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text 2014-09-25 01:37
Bookaday - Sept 23 & 24
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton,Maureen Howard

Favorite Prize Winning Novel




Favorite Book set in the 20s



Both of these were hard picks, with the second book being more difficult.  I love reading books set in the Gilded Age, especially in those set in New York.  My absolute favorite of that era, though, Ragtime: A Novel - E.L. Doctorow   just missed the 20s, otherwise it would have been a shoo-in.    But the Wharton book is a good representative.


And as an added bonus, both of these books have great movie adaptations.

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text 2014-09-20 14:21
Bookaday - Sept 20
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré

Favorite Literary Friendship


I am going with Harry, Hermione and Ron from Harry Potter.


My oldest son was just the right age when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré   really hit in the US.  I remember seeing it in a  Barnes and Noble and picked it up and since it sounded interesting, decided to get it and read it to him.


By the time Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré  came out I was no longer reading them to him, I was reading them for me!   We would fight to see who read them first. 

When my younger son got to the right age I re-read them all over again.


Now years later with multiple reads (and listens because we also have the audiobooks) I feel like I know Ron, Harry and Hermione so well.  My kids (and I) grew up with them, watching them meet, gel, fight, make-up and do it all over again.  The beauty of Rowling's storytelling and writing is that she made them so consistent from book to book that you knew how they'd act, react and interact.  Great stuff.



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text 2014-09-18 16:42
Bookaday - Sept 18
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. - Judy Blume

Favorite Coming of Age novel



For some reason, whenever I think of a 'coming of age novel' in general terms, I can't help but think of a book that looks at transition, usually fueled by some external force, that requires a young person to begin to confront the issues of adulthood. But in my head, that external force always felt like it needed  to be somewhat significant... almost a tangible catalyst like a death or a war or a realization about the complexity of humanity or some such.  Something big! and Important!


And yet, when I saw this category and had to think of a book that resonated with me, the first book that came to mind was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. - Judy Blume .  Margaret does got through a transition that is fueled by an external force -- namely, she moves from NJ to NYC and has to make new friends.  Honestly as far as external forces go, that feels rather mundane.  And in fact, that isn't the thing that immediately struck me as to why this is coming of age.


This book was first published in 1970.  I think I read it in 1980.  At the time, to me it was a revelation.  Margaret was struggling with identity issues..religion and, well, simple biological ones.  I think this was the first (and still really only) book I've read that spoke frankly -- and in first person -- about how a girl felt about getting (or not yet getting) breasts and getting her period and dealing with sanitary napkins.   Mind you, I had started reading Harlequin romances by then and those didn't feel half as truthful about sex and female doubt as this book had.

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text 2014-09-17 15:56
BookaDay - Sept 17
Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett

Favorite Fictional Detective


Sam Vimes is technically a police captain.  But if the definition of a detective is one who uses experience, cunning, and wit to figure out whodunnit, then Sam fits the bill.  Just give him some ratty shoes and he walks the cobbled streets of Ankh Morpork, knowing where he is and the stories the streets can tell just by the feel of the cobbles under his feet.  He is a cynic and an idealist.  He has lived as a poor street rat and a member of the nobility.  He often believes his badge is the only thing stopping him from becoming one of the criminals he hunts.  He is difficult to kill (as the numerous failed attempts on his life can attest).  He is a keen observer of human nature and a whole lot smarter than most people give him credit for, much to their eventual dismay.


I enjoy Pratchett's discworld series, but the stories that center on the City Watch with Capt. Vimes and his officers are the only ones that I read over and over and over again.  they are:


Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett 

Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett 

Feet of Clay - Terry Pratchett 

Jingo - Terry Pratchett 

The Fifth Elephant - Terry Pratchett  (my favorite of the group)

Night Watch - Terry Pratchett 

Thud! - Terry Pratchett 

Snuff - Terry Pratchett 


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text 2014-09-16 13:17
Bookaday Sept 15 & 16
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox - Erin Dealey,Hanako Wakiyama

Favorite Agatha Christie mystery


and Favorite picture book



Not even a contest.  Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie  I've read it several times.  Poirot is my favorite detective of hers too.



Since last month's book-a-day was graphics novel heavy for me, I decided to go with a kid's picture book this time.  In Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox - Erin Dealey,Hanako Wakiyama  Goldilocks is aggravated with chicken pox and other fairytale characters drop by to commiserate.  While the rhyming in this book was catchy as hell, the art is the stand-out in the book.  Goldie lives in a fab retro fifties world and the artist inserts all sorts of sly visuals that delight the eye.

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