Monday, February 28, 2011

Geek the Library!!!!

geek-VERB

1. To love, to enjoy, to celebrate, to have an intense passion for.

2. To express interest in.

3. To possess a large amount of knowledge in.

4. To promote.

Check out Geek the Library for fun ways to promote your geekdom and help your local libraries! Plus they have fun videos like this one! I am all about the puppies!

Maggie Stiefvater's Having a Contest

Maggie Stiefvater is having a Spring Cleaning Contest!

Here's hoping!
Hey DJL we should totally share if either of us wins! ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop Day: February 25-27

Book Blogger Hop
As Crazy For Books says:
Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This weeks Book Blogger Hop Question is:
"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"

Hmmmm... That is kinda hard to answer because I love my blog's title but I also see things around be that inspire new titles everyday. However, Books Beside My Bed really does describe my life. There are piles of books everywhere- on bookcases, on the floor, in my closet, in my car, etc... I think this blog title is perfect for my situation in life right now.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle




The Best Pet of All
by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Hanako Walkiyama

Book Jacket Summary
This boy-wants-dog story with a twist is both snappy and endearing. The little boy's mother won't let him have a dog. Dogs are too messy and too loud. But she says he can have a dragon for a pet if he can find one. Enter the coolest but naughtiest pet ever. The dragon is messier and louder than any dog. And he will not leave. How will the boy ever get a dog now?
Wry, stylish illustrations with an appealing retro look perfectly complement the spare, witty text. A comical, engaging story for anyone who's ever wanted a pet!

My Quick Thoughts


I have a reputation at work for buying really good picture books (and I'm a bit proud of it). However, I was given credit for giving The Best Pet of All when I have not even heard of it! Good thing we have it in the library and I was able to rectify that immediately.

This book is a blast from the past and has a 1950's feel throughout the book. The antique drug store is adorable and the Mother's wardrobe enviable (however, the ironing not so much). I really enjoyed leafing through this book and seeing the destructive dragon taking a bath in spaghetti! Most of all, I understood that longing for a pet and the cajoling that goes with it. You ask every day, in every conceivable way and plan on bargaining your way to what you want. In my case it took until high school but for the boy in the book it took asking for a pet dragon.

I would highly recommend this book for all ages but especially for the youngsters. Especially since it is apparently a favorite of a 2 year-old boy!

     




Waiting on Wednesday: The Girl is Murder


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


The Girl is Murder
by Kathryn Miller Haines

Release Date: July 19, 2011

It’s the Fall of 1942 and Iris’s world is rapidly changing. Her Pop is back from the war with a missing leg, limiting his ability to do the physically grueling part of his detective work. Iris is dying to help, especially when she discovers that one of Pop’s cases involves a boy at her school. Now, instead of sitting at home watching Deanna Durbin movies, Iris is sneaking out of the house, double crossing her friends, and dancing at the Savoy till all hours of the night. There’s certainly never a dull moment in the private eye business.

I know it is a bit early to be posting a July title but I squealed when I read the synopsis of this book! I love old movies set in the 1940's and a YA that is actually set in that time is rare. Plus Deanna Durbin movies rock! You should check out Something in the Wind or It Started with Eve. She is such a good actress, especially since she started out so young! I will be egarly awaiting the release of this book and reading Haines' adult series, starting with The War Against Miss Winter.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched
by Ally Condie

Book Jacket Summary

In the Society, Officials decide.
Who you love. Where you work. When you die.
Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

 My Thoughts
I have been reading through the blog-o-sphere that this book was overrated for the hype it was given but I really liked it. The world building in this book is extraordinary! Condie has found that delicate balance of creating a world and characters that are fully I would compare it to The Giver and other dystopian books where the government has complete control over the people. There is a kind of filter that goes, life here is not so bad, until you dig beneath the surface. The teens can decide to be Matched at sixteen or remain Single for the duration of their lives. They do have a choice down the road if they decide not to marry their chosen but they have no second chances at being matched.

Cassia is an interesting character who starts out as a typical teen. She does not question the Society because it is all she has known and because she is comfortable with her life. This changes when she is Matched with her best friend Xander at the ceremony but sees Ky on her monitor at home. This starts a chain reaction of Cassia getting to know Ky and realizing that she is falling in love with him. I really like the progression of their love story because Cassia is not head over heels in love with Ky the second she realizes he might have been her Match. Instead she is curious about him and wants to know more about him and his past. I jut wished she could have handled her break-up with Xander better. Unlike other love triangles, I felt this one was not quite as annoying. Xander is the representation of her comfortable life but he is also her friend first and Ky is the taste of freedom from the Society.

The use of poetry is wonderfully executed throughout the book. It made me go back and look up the poems mentioned. That's all I'm going to say on that because Condie uses it so well and you really should read it.
I recommend this one and I will be reading the rest of the series. Hopefully the covers will be equally beautiful!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Movies and Books: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Trying something new today! Let me know what you think!

Ahh the eternal debate of which is better, the book or the movie. Here is one pairing that has such differences that you can hardly compare them. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett is a classic that I grew up with.

When I heard they were making a movie, I was quite shocked. There really is not a long story to follow like in Harry Potter but then again they made a great movie from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. A few weeks ago we were stuck at home for four snow days and we ended up watching a lot of movies. We started off with How to Train Your Dragon (which I love) and then Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I must say that I never stopped laughing throughout the entire movie. The characters are endearing and the plot well constructed. Dreamworks is getting better and better!
There is such a difference in tone and look that the movie and book do not have to compete for a top spot. They can be enjoyed for what they are... a great picture book with line drawings and an animated movie with hilarious results!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

 
Paranormalcy
YA

Book Jacket Summary

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.

My Thoughts
I have been a bit disillusioned with teen paranormal romance lately but this book drew me back in! I really liked the fact that there were no love triangles, well there is a rogue fairy after Evie but she always rejected his advances outright. However, I am getting ahead of myself...
Evie works for The International Paranormal Containment Agency or the IPCA for short. She can see through glamours that surrounds the world's supernaturals. Vampires look like hot guys to us but to Evie they look like rotting corpses, yuck. Evie really doesn't want to save the world every night, all she wants to do is sit at home and watch her favorite show, Easton Heights. Better yet- actually go to high school and see some real lockers! 'Cause you know lockers are so cool!
I really like Evie and her bubbly personality. She is a regular girl that is trapped in a cold environment and she does the best to make her place in it sparkle. She wears lots of pink and even has a pink taser that she uses to subdue the paranormals she hunts. Her best friend is a mermaid and her guardian Raquel is the head of IPCA. Evie is a bit flaky but she has never known a life outside of the IPCA and feels the need to act out. She tries to push her boundary's but knows that the IPCA needs her.
As I said before, I really liked the love story in it because the romance between Lend and Evie is sweet and I like how Evie gets to know him before totally crushing on him. Lend also like that Evie can see the real him (he is a shapeshifter). Even when he puts on an ugly face Evie doesn't care and this really cements their relationship. I like that it is not his "super hotness" that draws her to him. He is a mystery and Evie is trying to understand the outside world through him.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed this one and recommend to those who likes a good paranormal romance. Plus, don't you want to know if Evie ever gets to prom? 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Abandon


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Squee!!! A new Meg Cabot? Sign me up!

Abandon
by Meg Cabot
April 26, 2011

The Myth of Persephone, Darkly Reimagined
She knows what it's like to die. Now Death wants her back.
Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.
That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.
Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.
What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most
And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:

The Underworld.

Read an excerpt here!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pat the Zombie: A Cruel (Adult) Spoof

A co-worker sent this to me and I had to make sure it was real! Sure enough, it popped up on amazon and has its own website. Guess the Zombie genre was not satisfied with Jane Austen.






by Aaron Ximm. Illustrations by Kaveh Soofi
Published by Ten Speed Press
In this soon-to-be classic, trusting toddlers Paul and Judy play peek-a-boo with a shroud, inhale the aroma of decomposing remain s, check in the mirror for signs of infection, reach for Daddy’s putrefying face, and, of course, gut the Zombie! Grownup fans of the original will find all eight activities revoltingly re-imagined, with all their favorite touch-and-feel features creatively, yet sensitively, lampooned, as the undead come lurchingly back to life.

 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sleep Tight, Ginger Kitten by Adele Geras


Sleep Tight, Ginger Kitten
by Adele Geras
illustrated by Catherine Walters

Book Jacket Summary
Follow the ginger kitten as he looks for somewhere comfortable to sleep. But the chair's too hard, the box too small, and the wardrobe is full of shoes. Where can he go next? Will he ever find the perfect place?

My Thoughts
Attention people who go Awww! every time you see a kitten, this is the book for you! Catherine Walters captures the art of kittens perfectly and I almost expect Ginger Kitty to jump out of the book and into my lap. The drowsey eyes of the Ginger Kitty make me want to go home and snuggle with my roommates cat. Geras also captures the poetry of a kitten's travels throughout the house searching for a place to sleep. 
I am someone who spends way to much time watching YouTube clips of cute cats trying to fit into small boxes and this feels like the book equivalent. This cute kitty is looking for a place to nap and there seems to be no place comfortable or if it is someone shoos him away. He finally finds the perfect spot, in the arms of his little boy! Okay, everyone say it with me- Awwww!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop


"Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!"

This week I reviewed The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter! I love the creepy vibe the cover gives off!  Characters are interesting and fleshed out. Plus there is a mystery to be solved. This is a great book for everyone, not just the tweens!

Thanks to DJL for the idea!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Harry Potter Book Trailer



I think the people who know me outside of the blog are aware of my love of the Harry Potter series! I am a big fan and have read each book multiple times. July can not get here soon enough for me!
This Thursday I want to show off this trailer! The shadow effects are so cool!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Day! by Patricia Lakin

Snow Day!
by Patricia Lakin
illustrated by Scott Nash

Book Jacket Summary

"Look!" said Sam.
"Where?" said Pam.
"Outside!" said Will.
"Why?" said Jill.
"SNOW!" said Sam, Pam, Will and Jill.
It's a perfect day for sledding, so Sam, Pam, Will and Jill all get dressed in their warmest clothes, put on their goggles and helmets, and set out for their favorite sledding hill. But there's a problem: It's a school day! Is all lost? Maybe not. These four crocodiles have a few surprises up their sleeves.
Joyous and silly, and illustrated with verve by New York Times Best Illustrated winner Scott Nash, this is an irresistible tale of four friends who are determined not to let a little thing like school get in the way of their winter fun.

Quick Thoughts
Snow Days are the best! We had another one today and all I wanted to so was snuggle with my puppy and watch TV! Since I have snow on the brain today, I present Snow Day! for your enjoyment.
Snow Day! is perfect for kids and adults who want to remember the joy of waking up and finding snow on the ground. These little crocs are all about sledding all day long and hatch up a plan to get the day off of school. I like how Lakin integrated the use of goggles and helmets into the story seamlessly and it is not over done. It is a cute little book and uses repetition to engage its younger readers.
The pictures are comical and brightly colored. The hats and jackets are all different colors and stand out from the white snow background. This is part of a series starring our four little crocodiles. The other books are Camping Day, Beach Day, and Rainy Day. These crocs are so cute that I would recommend checking them out. I know I will!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tween Tuesday: The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!



The Kneebone Boy
by Ellen Potter
Middle Zone

Book Jacket Summary
Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who’s away on holiday, the Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal. . . .
In this wickedly dark, unusual, and compelling novel, Ellen Potter masterfully tells the tale of one deliciously strange family and a secret that changes everything.

My Thoughts
 Otto, Lucia, and Max are Hardscrabbles. This causes most people to avoid them like the plague because they are rather odd and their mother went missing rather mysteriously. When their father goes on one of his painting trips the children are supposed to stay with a cousin in London but due to a mix up they travel onward to a great-aunt they have never met! From there the stumble into the mystery of the Kneebone Boy and the strange castle folly that they are staying in. I really do not want to describe any more of the plot because it is very well developed and you should read it yourself!

The book is narrated by one of the Hardscrabble children and they welcome you to guess who is narrating. I have my guesses and I'm pretty confident I am right. I would almost put this is the same vein as A Series of Unfortunate Events but at the same time there is a hopeful feel to this one. I really hope that this is a start of a series and that there will be more adventures with Otto, Lucia, and Max. The relationships that build between the children really drew me in!
 
What drew me, originally, to the book was the cover. These children looked so mysterious and is that a five legged cat? So it is, hmmm. For a book that is firmly based in reality, this is the most fantastical book I have read in a while. I thoroughly enjoyed the eerie feeling the book gave but also the dose of reality most books lack. Everything in it could take place, just strange that it happens all at once to our characters.


This is a high recommendation to all ages but especially to the tween readers!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Snip, Snip...Snow by Nancy Poydar

Lovely snow blanketed our fair city this week and I thought we would celebrate by reading about other people's snow days.

Snip, Snip... Snow
by Nancy Poydar

Book Jacket Summary
What could be more boring than a winter without snow? Even when the weatherman forecasts snow, it doesn't arrive. For now, Sophie will have to do with the paper snowflakes she makes at school. But as Sophie is taping her creations to the window, she notices something outside--a teeny, tiny something that promises winter fun is finally on the way.

Quick Thoughts
This book reminded me of all the winters I had growing up. Living in Texas can put a damper on your snow dreams but cutting out snowflakes and hanging them around the room is the next best thing. I liked how Sophie pouted for a while but then decided to make a bad situation better by making her own snow at school. Everyone participates and the whole class covers the room with snowflakes. The parents are funny with the opposite reaction of snow- they almost groan. Now that I am an adult I can see the humor because it it a bit more difficult to manage when you have more than snowmen and sledding to think about on snow days. Very cute and the energetic main character, Sophie, is a hoot!
 The book also includes a craft page, entitled Sophie's Snowflake. Can you guess what the craft is? If you guessed cutting snowflakes then you are correct and get a cookie! This book is a tad long for storytimes but when paired with smaller books it should work just fine.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Lengths I Go For A Book

I have been reading the Cat Royal Series by Julia Golding for a while now but the fifth book is impossible to find in the United States. According to Julia Golding's website, the only way to order this book is through the UK. So, off to amazon.uk to make my purchase. It was quite a difference between pounds and dollars! This book has been a challenge for me to find but I finally have it! So excited to continue Cat's adventures in the new world and into the Caribbean. Plus my favorite villain, Billy Shepard, is returning to the books! Gotta love a good villain! Well, I am off to read!

Note: Sorry about my abscence this week but we had several snow days! All I could think about was having a mini-vacation and enjoying my self. Sorry about not posting but sometimes we need a break!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday:

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
 

Chime
by Franny Billingsley
Publication Date: March 17

From amazon:

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.
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