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This is the current evolution of the website Ninja Books (linked at the top). Book discussion and reviews. Check out the link at the top to see older reviews and more information.
Current Month
Jan. 28th, 2009 @ 12:14 am Awards
Congratulations to the amazing Neil Gaiman for winning the Newbery award for the Graveyard Book. It was a wonderful story, and I believe will have a broader appeal than some of Newbery's more esoteric picks, some of which have come under criticism in the last few years.

You can see the Newbery Honor books and the rest of the ALA awards list here.
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wild things
Jan. 3rd, 2009 @ 09:39 pm Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
Current Music: Sleepless in Seattle
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
By: Vicki Myron with Bret Witter.
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wild things
Jan. 1st, 2009 @ 09:24 pm 2009 - Is this thing on?
Current Mood: coldcold
Current Music: Tony Bennett
Happy New Year!

It's another year to look forward to, with a list of books waiting for me to read them. Sadly, that includes the rest of the Nancy Drew series. I didn't make it too far on them last year. But Nancy Drew is forever, so eventually, I will make my goal and make it through the original series.

Right now I am reading two different books. Normally, I have my first book of the year all picked out am waiting to pick it up come New Year's Eve, but this year, I found myself in the middle of two books. The first one, I got for Christmas, and is a very interesting compilation of the columns Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote. They are quite an interesting mixture of advice on keeping a house and working a farm and life philosophy (she encourages napping. I knew I liked her.). The second book is Dewey, which is about a cat that is adopted by a library. That's the book club book for February. Neither are what I'd normally choose as my first book of the year, but I am enjoying both of them (though Dewey is a bit sappy for me).

I am going to try and keep this journal updated this year, because I definitely neglected it in 2008, which is actually kind of funny, because I read a lot and had plenty of books to discuss in 2008. To see what I read in 2008, you can find me on GoodReads and keep up with my list.

What are YOU kicking off the new year reading?
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wild things
Feb. 1st, 2008 @ 02:22 pm Review: The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally As Possible.

A. J. Jacobs

Author Website: ajjacobs.com

Review By: Carrie B.

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wild things
Jan. 7th, 2008 @ 11:26 pm Resolved.
Current Mood: sleepy.
Current Music: Mythbusters
Happy New Year, Faithful Readers! I hope you all resolved to read more wonderful books this year. I resolve that every year. Also to stop cussing. I'm better at the book thing (What? I'm trying!).

I actually only got one book for Christmas, if you can believe it (I can't. What the heck, people?), and it was the amazing Official Nancy Drew Handbook. This wonderful little volume contains tips on things like escaping from quicksand and choosing the right nail polish. And of course, this reminded me that my move this year allowed me to get my Nancy Drew books out of storage and back where I could get to them (although sadly, still not onto the shelves as I still don't have any). So one of my long standing goals has been to work my way through the original series. This seems an ideal time to start, peppering them throughout my regular reading for the year. With that in mind, my first book of the year was the first ever Nancy Drew book, the Secret of the Old Clock, wherein Nancy discovers her yen for detecting. I am reading from the 1970s double release books in their liliac covers. These were handed down from a stepbrother's wife, which changed my Nancy Drew reading from library available to being at my fingertips. For a book crazed kid, this was, of course, ideal. The only series I remember with more affection is the Cherry Ames books, which no one seems to remember, but which featured a charmingly red cheeked nurse solving mysteries and saving lives during WWII and immediately following. Nancy Drew is a close second, maybe even pulling into first on the basis of availability alone. But somehow, inexplicably, I have never managed to work my way through the entire series (I've made some pretty good efforts though).

I would love to have some of you join me. Let's go! This year, let's ask ourselves - What would Nancy Drew Do?

The answer is obvious: Solve the mystery, get the guy, help the less fortunate and do it all in her sporty blue roadster with not a titan hair out of place. What could be better than that?

Next time: What was the last book of 2007?
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wild things
Dec. 24th, 2007 @ 01:12 am Ho! Ho! Whoops
Current Mood: Merry
Current Music: Joy to the World
Merry Christmas, beloved and neglected readers. I have not forgotten you, but vacation has made me lazy and I am slacking terribly.

Tomorrow is Christmas eve and I am to be quite overrun by family for the next couple of days, so I will wish you a safe and Merry Christmas now, and see you back here soon.
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wild things
Dec. 12th, 2007 @ 03:30 pm Whoops.
Current Music: Tori Amos - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Well, I think it’s safe to say I fail at NaBloPoMo. The truth is, I had a terrible stressful week where lots of bad things happened (including two family members making trips to the emergency room (everyone is okay)), and I let this journal get away from me and after that it was easier to just keep not posting than to post. I apologize.

I have also not actually completed a book since my last post either. I was working on Microtrends, by Mark Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne for my book club at work. The concept - that the world is fragmenting into smaller groups and those smaller groups are holding more sway in the public and political arenas - was interesting, but ultimately, it didn’t impart any exciting new ideas, and the trends he used as examples were by and large pretty well known and discussed already. I chose not to finish the book and instead just read select essays on trends (education, web romances, gaming) that interested me. I found it interesting that despite his claims that these groups were significant because they had a new power, he was still quite dismissive of some, particularly gamers. “More people are gaming than ever. *joke about making room in the basement* *joke about 30 year olds living at home.*” Not exactly mind blowingly innovative. The discussions on various trends made for a very interesting book group discussion though.

Next month we are reading Lean, Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. I’ve tried like four times to write a review on this book and my eventual conclusion was that I couldn’t think of anything to say about it. It was good, not great. DISCUSS. That’s January. February’s selection is the Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs…it promises to be interesting…I think. It should be either hilarious or DEEPLY AWFUL so at the very least it should make for interesting discussion. Only time and me getting my hands on a copy will tell. But since it’s not until February, I have some time to decide.

In the meanwhile, I am trying to work my way through this is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. I am enjoying it on one level, because it is a subject that is totally fascinating (why we choose the music we choose and what it means to our brains), but my brain is having a little trouble getting engaged as well. I suspect part of the problem is that I have been reading it in snippets instead of in concentrated settings and because some of the concepts are complex, I keep having to go back some to remind me where I left off.
Anyway, again, I’m sorry I dropped off the face of the earth, and it wasn’t because I don’t have plenty of things to talk about, so hopefully it won’t happen again.
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wild things
Nov. 29th, 2007 @ 11:57 pm Posting...yeah
All I can see is...the water heater was not the worst part of my week. Hopefully by tomorrow night I will be recovered and have more to say. In the meanwhile here are a couple of items for you.

Good Reads is a fun site where you can list the books you have read or even that you want to read. You can look for me under gryphonmage...I couldn't figure out how to do a direct link to my account.

Bookshelves of Doom. Probably my favorite book site on the web. The literary focus primary for young adult literature, but there's a lot of pop culture discussion and great info on book bannings and challenges around the country.

Finally - vampires in romances are hot hot hot. Christine Feehan has been writing "paranormal romances" for ages and recently released her first manga - a retelling of an earlier novel. I just read High Stakes, a vampire romance/chicklit/mystery by Eric McCarthy.
There are paranormal romances featuring other supernatural critters, but vamps dominate the field to the point where they practically make up their own subgenre. Are any of you reading this trend? What do you think? Are you digging it or do you think it's just horning in on fantasy/supernatural fiction you'd have been reading instead? Let's hear it!
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wild things
Nov. 28th, 2007 @ 12:04 am (no subject)
Christmas is peeking it's head around the corner now. Thanksgiving has passed and in my family it is heralded with overstuffed bellies (hello, Mr. Turkey. We love you.) and endless rounds of Christmas music. And accompanying this music is Christmas shopping. I personally purchase a plethora of books each year for Christmas. My nieces, in particular, get a book for Christmas and their birthdays every year. This year, the youngest is getting a couple of the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child's for her birthday and Stellaluna for Christmas. The elder one is getting Amelia Bedelia for Christmas and I have NO IDEA WHAT for her birthday. Fortunately, that is in January so I have some time.

Do you buy books for presents for people? I am either very bad or very good about depending on your perspective, because I get them for everyone, all the time. It's flat! It's easy to ship! When you live 1, 500 miles away from most of your friends and family these are issues you have to consider. This year I went to the Kentucky book fair and spent a ton of money on books, which I was able to get personalized by the authors and am now hording for Christmas gifts.

So let's hear it. Are books the gift you love to get or is it better to give than to receive? (I enjoy both equally, for the...that's a lie, I love to give them but not as much as I love to get them.)

YA lit post still in the works! It kind of stalled out on me.
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wild things
Nov. 26th, 2007 @ 11:53 pm Row, row, row your boat
Current Mood: tired and cranky
Current Music: Mike Rowe - Dirty Jobs.
Today my apartment flooded. My water heater broke and leaked all over everything. Dining room, laundry room, downstairs bathroom and halfway down the hall. Fortunately, nothing (amazingly enough) sems to have been ruined. Other than the water heater. some clean laundry that was sitting in front of the dryer waiting to be folded is going to have to be rewashed, I'm running low on towels, and I have no water, but things could be worse. My guitar, which I have been trying to learn to play again, came within a few inches of the water, or rather, the water came within a few inches of it.

I am still working on my post on young adult literature. I meant to be done with it, but I got distracted by reading some of it. The Outsiders can literally make me bawl by like page two and through til the end, if you were wondering. And if you weren't, well, now you know anyway. I consider the outsiders to be a cultural common denominator. Everyone I know read the book growing up, and every girl I know wanted to marry one of the guys. They were like a boy band with switch blades. For the record, I was a Darry girl, which explains a lot about me. Theoretically. Did you read this book growing up? Did you relate to one of the characters (or simply plan to date one of the characters) more than one of the other?

Let's hear it!
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wild things