Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday We-view

About a week ago I bought myself an iPod. Don't ask me what kind, because I have no idea- I just know it plays music and books and I can listen to them as I walk to class, or am meandering about. I CAN tell I am glad I made the investment- its so much easier than lugging around a CD player, or a cassette player. So much easier.

So why am I telling you all this? I promise, it does relate to books.

The day I got the iPod working I eagerly went to my library's website. I had been waiting for over a year to try this out. They have a program where you can borrow audio books and put them on your iPod or MP3 player over the internet. I couldn't wait! I put Anne of Avonlea on hold, and borrowed The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1 to hold me over until Anne was available.

I must say that the stories were dramatized very well. I remember in one of the four stories these two people were talking, and you heard thunder in the background- very faint, believable, and right sounding. Then you could hear rain. It sounded so real, I checked to be sure it wasn't raining outside ;)

The mysteries were only about half an hour long each, and were 'sophisticated'. I mean, I wasn't able to figure everything out like I could when reading the Boxcar Children mysteries. The format was different too... Sherlock solved the various mysteries, and then talked with people afterward about how he figured it out. It was confusing for the first mystery, but then I was ready for this format when listening to the other three stories.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Mountain

I've been in a reading lull lately. I'd been in the middle of a book here and there, but so busy with life and classes and sleep(it actually is a necessity, you know) that I continually forgot about the books I was reading. Partly because they were non-fiction, and the one that was fiction was very deep. But then I got my iPod (more on that Wednesday) and re-discovered fiction. And now I have a mountain of books to read and to finish. In case you are just dieing to know the titles of what I will be reading in the coming month, continue reading- this post is for you. :)

The Deadliest Monster- the non-fiction I've been stuck on. It is a really good book, full of meat and now underlinings and boxes and highlighter marks and margin notes. Its just very long and the first non-fiction I've read in a while, proving quite different than fiction.

The Great Divorce- the fiction I've been stuck on. Again, so far it is really good and thought provoking, but when Lewis isn't writing for children I find he uses words that are quite large and thoughts that are quite big. This is a required reading for my Christian Formation class, but not for a couple months yet. What can I say? It was a Lewis, and I just couldn't wait!

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase- I borrowed an MP3 file of this from my library. A service I am really growing to love. I never really read Nancy Drew as a child (being more of a Trixi Beldon fan...). I read a few of the mysteries, but never got hooked- until after watching the newer movie this summer. My curiosity has been perked, and they had this copy ready to be 'checked out', so I did.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond- I remember reading this one years ago for home-school, but I don't remember too much about it. I was telling a friend about it the other day, and was surprised at all the random tidbits I did remember. This is also in an audio version.

If I get through most of the books above in the coming 31 days, I will pull 'Eat This Book' from my bookshelf. I've read the first couple pages, but had to stop when I realized I could only handle one non-fiction title at a time. I eagerly wait for the feast to begin.

What are your reading plans for October?

Music Monday

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bible Blurb

Psalm 139:1-3

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Drum-roll Please...










Congrats, S. Mehrens!!! You have won the ARC copy of 'Leaving the Bellweathers'. Please send your mailing address to me at 'mariedevries@comcast.net' so I can get it on its way.

Music Monday

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bible Blurb

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Meme about Me

Thanks to Library Hospital for the meme!
I'm supposed to answer in five words or less, but I doubt that will happen. I enjoy explaining ;)

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
No, I usually am too caught up in the story to eat anything. I have a 'how can you eat at a time like this?!?!?' mentality for the characters at times...

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
If I own the book, as of late, I write in them. Underlining, boxing, circling things I don't understand, writing notes to myself... if I don't own it, I usually forget to mark them at all, not having the pencil and paper immediately in front of me...

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?Bookmarks, post-its, tissues even!Laying the book flat open?
Either a bookmark (rare... I can never seem to find any), a scrap of paper, or a dog ear. I try not to dog ear if I don't own the book.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Both. Until this summer I had not as much as read titles of non-fiction books for a long time, but that has changed- for the better.

Hard copy or Audio Books?
Undecided. I like actually reading what is happening, but I like to be able to 'read' while working, so it depends on the situation. If I had to pick, I'd probably just stall as long as I could ;)

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
Chapers are annoying things. You'd think that they would be a stoping place, but authors caught on to this and leave cliff hangers at the end of chapters so that it becomes increasingly difficult to put down a book at the begining of a chapter. I am guilty of this too. Therefore I prefer to stop in the middle of a chapter, or not at all.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Not usually. I either don't look it up at all and use context information to help me, or look it up later when it is still bugging me. Example? I'm reading 'The Great Divorce' by Lewis, and I didn't know what a 'queue' was, but I just kept reading and eventually found out its like a bus stop thing...

What are you currently reading?
'The Great Divorce' by C. S. Lewis and
The Deadliest Monster' y J. F. Baldwin

What is the last book you bought?
I bought a couple at once off Amazon:
Eat This Book by Eugene H. Peterson and
How to Read Slowly by James W. Sire
both are non-fiction

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I usually read one of a type at a time, but there are exceptions. By 'type' I mean fiction and non-fiction.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I don't mind a series if I know before I start that it IS in fact a series. I don't enjoy being surprised at the end when its not really THE END.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Do Hard Things by the Harris'
I am planning a reread myself shortly...

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
Uh, by their size. the larger sized ones are at the bottom of the pile, and the smallest sized ones are at the top.

If this looks interesting to you, post this yourself and leave a comment here saying you did, linking to it, so I can read your answers!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summary

Notes from College Writing 1

Summary
Depending on what we are reading (textbook, newspaper, novel, email ect.) we read it diferently depending on what we will have to do with it later.

When you know you will be summarizing, you should read activly:
re-read, annotate, connect ideas, look for structure, underline, write ideas in margins...

The process of summarizing:
look for :
context: who wrote it, when, where? Maybe do research on author
purpose: why? to inform, to persuade*, to show an opinion, to entertain? Some of each?
central idea/thesis: find the overarching idea that fits over everything
main ideas/ key points: take the big picture and break it down
organization: how are the pieces put together?
key examples: take main ideas and break them down. It may take a second read to find these

*in order to persuade effectively, you should inform first

REMEMBER: a summary should be shorter than the original, it should contain all key points the original had, and have no personal opinions- only the author's weather or not you agree with them.(your own word's, the author's ideas)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leaving the BEllweathers by Kristin Clark Venuti

My cousin Noel passed this one on to me. I must have been drooling over it quite a bit... Thanks Noel! Read her review HERE.

Leaving the Bellweathers hasn't come out yet. It comes out September 22nd, however you can have an ARC copy instead... but I'm getting ahead of myself....

The Bellweathers are an interesting family to say the least, and their butler, Benway, has had just about enough of them. But he cannot quit, no, for an oath of fealty binds him to work for the Bellweathers until the two hundred years are over. And they almost are. Benway would know; he keeps a running total of the number of days, hours, and even minutes until his 'liberation'.

What, you ask, is so detestable about the Bellweathers? Let me explain: The father is an inventor who is very easily angered to say the least. The mother is continuously painting... each room of the lighthouse where they live has been painted and repainted innumerable times. It is nearly impossible to go in the house and not come out with wet paint on one's clothes. The boy's name is Spider. He rarely goes outside, preferring his dark room. Spider is very interested in exotic and or endangered animals and somehow manages to keep an endangered albino alligator in his bathtub. The daughter Ninda is very concerned with doing good and helping the oppressed. It gets to the point where she secretly keeps a circus family in her room to train them about how to stand up for themselves. And then there are the triplets: Brick, Sassy and Spike. If one is anywhere near them, you had better hope they are yelling, for they are only quiet when they are Up To No Good.

So Benway is planning on finding a replacement butler, writing a book about his experiences, and moving Far, Far, Away. But what happens when the children begin to catch on?

Overall I enjoyed the book. Yes, it was a bit unrealistic and hard to believe, but its fiction- it doesn't have to be realistic.

Now for your chance to win an ARC copy! All you have to do is tell one person about this contest, and where to find it, and then you can leave your email address in the 'comments' section. I will pick a winner Saturday night, so be sure to spread the news and leave your comment before September 20th 8pm Central time! I'll announce the winner Monday.

And for the sake of interesting stories, feel free to tell a story about yourself or someone close to you who got into some mischief... it doesn't have to be an art heist or anything, something as simple as 'my sisters got into the freezer one day when they were three and four and opened a carton of ice-cream and ate a quarter of the way through it before mom found them' (true story)...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bible Blurb

Ephesians 6:11

Pun on the full armor of God do that you can take your stand against the Devil's schemes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stay Tuned!

Heard much about Kristin Venuti's book 'Leaving the Bellweathers? It comes out the 22nd of this month, but you could participate in a drawing for an ARC copy of it Wednesday, when I share my thoughts on it. See you then!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dry Erase Markers

My room mate and I have a stash of dry erase markers. My mom bought them for us upon request, based off something I saw in a magazine or something.

We have eight double sided markers. That makes sixteen different colors. Lets just say I had a little 'creative burst' the other afternoon...

I drew a flower with a long stem on the window, and a tree on the other half. They were not at all in proportion... yesterday I erased them and drew a smiley face in their place. On the mirror we had a verse, framed in bubbles, as well as a flowerpot drawn in black, but embellished in color. A suit of armor labeled with the armor of God has succeeded them.

But I wasn't content with that. I drew a frame on the hall mirror (in a place where it is not in the way :D), as well as a flower and butterfly in a corner of the bathroom mirror.

Have you ever had an 'art rush' with dry erase markers?