Books

Okay, I must admit that I liked all thirteen of the dream homes featured in an article written by Alison Nastasi for Flavorwire titled Dream Homes Built for Books and the Nerds Who Love Them.  

Seriously, if you're a book lover, who wouldn't want to live in any of the homes featured in this article? I liked the Triptyque Studio in Brazil, the “hovering” bookcase created by Travis Price Architects, and the Shelf-Pod house designed by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio the most.

Which dream homes built for books did you like the most?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Aromatherapy For Everyone by P. J. Pierson & Mary Shipley

I recently finished reading Aromatherapy For Everyone by P. J. Pierson & Mary Shipley. This book is a great introduction to the wonderful world of aromatherapy and it makes a wonderful book for someone wanting to learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy.

Here's more of what I loved about this book:

1) Provides a brief introduction/history of aromatherapy and how aromatics and essential oils work.

2) How to use, apply, and store essential oils.

3) Well organized table of contents, index, and color photographs of the plants that make the essential oils. 

4) Essential Oils are listed in alphabetical order with a short paragraph about each essential oil along with its therapeutic uses, its applications, which essential oils it blends well with, extraction method of each oil, which parts of the plant are used to make the essential oil, safety precautions, and fun facts!

5) Author biographies are included at the end of the book.

6) A bibliography for further reading is also included as well.

This is the first book I've read about aromatherapy. Although, I can't attest to how factual the material is in Aromatherapy For Everyone, it does appear like the authors do know their topic quite well.  

I like how well organized Aromatherapy For Everyone is. It is well written, easy to understand, short, to the point and will make a great reference book to keep in my permanent collection.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson

I finished listening to the unabridged audiobook titled The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson earlier in the week. 

This is the first novel I've read or listened to by Ms. Paterson and I really enjoyed the storyline and characters a lot. I'd give this book a 9 out of 10 rating score.

I also felt that Tavia Gilbert did and excellent job of reading this novel, which made for an even better, more enjoyable experience as it gave a whole new dimension to the story and characters.

The Day of the Pelican is a children's book. The following is an editorial review from the School Library Journal that I found through the Amazon website:
Grade 5–8—On the day 11-year-old Meli draws a picture of a pelican that bears a striking resemblance to her teacher—and gets caught—spring is just around the corner in Kosovo. But along with the change in season in 1998 come life-altering changes for Albanian Kosovars, the ethnic group to which Meli's family belongs. Because she is forced to stay after class, her 13-year-old brother, Mehmet, heads home alone and is taken by the Serbian police, beaten, and dumped in a field to die. When he returns home after being nursed to health by the Kosovo Liberation Army, his family must flee. Surviving extreme hardship and violence, they arrive in a refugee camp, and at long last immigrate to the United States. All is well until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when their family is mistreated for being Muslim, albeit nonpracticing. Kindness and forgiveness on both sides bring about healing and the realization that the Lleshis have truly found a home. The themes of family loyalty and living peaceably with others along with the exploration of ethnic prejudice are handled so as to make for meaningful discussion in a classroom or book group, and the span of the main characters' ages through their teen years makes the book an appropriate choice for a wide range of readers. The setting, complete with television and other fixtures of contemporary life, demonstrates that this sort of tragedy belongs to our own time and not just the distant past. While attempts to explain the political situation at times break the flow of the narrative, this little-known piece of history has been brought to life with sensitivity and grace.
Which books have you enjoyed reading or listening to lately?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Penny Urned by Tamar Myers

I'm slowly making my way through the 'Den of Antiquity' cozy mystery series by Tamar Myers. I recently finished reading another novel in this series titled, A Penny Urned, during my recent vacation abroad

Ms. Myers is an entertaining and engaging writer and I found, A Penny Urned, to be a witty and amusing novel and a perfect book to read while lounging by the pool on vacation. 

 A Penny Urned is filled with an interesting storyline and contains a memorable cast of characters that will keep you entertained from start to finish. I didn't guess whodunnit until near the end of A Penny Urned.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Finds #5

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 simply feature the books you've actually purchased throughout the week and have added to your to be read pile!

Last weekend, I returned home from a 15 night cruise through the Panama Canal with my husband. The cruise was our way  of celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. This cruise was a dream come true for us both and we had a blast! We enjoyed sailing through the Panama Canal as well as visiting 5 different countries in 14 days. I'm still on a vacation high!

During our cruise, I had a random chance encounter with another person sailing on our cruise named, Doris. Doris told me about a book called Eat Right 4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo. I was intrigued by what Doris shared with me about this book and how it had helped to improve her health over the past decade. 

So, I decided to learn more about this book upon returning home from our vacation. I ended up to buying a used copy through Amazon based on Doris's testimonial and the online reviews. This book should arrive in the next 10 days or so and I look forward to reading it in 2013.

Below is the book description of Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type on Amazon:
"What would you say if I told you that the secret to healthy, vigorous, and disease-free living might be as simple as knowing your blood type," asks Dr. Peter D'Adamo, and in Eat Right 4 Your Type, he shows us the simple answer.

If you've ever suspected that not everyone should eat the same thing or do the same exercise, you're right. In fact, what foods we absorb well and how our bodies handle stress differ with each blood type.

Your blood type reflects your internal chemistry. It is the key that unlocks the mysteries of disease, longevity, fitness, and emotional strength. It determines your susceptibility to illness, the foods you should eat, and ways to avoid the most troubling health problems.

Only recently have all the pieces of the scientific and clinical puzzle started coming together. Dr. D'Adamo has spent the past fifteen years researching the connections among blood type, food and diseases, and his research is built on thirty years of work done by his father.

In Eat Right 4 Your Type he shows:
which foods, spices, teas, and condiments help someone of your blood type maintain optimal health and ideal weight;
which vitamins and supplements to emphasize or avoid;
which medications function best in your system;
whether your stress goes to your muscles or your nervous system;
whether your stress is relieved better through aerobics or meditation;
whether you should walk, swim or play tennis or golf as your mode of exercise;
how knowing your blood type can help you avoid many common viruses and infections;
how knowing your blood type can help you fight back against life-threatening diseases;
how to slow down the aging process by avoiding factors specific to your blood type that cause rapid cell deterioration.

Eat Right 4 Your Type provides a clear, simple life plan that anyone can follow and suggests the easiest ways to determine your blood type. Here is a breakthrough book that will change the way we eat and live. 
So, what new book(s) have you been inspired to buy during the past week?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hudson Booksellers

Bookstore inside the Ft. Lauderdale Airport
My hubby & I recently returned home from a three week vacation overseas. On our return flight home, I visited a Hudson Booksellers brick and mortar storefront inside of the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport in Florida! 

Don't you just love bookstores inside airports?? Hudson Booksellers has a nice selection of books. So, if you aren't already reading a book while waiting for a flight, then visiting one of their bookstore is another great way to pass the time while waiting for a flight.

I saw quite a few books I wanted to purchase for myself while spending time at Hudson Booksellers, but alas I resisted the urge to do so. I already have way too many books waiting to be read as it is

Plus, our carry on luggage was already filled to the gills. I couldn't imagine carrying another item with us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Title Translation Quiz!!

Pop Quiz!! Here's a fun way to test your knowledge! I discovered an interesting quiz on the Mental Floss website... This quiz is a fun way to see if you can match up book titles in English with its foreign language counterpart. It's a quiz called the Book Title Translations. This quiz isn't as easy as you think if you aren't fluent in another language. I didn't do so well with this quiz myself. How did you do?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bookish Quote of the Day!!

"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr. Seuss

Monday, December 10, 2012

Literature's Most Twisted Couples?

Ever wonder who the most twisted couples in literature are? I actually came across an article published on the Flavorwire website titled The 10 Most Twisted Couples in Literature by Emily Temple.

It was interesting to see which couples found in literature were the most twisted as this isn't a topic I think about when I think of literature. 

Were you surprised by any of the literary couples that made the list? Were you surprised that there wasn't a 'twisted' literary couple that made the list? Share your favorite twisted couple from literature.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins Found in Literature

Who hasn't heard of the seven deadly sins -- Lust, sloth, greed, gluttony, envy, wrath, and pride -- before? 

I found it interesting that the Flavorwire website has an article titled The Seven Deadly Sins in Literature by Emily Temple, which lists a few book titles that fall into one of the seven deadly sins category. 

I thought this was an interesting categorization and may end up reading a few books that fall into each of the seven deadly sins category.

Until my next post, happy reading! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Titles to Replace 'Catcher in the Rye' as the Perfect Teen Book

In high school, I remember reading Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and thinking this book was awesome

If you enjoyed reading Salinger's classic novel Catcher in the Rye, then check out Emily Temple's article on Flavorwire titled 10 Novels to Replace ‘Catcher In The Rye’ as the Perfect Teen Book to see which books make the perfect teen book!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts by Talli Roland

Miracle at the Museum of Broken Hearts by Talli Roland is a Christmas novella of 64 pages in length.

I, for the most part, enjoyed ready this novella. It was a bit sappy in parts, but an overall feel good story with likeable enough characters and nice storyline.

Here's a book description of The Museum of Broken Hearts from Amazon's website:
All Rose needs is a Christmas miracle... or does she?

When chief romantic Rose Delaney scores her dream job at London's quirkiest new attraction, The Museum of Broken Hearts, she thinks she's got it made. Sure, it's a little depressing dealing with relics of failed relationships each day, but Rose is determined not to let it break her 'love conquers all' spirit. After discovering the museum's handsome curator is nursing a broken heart of his own, Rose steps in to fix it. 

Can Rose bring about a happy ending before Christmas rolls around? And does every relationship truly deserve a second chance?
The general theme of this novella, 'Does every relationship deserve a happy ending?' is a good one, especially for those romantic at heart types. But perhaps, not every relationship is worth a happy ending.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ezra Pound on Writers & Forming Opinions

On the Brain Pickings website, Maria Popova wrote an article titled Ezra Pound’s List of the 6 Types of Writers and 2 Rules for Forming an Opinion. In her article, Popova writes:
“Pay no attention to the criticism of men who have never themselves written a notable work,” Ezra Pound advised in his list of don’ts for beginning poets, originally written in 1913. More than two decades later, in 1934, Pound formulated his best advice on the parallel arts of reading and writing in ABC of Reading (public library), a fine addition to these 9 essential books on how to read more and write better.
Click on the first link above to read Pound's 6 type of writers and 2 rules for forming an opinion.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books

If you're already an avid reader, then you probably don't need anymore reasons to be persuaded to read books as you already know the major advantages of reading them!! 

However, if you aren't already an avid reader of books or maybe you just want to convince that special someone in your life to read more books, then check out the article I discovered on Persistence Unlimited titled The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success by Brad Isaac.

I've had a couple of people I know say that I read too much, but I disagree. I have many interests and partake in several other activities besides reading. This would article would be perfect for these people to read as they don't read many books each year.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What If Dr. Seuss Wrote Star Wars?

Buzzfeed has published a humorous post titled If Dr. Seuss Wrote Star Wars... by Jason Peltz. Take a look at these mashups and tell me what think!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Love physics?? Here's A Top Ten List of Titles About Quantum Theory!

In The Guardian newspaper, I came across an article titled David Kaiser's top 10 books about quantum theory by David Kaiser. Kaiser writes the following in his article:
Now over a century old, quantum theory remains one of physics' most beguiling - and baffling - concepts. From Richard Feynman's introductory lectures to Chad Orzel's How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, David Kaiser picks his 10 favourite books on the subject.
Perhaps some of these book titles will strike your fancy! So, check out the list by clicking on the link above.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

World Book Night 2013!!

The slogan for World Book Night is "Spreading the love of reading, person to person." I think this is a wonderful slogan as I became the avid reader I am today due to my mom reading to me as a child. My love for reading grew from there and has never waned.

Earlier this year I participated in World Book Night 2012. I had a blast being a book giver in my community on World Book Night! I shared 20 copies of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.  

I've received word that World Book Night 2013 will be occurring again here in the USA next year on April 23rd! Checkout the list of book titles available to give away for World Book Night 2013 by clicking on the link above. Also, consider applying to become a World Book Night 2013 book giver by also clicking on the link above.