Ahem

>> Monday, December 28, 2009

-Anna

So, I was way too busy playing games, cooking and eating, eating, eating to even crack a book over Christmas. I'm hoping New Year's will allow some time to catch up.

And we did get a White Christmas!


Note: My sister (who lives overseas and is home for a few weeks) however, borrowed my copy of Catching Fire and managed to read it in less than a day! I think she liked it.

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Holiday Reading

>> Wednesday, December 23, 2009

-Anna

I haven't had time to replenish my book stock recently because I've been so busy with holiday cheer and errands. So, I am sadly bookless. I thought about starting the Harry Potter series again, but I'm not quite ready yet. So I rummaged my book shelf and discovered Brisingr, the third book in the Inheritence Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I've read Eragon and Eldest, but when the third book came out, I just wasn't in the mood for it and well, it's been left forgotten on my shelf. So, for the holidays, I am going to give it a go.

Merry Christmas to everyone! And here's fingers crossed for a little snow....

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Uh Oh

>> Monday, December 21, 2009

-Anna

My account at the library says I still have A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby.

My memory says I returned that book a month ago.

Uh oh.

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Finally!

>> Friday, December 18, 2009

The Road opens at Southroads AMC today in Tulsa. It's about time!

I have high hopes for this movie. I'm not gonna lie. But it's received good reviews so I'm hopeful.

If you want happy however, this is not the movie for you. Though the good guys do prevail. They always do.

And along this note, The Sage Room is going to be having our very first giveaway soon. You won't want to miss this! So check back :)

PS - read The Road, don't just watch the movie.

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February's Pick

>> Thursday, December 17, 2009


-Anna

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Just wanted to give the People of the Sage Room a heads up, 'cause this is a newer book.

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Blogging Brainstorm

-Anna

After a somewhat obligatory viewing of New Moon, in which I was seated between rapt attention and snickers (you know who you are), the People of the Sage Room had a blogging brainstorming session. Ideas and plans for 2010 were hashed. A list was made. And the fun times rolled.

So make sure to check back and find out what new things we have planned!


PS I will say that New Moon (the movie) is a big improvement over Twilight.

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The Book Thief---Lisa's Review

>> Tuesday, December 15, 2009

-Lisa
Loved that it was narrated by Death, yet Death was compassionate and regretful.
Loved WWII from a child's perspective.
Loved WWII from a non-Nazi German perspective.
Loved the headings and sub-headings---they worked well in my list-making mind.
Did not love the slightly choppy feel to the writing and the abrupt ending.

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Year End

-Anna

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A book club birthday.

>> Thursday, December 10, 2009

We celebrated with delicious coffee, yummy tiramisu and mighty fine conversation. It's how we roll.

Happy Book Club Birthday Anna!

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The Book Thief - E's Review

>> Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I know we've covered this before but I wanted to start my review out the same way we start our book club meetings.

We ask each other three questions to cover the broad base and to get the conversation started:

1. Did you like the book?
2. Would you read it again?
3. And would you recommend it?

This is how I answered:

1. I liked the book.
2. However, I won't read it again. You have to be a stellar book for me to say I'd read you again. The older I have gotten, the shorter life has gotten. So hence the need for stellar.
3. But yes, I would recommend it.

The thing I liked the most about this story was that Death was the narrator. And Death sees life in color. And with that I can relate.

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If I Can Count

-Anna

So, if I have counted properly....I have read 51 books to date. I'm on my 52nd now, so I think my goal is well within reach. Wow. Reading is FUN!

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The Book Thief - Anna's Review

>> Monday, December 7, 2009

-Anna

Liesel is a young girl who discovers the life that books can offer, and she will go to any length to possess books - even theft.

Death is the powerful and poetic narrator of this book thief's life, weaving the story of growing up in Nazi Germany and what war and hate, sacrifice and love, life and death mean to a young girl. Death engages the senses with symbolic colors that swirl and twist and carry the story along.

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A Country Doctor, Before Green Gables, Catching Fire, The Kite Runner---Lisa's Concise Reviews

>> Wednesday, December 2, 2009

-Lisa

The Country Doctor--If you love classics, I mean really love them, this one will make you smile. Otherwise, it's a little long and antiquated.

Before Green Gables--If I ranked all the books I've ever read, L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series would sit at the very, very top of my long list. This sad, faltering attempt at replicating an original would sit at the very, very bottom.

Catching Fire--Write, Suzanne, write! You have thoroughly captivated and thrilled me with a world I can't stop thinking about. Rarely have I been so convinced of setting, attached to characters, intrigued by plot. I want to shout my praise from the literary rooftops!

The Kite Runner--Every once in a while, you come to a book empty--no knowledge of content, no expectations, no preconceived notions. I did that with the Kite Runner, and I walked away full. Full of appreciation for true friendship and loyalty, full of aching sorrow for refugees and their plight, full of new understanding of a country and people I had previously only known on the news. It's story was my teacher and as it's student, I was moved.

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Our Shelfari

>> Tuesday, November 24, 2009

-Anna

So you may have noticed our new little shelf with 2009 reads. Pretty cool, huh? Just a little widget provided by Shelfari (a global community of book lovers). Don't you just love widgets?

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The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

It was witty and enlightening. I was thoroughly impressed with the author's ability to tell an entire story through letters. Super duper impressed to be exact. I can't imagine that would be an easy feat no matter how well you write. Plus I don't think I really knew of the German Occupation of the English Channels during WWII, so I learned something as well. And I am a big fan of learning history through fictional literature. I'm just sayin'. You should read it too.

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Top o' the morning to ya.

>> Friday, November 20, 2009

-Erin

So I'm in the process of reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Wow that's a title for ya. And it is set in London and the surrounding areas which got me to thinking. So, my question to you is this:

When you are reading books about British characters or any character that speaks with an accent do you read with the accent? Meaning, do you hear the way they are actually speaking in your head?

I don't. They're all American accents in my brain. I think it would take too long to read like that. And as you may know, I like to read fast.

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Catching Fire - E's Review

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's like Survivor. Meets the Roman Coliseum. Meets a post-apocalyptic world. Meets the smell of blood and roses. But add a love triangle. In a world the author makes seem actually plausible. And then just throw in a fight to the death. Among teenagers.

Is that cryptic enough for you? I'm talking about the trilogy that is The Hunger Games.

If you like well written young adult fiction where the author has created a world that is believable and the characters remain true to themselves (unlike some other series that is the craze right now, insert vampires) then do not walk to your nearest library or bookstore. Run I say. Run!

It's that good.

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November's New Pick

-by Lisa
So the observant ones out there may pick up on the fact that November's pick has changed. It WAS The Help by Kathryn Stockett, but we had to nix it: too many pages, too little time. In the official Sage Room Rule Book,it is stated that each month's pick must be less than 400 pages unless the other members agree to it. And since we were already low on time, we decided to put The Help on hold... But it's hard to find a good book out there with less than 400 pages! Ironically, the new pick has even more pages than the old one! But it's young adult and looks to be a quick read, so it's been approved. And November's new pick is... The Book Thief by Markus Zusak!

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Catching Fire - Anna's Review

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

-Anna

I wasn't sure how Catching Fire would compare with The Hunger Games. I just didn't see how the second book could be better. The Hunger Games captivated and galvanized with its original twists, intense situations and complicated emotions. Catching Fire would have to be incredible to compete. But incredible it wasn't, quite, mainly because it lacked the element of surprise that The Hunger Games carried. But it was good, oh so very good!

As the second installment of the trilogy it is a success. The characters are developed and true to themselves. Katniss is an honest character who does not hide from her flaws or herself as she discovers her strengths. Peeta definitely steals the heart, and yet Gale is there, as he has always been, steady and true. Catching Fire fosters deeper love for the characters, empathy for their plight, while it fuels hatred for the machine of the Capitol and the man, smelling of blood and roses, who controls it.

And yes, there is a cliff hanger. There are questions to be answered, situations to be resolved, and battles to win. So, like every good second book in a trilogy should do, Catching Fire makes me want to read, to anticipate, to count down the very days until release of - the third installment of The Hunger Games.

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The Kite Runner - E's Review

>> Thursday, November 12, 2009

The themes alone are not unique. Love and sacrifice. Friendship and betrayal. Guilt and redemption.

And yet this compelling story comes alive as the author weaves the political turmoil of a country known only to me as war torn and extreme into a place of culture and tradition and honor.

I felt physical pain at the betrayal of a friendship and physical relief in the sanctuary that is the United States. I now have a connection to a land that I once only heard about in the news and on TV.

Khaled Hosseini is a brilliant storyteller and there were moments I forgot this was a work of fiction. He made the struggles and triumphs of these characters come to life. He made Afghanistan real.

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The Kite Runner - Anna's Review

>> Tuesday, November 10, 2009

-Anna

It anchored a name and a place. Afghanistan I knew as the title to news stories, a work location for humanitarian relief, a destination for U.S. soldiers, an argument for politicians. But after reading The Kite Runner, Afghanistan became alive with colors, smells and textures; it became a home, a tradition, a people strong and also weary.

The backdrop of Afghanistan is the foundation that makes The Kite Runner a book worth reading. The story, which I found boring at times, becomes original because of its setting. The characters become real because their struggles are real. And the theme echoes to a land that no doubt wonders if there is a way to be good again.

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Treats

That happy dog with the wind in his face came home with me 15 years ago as a little ball of puppy fur that got car sick and threw up all over me. Car sickness runs in the family, so I knew then that he was one of us. And he was. In fact, I sometimes wondered if he knew he was a dog, and not, in fact, a person.

But that's what it is. He was one of us. And when I think about all my favorite stories of animals, the thing I love is that they are one of us. Friends, protectors, partners. Hedwig is my faithful and regal mate. The Disreputable Dog is my powerful ally. Ash is my beautiful and loyal friend. Marley is the one I love to hate. Bree is the magic that helps me save Narnia. Old Dan and Little Ann, Lassie, Toto, Luath, Bodger and Tao, The Black Stallion. Trust. Love. Loyalty.

And so even though I had to say goodbye to my longtime friend, he's there in the memories, the pictures, the stories. He's there as one of us.

-Anna

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Coming Soon

>> Monday, November 9, 2009

-Anna

I know. I need to write my Kite Runner review and also Catching Fire. I know. I will. Soon. I promise.

Until then, here's an update on my 52 books in 2009. I've read 48 books, so that leaves me with only 4 more reads by December 31, 2009. I think I am going to make it!

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When Is It Going to Be My Turn?

>> Friday, October 30, 2009

-Anna

Even though I don't get to pick for book club again until February, I have a growing list of possible choices. Now my problem is to try and NOT read them before book club...

On the list: an Isaac Asimov novel, a Nick Hornby novel, the first book in Robert Ludlum's Bourne Trilogy, and Mark Twain's A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Man, that right there could be all my picks for 2010! So many books, so many books to read!

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Kite Runner--Lisa's Review

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nothing moves my heart like a story of redemption. It is the story of my life.

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"How the heck have I not read this book?"

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

At the top of my list? To Kill a Mockingbird.

Seriously, how the heck have I not read this book?

However, it is currently in my possession and I am devouring it E style.

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But I don't wanna.

>> Friday, October 23, 2009

-Erin

I joined a book club to a) have something fun to do with two of my dear friends and more importantly (sorry Anna and Lisa) b) commit to the pastime that I feared was slipping away as my life got busier. So far this book club has been a success on both accounts. I am committed to reading at least 12 books a year WHICH is a huge improvement for me. No judgments please. We all know Anna and her goal of 52 makes her Superwoman. All I have to say about that is I KNOW HER. So there. But back to the reason for this post...

I have yet to write a review of Before Green Gables. The issue at hand, I haven't finished it and I don't like it. Plus I've already started this month's pick, The Kite Runner. My dilemma - should I finish it like a good book club member and keep my 12 books a year in book club status strong? Or should I say to heck with it, all the author wanted was to make a buck off of one of the most beloved characters of all time and never pick it up again?

I want to say to heck with it. But something keeps pulling at me like, I don't know, my conscience or something, to finish it. If not liking it were a valid excuse I wouldn't have finished plenty of books in book club. That's not the point though. The point is to broaden my horizons and read. So...I'm taking a poll. Please tell me what you think.

To finish or not?

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Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater?

>> Thursday, October 22, 2009

-Anna

I went on a little excursion yesterday to visit a friend and also take in all the wonderful fall colors, or as Charity would say, "go leaf peeping". It was about a 2 hour drive, and since I hadn't started this month's pick, Kite Runner, I thought I'd use my time in the car to listen to part of it on CD. I listened to 6 chapters, which was great b/c it gave me a good start on the book. But I feel a little like I cheated. I mean, I know it isn't like I watched the movie instead, but still, does it count?

Any opinions?





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52

>> Wednesday, October 14, 2009

-Anna

So I wasn't content with the goal for 48 books in a year, but 60 was still seemingly unattainable. I needed a new goal, something that made sense and had purpose, yet I felt constricted to some multiple of 12. With help from E, I stopped thinking in months and instead thought in weeks! The result. A new goal. 52.

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October's Pick

>> Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
Highly recommended.
Like top five for some people.
That's enough for me.
I'm intrigued.

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A Salve

-Anna

Right now The Riddle Master trilogy is soothing me like a sweet lullaby to a sleepy tyke.

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A Country Doctor - E's Review

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It was Nan's one mission in life and without fulfillment she would cease to exist. It was a strong calling inside her that propelled her to do what most women of her time did not do. And with this one goal in mind, she became a doctor.

Set in 19th century Maine, Nan faced her dilemma head on. In fact, she never even really saw it as a dilemma. She was created for one thing and one thing alone - to restore bodies and nurture souls. Even being courted and wooed by a handsome, well to do young man did not sway her from what she knew to be her one vocation in life, her one calling.

Interestingly enough, she could not have it both ways. Society dictated that a woman's place was in the home and for her to choose to become a doctor, she was choosing to not marry. This semi-autobiographical tale did not glide it's way to the top of any of my lists, but it did make me stop and think about how strikingly different Nan's world is with my own. And it made me wonder what an 1884 version of myself would have done.

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Before Green Gables - Review

>> Tuesday, September 29, 2009

-Anna

Impossible. Absolutely inconceivable that anyone can capture Anne Shirley besides her creator. Anne is a character born from the imagination of L.M. Montgomery, crafted with her gift of writing, and molded by the experiences and environment of her life. Unless someone has the ability to channel L.M., they don't stand a chance of channeling Anne.

Before Green Gables is not a prequel to Anne of Green Gables. Names, dates, places may all be the same, but Anne isn't. Anne does not break through the words and sentences to become a living, breathing person, rather she lays flat, one dimensional page after page. She is overexaggerated and underdeveloped. She is a concoction, not a character to love.

And just as I fear disgusting zombies will haunt me every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I now fear Anne's little impostor will follow me from Green Gables to Ingleside.

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Sigh

-Anna

Well, I've done the math, and I don't think I'll be able to read 60 books this year. That was my goal. I've read 39 to date, but 21 books in 3 months? That is daunting. My "second best" goal is to read 48, so I'll shoot for that, and anything over is just candy!

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AR Looking for an AALB

>> Monday, September 21, 2009

-Anna

I am an Avid Reader who is looking for an Awesome Average Length Book to read.

I love Young Adult Fiction.

I love Fantasy and Science Fiction (not the crazy weird stuff, more along Lewis, Tolkien, Rowling).

I love Jane Austen.

P.G. Wodehouse hits my funny bone, and L.M. Montgomery soothes my soul.

I am looking for a book that I can't put down, that I can take long baths with, that will make me laugh out loud and perhaps shed a few tears. Would prefer 400 pages or less.

Is there anyone out there who can set me up with an Awesome Average Length Book?

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Slight Bend in the Rules

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

-Anna

The goal: to choose Catching Fire for book club.

The problem: it's the second book in a series, and I couldn't pick the 1st, Hunger Games, because I'd already read it.

The solution: begging, bribing, cajoling.

The result: a bend in the rules and Catching Fire is in!

(E, don't I still owe you a coffee?)

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A Country Doctor - Anna's Review

>> Friday, September 11, 2009

-Anna

It's the simple scenes that I enjoyed most in this book.
Three women snug inside, chatting about life in their little community.
Twin brothers' camaraderie in putting one over on their wives.
The golden apples that are the envy of the neighborhood.
The contagious nature of getting spooked.
Mischievous childhood pranks pulled on neighbors.
These everyday scenes set the backdrop for Nan's journey to take the path that is natural to her despite the social sanctions of the day. And while the ideology of education and discussion of woman's roles is interesting, it is these heartwarming scenes that breathe life into the story.

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The Agony

>> Sunday, September 6, 2009

-Anna


Are...you...saying...I will have to wait a year to find out what happens to Peeta?

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Who is Excited...

>> Friday, September 4, 2009

About Catching Fire??

I am, I am.

-Anna

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The Mystery Guest

>> Tuesday, September 1, 2009


-Anna

Just a short excerpt to give you a taste....

Unless, as sometimes happens, the change is in the person's clothes. Since I'd always hated turtlenecks worn as undershirts and despised the men who wore them as the lowest kind of pseudo-sportsmen with, as they say, the lamest kind of collar, I started wearing hideous turtlenecks as undershirts the moment she left. Basically, I never took them off. No doubt this was magical thinking on my part (if I never took them off, nothing could ever take off on me); at any rate, these turtleneck-undershirts erupted in my life without my noticing until it was too late and I was under their curse. You could even say they'd inflicted themselves on me, so that now I hardly remembered the wind on my neck, which is the very feeling of freedom itself. But if that was the price I had to pay, I told myself, so be it. We brick ourselves up in prisons of our own devising...

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Hard or Soft?

>> Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm not talking about tacos. Or massage pressure. Or even your favorite pillow.

I want to know what you prefer. Hardcover books or paperback? I find this question interesting because I can't really pin myself down on what I like the most.

Paperbacks are generally cheaper (which is a bonus) and easier to transport. But there's something so nostalgic about hardback backs that can't be replaced. Plus they are more fun for collecting and decorating.

So spill it. What's your poison?

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The Time Traveler's Wife - E's Review

>> Friday, August 21, 2009

I really, really wanted to like this book. In fact, I wanted to love this book. I was hoping that it would join the ranks of one of my favorite books of all time like it has done for so many others. But alas, my expectations were not met.

I have always been intrigued by time travel so I was especially anxious to see what rules defined the world she had created where life moved through the past and to the future. But I was most disappointed in her implementation. Let's face it, I got bored. And the only thought going through my mind for the last half of it was "this sure will make a better movie than it does a book".

I hope I'm right.

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Lost

>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So, Netflix added Lost to the instant play list. And, yeah, there is a whole lot a Lost going on....but not so much reading. Balance. They say balance is a good thing.

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Time Traveller's Wife--Lisa's Review

>> Monday, August 10, 2009

I didn't like it. I wouldn't read it again. I wouldn't recommend it. And YET I could hardly put the thing down. What's going on here? In my opinion, Niffenegger's idea of time travel is utterly and irresistably intriguing, so she had me hooked. But then she turned out a somewhat bland story. Apparently, the remedy for a slow story is to throw in a whopping measure of good ole S-E-X to spice it up, and this one could make your eyes water. I'd rather have had a better beginning. And middle. And ending.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--Lisa's Review

I've been putting off this review for far too long because frankly, I just don't know what to write. Let it suffice to say that while I enjoyed Sam's tall-tale-telling style and humor, I still couldn't help letting out a tiny "whew" when it was all over. I was just in the mood for something else, I guess. Still, I'm glad I read it. The words "Huckleberry Finn" will always conjure up a slew of happy images in my mind's eye... lazy summer days... a boy on a raft... wild adventures... unlikely friendship...

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The Time Traveler's Wife - Anna's Review

>> Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So did Clare love Henry because of who he was going to be in the future to her past? Hmmm.

I find myself at odds with this book. I feel almost as if the author took out a loan on my interest using the unique idea of a time traveling husband as collateral, but then never paid me back in full. I read through Clare and Henry's perspectives, I trudged through the boring middle, all with the hopes that there would be something good at the end. If there was, I missed it.

The most intriguing aspect of this book is that Rachel McAdams is going to portray Clare in the upcoming movie adaptation.

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Can't Do It

>> Monday, August 3, 2009

-Anna


She delivered a vicious blow, penetrating his rib cage, and withdrew her hand - with the ninja's still-beating heart in it. As all but Lady Catherine turned away in disgust, Elizabeth took a bite, letting the blood run down her chin and onto her sparring gown.


This is the point at which I decided I was finished. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would have to go on without me. I could no longer give my time to something so ridiculous. I can only hope that my future readings of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice will not be marred by the graphic and parodiable inserts of Seth Grahame-Smith.

So, I haven't read PaPaZ in its entirety, but if you want my opinion anyway...see below.

1. I am slightly annoyed that this cut and paste version of Pride and Prejudice made the New York Times' best seller list. Really? So anyone with Ctrl C/Ctrl V power, zombies, pus and ninja terms can tack onto Jane Austen's dialogue, character development and storyline (something I might add she had to write out with quill and ink probably by candlelight) and get best seller? Sure, Jane Austen's name is on it, but it's not her book, her vision, or consent.
Still, if that's all it takes to gain a bestseller, I'm thinking Jane Eyre and Aliens. Anyone?

2. I was willing to be intrigued by PaPaZ because I read a review that labeled it as an adventure. I was thinking Lewis, Tolkien, Rowling. I was not thinking graphic video game. I wasn't reading a novel, I was reading a game concept for X Box. X button = Lizzy sidekicking zombie. Y button = Lizzie beheading zombie. X,Y,X,Y, dead, pustilous zombies and gore.

3. Who? Who are these people buying this, liking this, making this a best seller? Ahhh, I see. They are mindless zombies feeding on the disembowled entrails of Jane Austen's masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice.

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E's Review - Huck Finn

>> Sunday, August 2, 2009

-Erin

Everything you would expect - friendship, adventure, a raft, a boy, bad guys, good guys and heart.

And I a lot of things I didn't expect - social issues, race, politics and vernacular that drove me crazy.

You could spend hours discussing the moral implications of this book and this time period. For whatever reason though, the romanticized illusion of Huck Finn just being the story of a boy on a raft is enough for me.

And I'm happy to have finally read Mark Twain.

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Just this one time.

>> Friday, July 31, 2009

-Erin

I've recently discovered I don't really have a "kind" of book that defines me. But I'm used to having favorites. What's wrong with me?

You know how it goes, I like lots of music, but I'll always be a country girl.

And so many colors inspire me, but green will always have my heart.

And while I might enjoy a cold coke on a hot summer day, it will always be dr. pepper whose taste I crave.

I've found that while trying to put myself in a box when it comes to books maybe the best thing is to just realize that I know what I like and it doesn't have to fall into any specific category. I like lots of young adult and I like plenty of fantasy and a little romance never hurt anyone and politics always keeps things interesting.

So I'll just keep reading and when I come across something I like, I won't try to define it. I'll just enjoy it.

And I'm okay with that.

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Huck Finn - Anna's Review (June)

-Anna
As an English major I reveled in the idea of reading Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As a lover of grammar, my reading was slowed down by wanting to correct all that gloriously authentic vernacular!
Nevertheless, I enjoyed Huck Finn (some parts more than others), and I am of the opinion that Mark Twain knew how to write a story with style!

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August's Book Club Pick

>> Thursday, July 30, 2009


-Anna
I recently bought a used copy of A Country Doctor by Sarah Orne Jewett. She is an author I'm aware of but don't know much about. I think I read a short story or excerpt of hers sometime in my educational past, and I seem to remember liking it, but it's vague to me. In reading the opening chapter of A Country Doctor, I was immediately captured by her descriptions and insights on human behavior. So, I'm willing to go on this life journey with Nan Prince...and see what happens.


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Victory

>> Monday, July 27, 2009

-Anna

I have finished Huck Finn! Now I can go to book club with a clear conscience.

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Me too.

>> Friday, July 24, 2009

-Erin

I'm in a reading funk too. I have no desire or will to open Huck Finn. But I want to want to read it. Does that make sense?

If only I had a place like this to go then I'm pretty sure I could get out of any funk. But alas, this beautiful library is in New York City. And I, well I'm not.

 
 
 
 

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PaPaZ Update

- Anna

I'm about halfway through PaPaZ and so far the only comment I have is that it is giving me confusing dreams about Jane Austen and zombies. I keep wondering (in my dream) what zombies have to do with my beloved Pride & Prejudice. I have to say that outside of my slumbering subconscious, I am wondering the same thing. But I have not finished, so the final verdict is not in.

In other news, the book funk persists, though a Taylor Swift music video did lift my spirits. Could it be that I am craving a simple girl meets boy story? And no, Time Traveler's Wife does not qualify!

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Reader's Block

>> Monday, July 20, 2009

I know, I know. It's only writers who are supposed to get block. They are the ones who stare at a blank page and pray for something brilliant. But no, I meant reader's block. I just haven't been excited about the last couple of books I've read. I'm still way behind on reading Huck Finn. I want to read it, I just don't want to read it. I am in a book funk! Somebody help me. I've sent my husband to the library to pick up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - will this be the push I need to get me back in the reading groove?

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Dear Penguin,

>> Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thank you for sending us a copy of The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama to read and review.

We are currently passing it around the book club and will get back to you with our thoughts and opinions.

Sincerely,

The Sage Room

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Let's go see the stars!

>> Tuesday, July 7, 2009

-Erin

There are very few books that I will reread but when I do, I open the cover and breathe deeply the scent of familiar words and lines and pages. I revisit the people and the voices of my favorite authors and favorite characters. They come alive once again in my mind and I realize that they were never truly gone. Sydney Carton's sacrifice is real and honest, Anne's whimsical way with words and love is refreshing and uplifting. I may already know the story, but I am there to visit with my old friends.

Then the people and voices are brought to life. And I get to visit with them in a new way. I go to the movies. Sometimes with apprehension, but I still go.

This year I will watch the jagged words Harry Potter appear on the screen with dark clouds behind them and I will get that feeling I know all too well of excitement and tingling. My heart will ache and rejoice because I have missed my friend Harry.

I will reconnect with old friends like Ron and Hermione. But will also have new friends to make in the movies The Road and The Time Traveler's Wife (check out that trailer below).

But dear books do not be jealous, for you first introduced me to these people I know so well and I always come back to you.

**Oops! I tried to add the trailer and it was too big for our blog. Here are the links for all three...


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince



The Road



The Time Traveler's Wife

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Breaking News!

>> Thursday, July 2, 2009


-Anna

I recommended the Hunger Games to a girl who works with me, and she just told me that the second book Catching Fire is going to be released in September '09 not January '10! I had to look it up on amazon.com before I got excited. And there it was: "This title will be released on September 1, 2009."

This, my friends, is very good news!

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This Never Happens

-Anna

I am in the middle of 3 books! What! It's shocking I know because I am a one book woman. Loyal and faithful. But now I find myself going between 3 different books. It's madness. But let me explain.

I realized somewhat late that June's book club meeting was approaching in days and I had not started Huck Finn. Yikes. So of course I dutifully began reading Huck Finn...when a book I'd been waiting for was delivered. Well I couldn't wait, so I started reading that book. Then Erin announced July's book pick and mentioned excerpts were available online, so I had to check it out...and couldn't stop and read 187 pages before it cut me off.

And so that is how I found myself reading 3 different books.

Please don't judge me.

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July's Pick

>> Monday, June 29, 2009

-Erin

Do any of you watch Lost? I'm a huge fan. And when they introduced time travel into the story line, I became an even HUGER fan! I think I have Michael J. Fox and the flux capacitor (which, you know, is what makes time travel possible) to thank for this obsession.

So why haven't I read The Time Traveler's Wife yet? I'm not sure. Everyone LOVES it including this girl who brought it as a prop for her high school senior photo shoot!

time traveler.

This book is also being adapted to the big screen starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. I'm ready to dive in to the past and the present and the future. I'm intrigued. And a little anxious. And might have already read the first 70 or so pages online!

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Summer Ruins the Average

-Anna
I know I'll never be able to catch up with my sister's reading record. But I'd like to try. So I've been pushing myself to read more as well as trying to be more diverse in my choices (book club helps). But then summer comes along, and while some people may view summer as a chance to catch up on reading, it is not the case for me. Summer is by far my busiest season and so, invariably, my reading average begins to dip, drop and plummet. In fact, I've even fallen behind on my book club reading. Oh, no! But wait, is that a cloud I see, and does it...yes, yes it does have a silver lining. My parent's pool is finally up and running, I have this Wednesday afternoon off, I will sit by the pool and I will read!

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Thanks for the Memories

>> Thursday, June 18, 2009

-Anna

Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern (author of P.S. I Love You) was the perfect read. I just finished re reading Twilight and I needed something less intense and less gushy. I'd never read Ahern before, but I did see the movie version of P.S. and liked it.

Thanks for the Memories made me laugh aloud as well as shed a few sad tears. It's a simple read about the complexities of life, living through pain, and letting the magic of life and love heal.

I'll be looking to pick up more of Ahern's novels.

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E's Review - Agnes Grey

>> Monday, June 15, 2009

-Erin

Honesty is the best policy. Right? That's what they say at least. So I'm going to be honest...

I've already forgotten this book.

Yep. I know. I realize this seems extremely lame.

So all I have to say is this: if you want simple and predictable with a little happy and not too much depth then this is the book for you.

At least that's what I remember :)

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A Fun Find

>> Wednesday, June 10, 2009


-Anna

On a recent vacation, we were browsing shops and came across a rare and used bookstore. The store had a neat collection of books as well as some fun prints and sketches from books like Little Women and Heidi. I found a copy of Cranford for $3. I really like it - it has character, and well, it was only $3, so who could resist. I've read Gaskell's Wives and Daughters (a great book, especially for anyone who likes Jane Austen). I've also seen BBC productions of North and South as well as Cranford, but have yet to read the novels. Cranford is on my list of possible book club picks. Will I ever break my British streak?

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Agnes Grey--Lisa's Review

>> Tuesday, June 9, 2009

-lisa

Oh, dear Anne, canst thou forgive me for neglecting thee so? Long have the years stretched in which I have loved thy sisters, and knew thee not. My heart yearned for more intrigue, more dark mystery, more winning love, more Bronte. I knew not of thy brilliance, dear Anne. Until now.

Yeah, I loved it wholly and irrevocably. I feel like a treasure trove has been laid at my feet. Why I never thought to read more Bronte, I don't know. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre hold two of the top five spots in my literary bosom. Seriously, I am almost as excited as if a new 10-book Lucy Maude series was unearthed (almost, I said). I can't wait to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Agnes Grey was simple, unpretentious, and heart-warmingly edifying. Agnes herself was real, honest, and believably good in a dismal situation. How my stomach lurched when I thought all was lost, and how my heart cheered to see some good, old-fashioned reaping-what-you-sow. Hooray for Agnes! Hooray for happy endings! Hooray for Anne Bronte!

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June's Pick


-lisa
I watch baseball. I eat apple pie. I vote. I am proud to be an American. Just how is it, then, that I have yet to read Mark Twain? We must remedy this immediately! So this month, we are reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. God bless America.

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Not in My Wildest Dreams


-Anna

Elizabeth Bennett, Mr Darcy and zombies! I'm sorry did I read that correctly!? Does the title Pride and Prejudice actually have zombies tacked on the end! What, what is going on?

Apparently some guy (of course it was a guy, right?), decided that Pride and Prejudice could do with some undead walking around. I am outraged! Poor, poor Jane Austen.

And yet, Lizzy and Darcy, highly trained zombie slayers, falling in love while protecting the people of ---------shire. Okay, I admit, I am intrigued.

I guess the only thing to do is....read it!

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What we do, who we are.

>> Thursday, June 4, 2009

-Erin

Table at Barnes and Noble had been scoped out and secured.
Agnes Grey had been discussed.
Coffee had been drank.
June's pick had been bought.
Pictures had been taken.
 
I'd say that's one successful book club meeting, minus the fact we didn't get one stellar picture of the three of us. Oh well, there's always next time!

Posted by Picasa

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Agnes Grey - Review

>> Wednesday, June 3, 2009

-Anna

So, it wasn't Jane Eyre, but I liked it. I grew a little weary of the bratty kids, ugh, I just wanted someone to teach them a lesson! But the ending was sweet, and well, that's all I can ask for, really.

I am certainly glad to have read all the Bronte sisters. I perhaps even liked Agnes Grey a little more because of the legacy of the Bronte sisters. Who isn't impressed by three sisters writing in the mid 1800's?

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Inside a Black Apple

>> Thursday, May 28, 2009

I love blogs and enjoy my daily reads immensely. One of the blogs I follow is called Inside a Black Apple and features a wonderful combination of art, food and the things that make life happy. In Emily's most recent entry she showcases her latest print that is available in her shop. Isn't it wonderful? And true?

 

Posted by Picasa

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How Do You Survive?

>> Monday, May 25, 2009

It's a game. It's entertainment. It's a fight to the death. It's you and you alone. Trust no one.

But what about tiny Rue, who reminds you of your little sister - or Peeta, the boy who gave you bread when you were hungry, who claims to love you.

But there can only be one. There can only be one survivor.

How do you survive when everyone is out to kill you, when the very arena is set with death traps?

How do you survive the Hunger Games?


http://www.thehungergames.co.uk/about_the_book

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3 day weekends are for relaxing.

>> Friday, May 22, 2009

-Erin

I'm off to the lake this weekend!
sunset on lake keystone
And along with my ipod, my Nintendo DS and my sunglasses, I will be taking Agnes Grey. Though if I'm honest, I doubt anyone is going to let me read...we'll see.

Anyone have big plans for Memorial Day? Might they involve relaxing and reading? Hope so!

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The Road---Lisa's Review

>> Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bleak hopelessness. Dark gray days. Darker black nights. Gnawing hunger. Lost dreams. Failed humanity. Emotional isolation. Ever-present fear. Bone-chilling cold.

Tender care. Glad self-sacrifice. Utter adoration. Candid conversation. Unmarred trust. Pure, raw, life-sustaining love.

The best and worst of life in 256 pages.

You gotta read this book.

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Series Only Break Your Heart

>> Monday, May 18, 2009

-Anna

I read the last words on the last page of The Hunger Games and immediately jump up and run to the computer to get online and see when the next book is due out. I spend the next 15 minutes ranting and raving to my sister because I can't find anything about when the next book is coming out and how authors should not start a series if they can't tell the readers when the next book is coming out. She gets online and finds it in about two seconds. I spend the next 15 minutes moaning because the next book is not due out until January 2010.

I then make the resolution that I am not going to start a series until at least two if not all of the books are out. It's just too hard. I cannot be expected to wait 8 months to find out what happens. But I will. I will wait. I will rush out to buy the book on day one of release. I will then proceed to devour the book like a ravenous beast. And then I will read the last words on the last page and immediately jump up and run to the computer to get online to see when the next book is due out....oh the vicious, vicious cycle of a series.

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I can read...

>> Sunday, May 17, 2009

On a plane. In a car.

On the couch. And in bed.

I can even read while walking.

But my favorite, absolute favorite place to bury myself in a book is when I can hear the waves hitting the shore and my feet are covered in sand...


Where's your favorite place to read?

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The Siren

>> Friday, May 15, 2009

-Anna

There it is, on the desk, the copy of Vanity and Vexation that I am currently reading. It's on the desk because I'm at work, and should, therefore, be working. But it is calling me. It is the siren. How long can I resist?

Hmmm, perhaps it is time for my mid afternoon break. Just 5 minutes...

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To The Library and Back: a trip on my bicycle

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

-Anna


I was determined to make it to the library today. All my requested books were in, I had two books due, and I had a small - ahem - fine to pay. My problem? No car. Dauntless, I decided to see if the left-outside-in-all-weather-unridden-
for-at-least-three-years-hand-me-down-bike-
from-my-sister was an option. My first thought was, no, the bike with flat tires and rusty chain is not an option. But on further inspection and after airing the tires, I felt it was good to go. So, I packed up my library books, a pump (just in case) and a bottle of water and pedaled off to the library. And though I arrived at the library red faced, sweaty and short of breath, I came home a happy and triumphant reader!

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Happy Mother's Day

>> Thursday, May 7, 2009

-Anna

As Mother's Day quickly approaches, I can't help but think about my favorite literary moms. I've long liked Lillian Gilbreth. Her calm poise, easy sense of humor and timeless ingenuity made her a lovable mom - plus I really like Myrna Loy's portrayal of her in the 1950's movie version. Anne Blythe became the sweet mother she had often longed for. Marmee March certainly deserves mentioning, holding her family together in the midst of war. And even though she is not the ideal model of motherly perfection, I can't help but also think of Mrs. Bennett. What a mother! She is a character I love to hate.

So, Happy Mother's Day to moms everywhere, especially mine - and oh how thankful I am that she is more like Mrs. Gilbreth than Mrs. Bennet!

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What Now?

>> Wednesday, May 6, 2009

-Anna

I've finished Agnes Grey, so the question, of course, is what should I read next? That is the constant burning question. So, I spent some time browsing the local library's catalog and made a few requests.


First on the list: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This book was recommended by a client; I don't know much about it except it's YA,utopia/dystopia and a New York Time's bestseller.


Next I clicked on the library's link to books and reading and found a list of Jane Austen read-a-likes. Though nothing, in my mind, can come close to the original, I thought it wouldn't hurt to see if any of the books were good, so I requested Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler and Vanity and Vexation: A Novel of Pride and Prejudice by Kate Fenton.


Then I went back to a favorite and added Robin McKinley's Stone Fey. Last, but not least, the next book in the Cecy and Kate Series, The Grand Tour.


I feel pretty pleased with my choices. Now the burning question is, can I read them all before they are due!

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Advice.

>> Tuesday, May 5, 2009

-Erin

I'm a photographer and often have the opportunity to photograph high school seniors. Recently one particular high school senior who happens to be a national merit finalist got accepted to Princeton (if you are unaware it is the 2nd ranked best school in the country only behind Harvard). Her dad said to me "Erin, when you have children, read to them."

I thought that was probably advice worth passing on...

(You can see this pretty girl here.)

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Remiss

Hi, my name is Lisa and I’m a lousy blogger. Yeah, I know. You didn’t even know I was a part of the Sage Room. You haven’t read a blog entry of mine since March…and now it’s May. I want to say I’m so busy reading, I seldom have time to blog. Isn’t that how any good book club member should be? The number of books I read each month is way higher than the number of blog entries I write! Well, it’s true, but only because the number of blog entries I wrote in April was zero! I’m sorry, Sage Room girls. This is my formal apology and pledge to do better. In fact, I vow to write another blog entry…well…soon.

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E's Review - The Road

>> Monday, May 4, 2009

-Erin

Rarely does a book move my soul taking me to places I have yet to go and leaving me wanting for more. In fact, I can count on one hand those books that have affected me like that. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is now one of those. It has found itself in my own hall of fame alongside Anne of Green Gables, A Tale of Two Cities, Harry Potter and Mere Christianity.

It is beautiful. And it is brilliant.

Something devastating has happened to the earth and we meet the man and the boy on their journey from somewhere down north to the coast. We have no idea whether the disaster was manmade or natural. And yet we don’t really care because the story of The Road is intimate, focused on a father and son who are “each the other’s world entire”.

Life on earth is dark and gray and full of experiences we can’t even begin to imagine and yet the boy has known nothing else. He has never seen a bird except for in books and has no concepts of boundaries and lines, what were formerly known as states.

And just as the earth is stripped of the ordinary things we are used to, so is the author’s writing style. He draws you in with the simplicity, yet powerful descriptions and conversations between the man and the boy. I experienced physical heartache and senses of relief along the road. And in a world so brilliantly described where no hope remains – “there is no later”, love and sacrifice and being a good guy are not lost. And that is what makes this story so beautiful.

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Breakfast, Coffee and Agnes Grey

>> Saturday, May 2, 2009

-Anna

It's a drizzly, wet Saturday morning, and by all standards, the perfect setting to sip on coffee and read 19th century British literature.

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The Road - Review by Anna

>> Friday, May 1, 2009

-Anna

I am pathetic when it comes to puns. Love 'em. So when Erin asked if I liked The Road, I couldn't help replying with, "Well it's appropriate that it's named The Road because I find myself in the middle." She gave me the smirk as confirmation that she "got" my little pun. Regardless of the bad pun, I do find myself in the middle.

The story is intriguing, the circumstances dark. While the suspense is real, there is no break from it, and as a reader, I very much needed a break from the horrors of surviving in a post apocalyptic world. I needed a break from looking over my shoulder, fearful of other humans; a break from starving; a break from freezing; a break from trudging down a long road; a break from surviving; a break from dying. I wanted a reprieve from the bleakness - a place of light - but in this world, even the light has shadows.

Yet, the fact that I feel all of this only proves that the book captured me. I didn't like the monotony of surviving day to day. I didn't like the grayness of every scene. But I was there, and I was hoping. I was hoping the same hope of the man and his boy. In my mind's eye, I see them as two bleary lights walking in a thick, gray fog, searching for a place of rest. But where is this place? Is there someplace down the road where things are better? Or is their only rest in each other? Is their only hope loving each other, retaining their humanity, being one of the good guys and carrying the fire?

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May's Pick

>> Thursday, April 30, 2009


-Anna

I've read Charlotte. I've read Emily. But I've yet to read Anne. So my pick for book club is Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

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Anne or Harry?

>> Wednesday, April 22, 2009


-Erin

I first read the Anne of Green Gables series as a young girl and continued to reread them throughout my teen years and even into my adult life. And until my early twenties I would have said, hands down, the Anne books were my favorite series.

And then Harry appeared on the scene. I resisted him at first, but these other two girls in the Sage Room encouraged me to give the books a try. I did and I was hooked. I devoured the first two books in one single day becoming a rabid fan that actually stood in line at midnight to buy the last anticipated book.

So when I ask myself what my favorite series is (it's important for me to have favorites in categories such as books, movies, etc.), I do not have an answer. I am torn between a world of magic and fantasy and one of a life filled with beauty and imagination.

Anne or Harry? Do you have a favorite series?

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You Totally Can Judge a Book by the Cover!

>> Monday, April 20, 2009

-Anna

Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country has to be one of the best titles I believe I've ever come across. A friend recommended it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like Jane Austen and Harry Potter, then you would most definitely find this book, well, enchanting! I mean seriously, what is better than witty verbal sparring whilst magic is flying about? Not much, not much indeed.

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It's time to up the monthly quota.

-Erin

I just looked at the weather report for the week. It is supposed to be NICE all week long. Spring is here to stay and that means summer is on the way. I don't know about you, but I always read more in the summertime. And that's a good thing because I have a growing list of books I'm anxious to dive into...

library card for blog

What's on your summer reading list?

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On My Shelf

>> Friday, April 17, 2009

-Anna

From time to time I go into furniture stores (or browse IKEA online), just to drool over the floor to ceiling library style bookshelves. I imagine my books lining the long smooth planks and see myself humming softly as I climb the ever so cool ladder just so I can run my fingers over the colorful bindings of all my books. It's a dream, I know, but sometimes dreams come true (says the girl who believes in fairy tales).

For now, I have approximately 2 1/2 shelves on our bookshelf to display my favorite books. So, the choice is sometimes difficult. Which of my beloved books should hold the honor of being housed there? Which books can look around and proudly state, "Aha, I have arrived. I have made it to THE bookshelf!"? Pride and Prejudice? Need you ask? The Fellowship of the Rings? Without a doubt. The Chronicles of Narnia? Most definitely. Harry Potter? All 6 (yes, I know there are 7, but my collection isn't complete yet).

There are other titles that have squeezed their way onto the shelf. Jane Eyre and Emma have jockeyed for position as well as Chris Claremont/George Lucas' series Chronicles of the Shadow War. But there are so many others that have no home on THE bookshelf. Anne and Emily are sadly tucked away in a box in the attic. Twilight and Eragon console each other behind the doors of storage shelves. They wait patiently, among other loved titles, and they too dream of floor to ceiling library shelves.

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Along the Same Lines

>> Tuesday, April 14, 2009

-Anna

As Erin gives herself a well deserved pat on the back for finishing The Road, I, on the other hand, find myself lagging. It's not because I don't want to read The Road - I do. But I have three other books I want to read now as well (and as we already established, I can only read one book at a time). So what do I do when I can't decide what to read first? I watch TV.

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Pat on the back.

>> Monday, April 13, 2009

-Erin

I think it's a first. And so I feel the need to document it.

I got this month's pick, The Road. I read it. And I've EVEN written my review of it (though not blogged yet) all before my fellow book club members have even thought about it. I'm usually the one pushing the deadline down to the very last day. I think I procrastinate because I read extremely fast and because I work better under pressure. Whatever the reason, I'm on top of it this month.

And with that, I'm patting myself on the back.

Do any of you read more than one book a month? I'm holding steady at that average at least for now...

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The First Cry

>> Tuesday, April 7, 2009

-Anna

I put the book down, lay my head on the sofa cushion and let hot tears slide freely down my face. I had just finished Where the Red Fern Grows and my tender heart couldn't hold in the sadness.

It's the first book I remember crying over (I was probably about 10), and I think it remains one of the few.

A boy, his dogs, loyalty and adventure- this is the recipe for soaring joy and poignant tears.

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Book it!

>> Wednesday, April 1, 2009

-Erin

Does anyone else remember 'Book it!', the Pizza Hut reading program?

I have no idea what made me just think of it, but I distinctly remember around the time of 3rd grade that I got to participate in this program. I don't remember much except for thinking, I read books and they give me free pizza? Uh, life doesn't get better than this! I would have read anyway so with the program I documented my progress, got to wear a fancy 'Book it!' pin or sticker and was awarded my favorite food. Look out Pizza Hut, I'll take one personal size pizza. And make it pepperoni!

Please tell me I'm not the only nerd out here...

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009

-Anna

The story is a bit dark - incestuous siblings, madness, feral twins - but the writing quickly drew me in, and I was captured by its mystery.

The main character, Margaret, is the epitome of an avid reader. As she states, "I read old novels. The reason is simple: I prefer proper endings. Marriages and deaths, noble sacrifices and miraculous restorations, tragic separations and unhoped for reunions, great falls and dreams fulfilled; these in my view, constitute an ending worth the wait. They should come after adventures, perils, dangers and dilemmas, and wind everything up nice and neatly. Endings like this are to be found more commonly in old novels than new ones, so I read old novels."

I too, prefer proper endings. Some may call it predictable, but that's what I want. Proper endings.

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Bated Breath?

Are you dying to know? Are you not sleeping at night? Are you waiting with bated breath? Do you even know what bated breath means? I think it sounds gross, but that's just me. And if I've totally confused you, I'm talking about The Sage Room mascot. We have FINALLY after much thought, deliberation and input from our readers chosen a name. Not that anyone is actually losing sleep at night. Anyway...

Lewis. We will call him Lewis.

We recognize that our comments were split fairly evenly between Lewis and Thaddeus but in the end we chose Lewis in tribute to one of our favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, who we deem wise and experienced. Sage-like if you will. And you will.

So our cute little owl will now be referred to as Lewis and stay tuned because he is sure to make an appearance in some upcoming pictures...

Thanks for playing everyone!

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The Catcher in the Rye - E's Review

>> Monday, March 30, 2009

From the beginning Holden Caulfield drove me absolutely crazy. We meet his character right after he finds out he got kicked out of yet another prep school and we follow him on a 2-3 day journey in New York City before he decides to finally go home and face his parents wrath. Maybe it was because I couldn't relate to him at all, or maybe it was the over the top use of profanity, or maybe, just maybe he was annoying. Plain and simple. Either way, I related much more to his little sister that adored him, got mad at him for getting kicked out and would have followed him to the ends of the earth. She redeemed him. Kind of.

I'd like to think there was some value in reading this book. Did it give me insight into the minds of my teenage nephews? Maybe, but I hope not because I think they are the coolest kids in the world. And this guy, well, he drove me crazy.

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The Catcher in the Rye - Anna's Review

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

26 pages in and I was already tired of the book. Tired of the excessive profanity, tired of Holden, tired of the slangauge, and tired of the themes that saturated and dominated every page. Reading it became a monotonous assignment, instead of an enjoyable pastime.

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The Catcher in the Rye: Lisa's Review

>> Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If ever a book piqued my interest and sent a million thoughts zinging through my head, this one did. I can't say I loved it, but I'm thoroughly glad I read it.
* I hated the constant barrage of profanity (and therefore would strongly discourage anyone under 18 reading the book), yet I felt it was a somewhat natural part of Holden's Caulfield's disfunctional teenage voice. Still, Salinger could have accomplished the same purpose with a fifth of the language---the excess was in poor taste.
* I wouldn't want my own small children within a hundred miles of Holden, yet I saw in him a desperate longing to do right and be genuine. I like him more than a lot of people I know.
* When we are honest, we can see within ourselves suppressed elements of the forces operating within Holden. Half the time, he didn't even know why he did the crazy, stupid stuff he did. How very human.
* The English teacher in me would love to read this book (is there an edited version?!) with a group of high school boys, then have them journal about what parts of themselves they see in Holden. Then offer them intense counselling. :)
* As a mother of sons, I feel that this book somehow allowed me to peek into the window of a teenage boy's soul. If I learned anything, it is that you can't always judge a person's insides by his outward actions.

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April's Pick


-Erin

I felt the pressure. The pressure that Anna and Lisa have told you about. The pressure to pick something worthwhile and enriching. Something that will provide good discussion in our monthly book club meeting. And with so many books in the world it wasn't easy to narrow it down. But I did. I pick The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Though recommended by a friend, I'm not exactly sure what prompted me to pick this book other than the more I read about it, the more intrigued I was. Someone's review described the author's writing style as similar to the Bible with no real chapter breaks or use of punctuation. And besides the author winning the Pulitzer Prize for it in 2006, it is being adapted to the big screen starring Viggo Mortensen. So who knows, maybe book club will turn into movie night sometime in November of this year!

Disaster. Desolation. The man. The boy. The Road.

Enjoy!

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No such thing as too many...

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

Obviously I love reading. I mean I am a member of a book club after all. But did you know that I love books? I do. I love the actual book. While others often go to the library for the monthly pick, I find myself buying the book. Sometimes it's a matter of convenience, but if I'm honest, I just really enjoy owning the actual book. And what do I do with all the books? Well, I decorate my home. The different shapes, sizes, textures, topics, and colors inspire me and make my soul smile. So yes, I like to read, but I also like to look. At my books.
design style

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Silas Reads

>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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Adaptations

-Anna

Adaptations from favorite books can be tricky things. I mean sometimes I wonder if anyone involved with the movie even read or understood the book (Twilight and Eragon). Seriously, sometimes I just want to stand up and shout, "Are you kidding? I could do a better job writing this!" Ahh, but then some movies completely capture the book's essence (Harry Potter, Cold Comfort Farm, BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, not Kiera Knightly). However, no matter how great the adaptation is, I rarely think the movie is better than the book, it can be equal, but rarely better.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is an exception. This past Sunday, I got off work, made myself a yummy snack and popped in the DVD. I was skeptical because I wasn't altogether on board with the path that Ann Brashares took the girls of the pants, but the first movie was good and nostalgic of being 16. So I gave movie #2 my attention, and it was great. A sweet, simple movie about friends - again. The adaptation altered a few of the storylines and for me it worked. It became just the chic flick I was needing.

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My dilemma.

>> Friday, March 13, 2009

-Erin

I am currently reading a book I started at the beginning of February entitled The Shipping News. I'm not really sure why it has taken me so long to get through it. So far I really like it and the writing style is beautiful. It actually has introduced me to a people and culture unlike any other book I have read. It's just that I find myself only being able to steal 10-15 minutes before I fall asleep to actually read.

And now, I have another book looming over me. Catcher in the Rye is due March 24th. It's official: I hate reading on a deadline. It makes me feel trapped. So here I sit in the middle of one book with another hanging over my head. Do I start Catcher in the Rye or get a move on and finish The Shipping News first?

Do any of you read two books at the same time? I just realized that I never do that. I think I fear I won't finish one if I start another. Oh no! What should I do?

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I Didn't Mean To

>> Thursday, March 12, 2009

-Anna

It has recently come to my attention (per a conversation with Erin), that I have unwittingly chosen almost all British authors for book club. (Stella Gibbons, Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse and Anthony Horowitz). Robin McKinley is the exception and she resides in England with her British husband, so really she's not a big exception. What can I say? "I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America..."

P.S. I'm 90% positive that I will be choosing Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte for my next choice, and yes, she is British.

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The nameless mascot...

>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009

-Erin

So there we were, in Starbucks, patiently waiting for our vanilla lattes while we perused the latest in classic coffee merchandise. Then it was like a light shone down and the angels of heaven started singing...I looked at him, Anna looked at me. To say it was love at first sight is an understatement. He was mine from the moment I laid eyes on him. The owl of my dreams - clothed in corduroy with shades of brown and orange, the cutest glasses you've ever seen and he was reading a book. PERFECT!

I hesitated. Only because I don't like to impulse buy. But I couldn't help myself. We were meant to be together. And now, we know why - he is our MASCOT! Sitting in the perfect chair, on top of some of our favorite books (Harry Potter mind you), making sure we stay true to ourselves and the books we read.

This might be a LITTLE dramatic, but it's the truth. And I am no woman, if I can't stand behind the truth. Note: his picture is directly to your right at the top of this blog.

So this is where you come in...he still needs a name. The perfect name for the perfect mascot. We want input from our faithful blog readers on what they think would be the perfect name. Please leave us a comment with your choice (chosen from the 4 below) and if you want, tell us WHY you like that name!

Here are your choices:
Clive
Lewis
Thaddeus
Boobook (which is a type of owl)

DISCLAIMER: While your input might sway heavily in favor of one name, we are not bound to choose that name. The ultimate decision will rest with The Sage Room. But please, tell us which name best describes our mascot!

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Lisa's Review: Stormbreaker

>> Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If you're looking for a book to prove to your 11-year-old boy that reading really can be fun, this may be it. Full of cool gadgets, high-speed chases, narrow escapes and close calls, Stormbreaker is just what it claims to be--a preteen spy adventure. As an adult reader, it's pretty unbelievable, but then again, aren't most James Bond movies? (and we still love them!)

P.S. Anna, Erin, did you know there is a Stormbreaker movie? We probably better make it a rule that we see every book-made-into-movie that applies, don't you think?

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E's Review - Stormbreaker

Stormbreaker was described as a young adult book, a modern day Hardy boys.

An hour and a half later, I had hung from a helicopter, swam thru a cave and barely escaped a metal crushing machine that was going to have no mercy on my 14 year old bones. I flew through the pages not completely buying into the plot twists but willing to let the author take me on this adventure all the while remembering I was reading a book geared for boys in their pre and early teens. It was James Bond for young adults. Captivating and engaging, but no Harry Potter. It did not break the barrier into adult fiction, but I, like Anna, overall liked it. And I would definitely recommend it - to my 12 year old nephew.

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March's Pick

>> Monday, March 2, 2009

Drumroll, please! In the month of March, Sage Room participants will be reading The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. After much deliberation and the perusal of many must-read lists, I finally gave in to the literary pressure. Apparently, this is a book that every well-read person should read and know all about. So we're going to read it and know all about it. Get excited, girls.

P.S. It has been noted that we are caught in a bit of a cycle. Lisa picks a long, difficult, assignment-type book, so Erin and Anna pick a light, fun books to give us relief, then Lisa decides we better get back to the tough stuff, and so on... When will it all end?

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Fairy Tales

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

-Anna


I have long loved fairy tales. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and The Pea and on and on. They are stories that honor kindness, truth, perseverance and loyalty as well as true love. And though I know the Disney versions usually offer a more happily after version than the original tale, I can't help but agree that we all need a happily ever version even if it's not always realistic.


So, with my love of fairy tales, I was quite excited to be introduced to Robin McKinley's books. The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword are everything I want to find in a good fantasy. And her retellings of fairy tales and folklore like Spindle's End, The Outlaws of Sherwood, and Beauty gave me a new perspective on well loved stories.


I just finished Chalice and as I turned the last page, I had that wonderful warm fuzzy feeling that only a good fairy tale can produce. Once again, Robin McKinley was able to extract me from a busy world of cell phones, computers, customers and daily chores and put me into a world of magic, mystery and romance. Happy sigh.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

>> Monday, February 23, 2009

- Anna

Wow, what a title. This was one of the books that I had seriously considered for February's book club. But it didn't win the library request race. And as much as I enjoyed Stormbreaker, I kind of wish that Guernsey had won.
I was skeptical when I discovered that the entire book is written as letters, and I almost decided not to read it. But I forced myself, and I wasn't two lines in before I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
First of all, I love books that can also teach me things. I had no idea that the British Channel Islands were occupied during WWII. And secondly, subtle British humor/wit will always win me over.
It was a book that left me smiling.

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Stormbreaker (February) - Review

-Anna

Stormbreaker is one of those Young Adult books that are truly geared for young readers. It doesn't really transfer over into the adult world; I guess I can't suspend my disbelief as far as I could when I was a kid. Nevertheless, it was a fun read. And I'm not going to say I wouldn't read another in the series. In fact, I've already read another Horowitz novel, Raven's Gate, which is more sci fi fantasy and right up my alley.
Overall, I liked this book.

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Keepin' it real.

>> Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Here in the Sage Room, we keep it SO not real. I'm sorry, but it's true. We like our novels, fantasies and imaginative stories and have, to this point, chosen nothing but fiction for our book club picks.

One time we polled a few of our friends and found out very quickly why the three of us have gravitated toward starting a book club together. Many of our other friends prefer NON-fiction books over fiction ones.

We were astounded. Couldn't believe what we were hearing.

Then the war began and both sides took up their arms to defend what they like best. I think we won or maybe we were just evenly split. Whatever the outcome was, I have to say that while fiction is my preferred escape, I do enjoy a good "real" book every now and then. BUT it has to be about politics or history and preferably about the founding of our country. I guess you could say that's how I like to keep it real.

What's your poison? Fiction or non?

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4 days left

>> Sunday, February 15, 2009

Book club is Tuesday night. For Erin and Anna, this simply means a night to anticipate and look forward to. But me, I'm feeling the pressure...because it's my turn to pick! As anyone in a book club knows, picking a book for the whole group to read can be quite daunting. At your whim, your fellow readers will spend the next month either lost in a wonderful new adventure or wading glumly through wasted time. It's up to you to give your best shot at finding the best book EVER WRITTEN. Talk about pressure!

Right now, I'm considering Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah. I'm in the mood for a book about true, forever friendship and this one comes highly recommended by my dear friend, Cat. Or maybe the first Shopaholic book or Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (recommended by Whitney!) But I'd really like to go the classic route, though we've read most of the obvious ones (we have a rule---you can't choose a book that anyone has read before). Some possibilities include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Wind in the Willows, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, David Copperfield, Lolita, or Catch-22. And we should probably read The Color Purple at some point. Then there's Honeymoon With My Brother, which looks interesting... Erin, Anna, anyone, any opinions?

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The Book I've Never Forgotten, But Can't Remember

>> Thursday, February 12, 2009

-Anna

When I was about 9 or 10, I overheard a phone conversation of my mom's. She was telling a friend that I had taken up reading because everyone else in the family read. And while this is probably true (as I mentioned previously, my sister read constantly), I recall thinking that my new interest in reading had more to do with this hilariously funny book I'd read than anything else. The problem now is that I can't remember the name or author of the book. All I can remember is that it was about siblings who lived in either a hotel or a boarding house and all the wild schemes and scrapes they got into. To this day, I attribute much of my love of reading to this book. I remember laughing aloud and thinking, "I had no idea a book could be this funny!" The clever words, the imagery, the characters - it captured me. And I've been a prisoner ever since.

So, fellow readers, what was the first book that made you fall in love with reading?


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The Friday Night Knitting Club - E's Review

>> Monday, February 9, 2009

-Erin

I don’t know one single thing about knitting. I can’t even sew on a button. But it fascinates me that pieces of yarn are woven together to create beautiful masterpieces. It fascinates me that my Great-Great Aunt Nettie crocheted me a blanket before I was even born and I still sleep with it today. I mean I still have it today. Did I just admit to sleeping with a blanket at the age of 29?

This book however did not fascinate me. It left me wishing I had connected with at least ONE of the characters. It left me not understanding why the author even wrote the book. Don’t get me wrong, I, like Anna and Lisa, flew through this book. I liked the writing style, just not the content as much. And as I was flying along I kept hoping for something that would tie it all together, a place in the book where we could cut off the loose ends and sit back and marvel at how beautifully everything came together. I never got to that point. It was an easy, fun read but I didn’t love it. And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t recommend it.

I think I have a problem. I like to become the character(s) I’m reading about. I like to wander alongside the Lake of Shining Waters, find myself in the heart of the French Revolution or jump onto platform 9 ¾ to enter a world of magic and unknown. The Friday Night Knitting Club was an escape, sure, dodging reality for long enough to not do the laundry or wash the dishes, but it wasn’t a transformation. It didn’t take me from this world into another one and it didn’t leave me wanting. The best ones leave you wanting, yearning for more. The best ones you still hang on to even when you’re almost 30 years old…

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A Reason to Read

>> Wednesday, February 4, 2009

-Anna

I read to escape. Some people read to be informed. Some read to be relevant in society. Some read to better themselves. Not me. No, I just want a place to let my imagination fly.

Below are some of the books that held my imagination and let me escape into their world in 2008.

Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
I actually found this series in a section of the library purposed to help readers who felt lost after the last Harry Potter book. Apparently I was not alone in my mourning. This series is more geared for children than young adult. But I thoroughly enjoyed it, and yes, it did help.

Beauty by Robin McKinley*
I didn't think that I would like fairy tales retold. Robin McKinley convinced me otherwise. She makes the magic of a well known tale come alive in an altogether new way. She's also written other original stories, one of my favorites, The Blue Sword. She will be an author I go back to over and over. In fact, I just saw on her website a new book I didn't know about. Hellooo, that will be going on my list.

Foundling: Monster Blood Tattoo Book One by D.M. Cornish*
Any book that has its own explicarium (being a glossary of terms) is going to be all right with me. I admit that I'm still trying to decide how much I like this series, but I just checked out the website, and yeah, I definitely need to get Book Two: Lamplighter.

The Books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon
This is a very satisfying read for someone looking for good fantasy. I am somewhat impatiently waiting for Book IV, The Singing.

Host by Stephenie Meyer
I repeat. Stephenie Meyer got me to read a book about alien body snatchers...and like it.

Starcatchers Series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson*
A favorite children's story retold with its own twists. Still need to read the third book, Secret of Rundoon!

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde*
Umm, who wouldn't love a character named Thursday Next? Need I say more? (Just in case I do need to say more...Jane Eyre gets kidnapped and Thursday Next has to save the day for both Jane and literature lovers worldwide.)

Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse*
If you google "laugh out loud books," P.G. Wodehouse makes the top of the list. I totally agree. If you like good, clean fun and side-splitting laughs, Jeeves and Bertram are for you.

Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix*
Why did it have to end? I would like more please! More chilling stories of the undead and the bells that bind them. More stories of the Disreputable Dog. More Sabriel and Lirael.

After writing all this out I realized two things:
1) my sister puts me onto a lot of authors (see the asterisks)
2) I have some books to read!

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The Friday Night Knitting Club (January)--Lisa's Review

>> Monday, February 2, 2009

-Lisa

I loved The Babysitters Club books as a tween, I really, really did. But I wouldn't want to read them now. No offense to Ann M. Martin, but I'm looking for a higher level of writing as an adult reader. With all the hype, I thought The Friday Night Knitting Club would be a winner. Unfortunately, it left me feeling like I'd just waded through a 400-page Babysitters Club book for adults. It was a quick, easy read and it did hold my attention, but mostly because I kept waiting for something to happen that would convince me that I had not wasted my time. It had all the components of a great girly book---a group of women, each with their own story, a place where they met to talk, a hobby they all shared... There was just something missing. She didn't make me love her characters or even believe that they were real people (except Anita--I DID like Anita). The dialogues seemed stilted, unrealistic. Several events seemed contrived and fake (like the sudden trip to Scotland to visit the stereotypical grandma). And then the ending...for what reason? (I don't want to spoil it for those who may still pick up the book). Overall, it was an alright read if you're looking for something light and "fun." I guess I just expected more from a book on so many bestseller and book club lists.

I will say this for the book, though. I now REALLY want to learn to knit. As soon as I'm done with my current project (putting pictures from the past three years into albums on Shutterfly), I might try it! Or maybe I'll start a quilting bee....

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