March 31, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Today's question from Wendi's Book Corner: What is your least-favorite book(s)? Is your least-favorite book listed in your LT library? If it is listed, do you have anything special in the tags or comments section? How have others rated your least-favorite book? Well, my most recent least favourite book was Conceit by Mary Novik. I cannot deny that it was well-written and accurately portrayed the period she was writing about (1600s) but I just could not like all the descriptions about bodily functions. I like suspense books and do not grimace or skip over bloody, gross or gruesome scenes...but there was just something about the crudeness (of bodily humors) in Conceit that got to much so that at one point I threw it across the room. I still rated the book three stars though and the average rating is 3.88 on LT. Looking through my LibraryThing Library I see that I gave Any Given Doomsday a DNF and no rating, which would be the only special tag I have used. Otherwise I do not use any tags to denote least favourite. Any Given Doomsday was rated 2.54 by LT members. Darcy's Story by Janet Alymer (rated 3.12 by LT members) and Austenland by Shannon Hale (rated 3.46 by LT members) were two Jane Austen fan fiction books that really disappointed by and I rated both two stars. Besides the Pamela Aiden series I suggest sticking with the real thing. In my experience the success of Jane Austen fan fiction novels are very much hit and miss. Further, I used to be dedicated to following the following authors but have been less than satisfied with their recent efforts and have struck from my favourites: Iris Johansen, Liz Carlyle, Julia Garwood, Shana Abe, Kasey Michaels, Jill Barnett, Lori Foster and Kathy Reichs. Are there any authors you have recently given up on?

March 24, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Today's Question from Wendi's Book Corner: What is your favorite book (yes - this may be a hard one!!)? Is your favorite book listed in your LT library? If it is listed, do you have anything special in the tags or comments section? Have you looked to see if you can add any information to the Common Knowledge? AND a little off topic, do you find that your 5-starred books are consistent with your favorites, and is your favorite a 5-star rated book in your library? How have others rated your favorite book?
I have in common with Wendi that one of my favourite books is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Another fav is The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Both books I have in my LibraryThing library, with Pride & Prejudice being included in The Complete Works of Jane Austen, but I have no tag to distinguish them as favourites.
I have never entered a comment in the comments section...I usually only enter rating, tags and my review. Only for one book have I entered information into the Common Knowledge section...that would be The Book of Love by Kathleen McGowan.
I have about 30 books in my LT library rated 5 stars and I would say that around 75% are my all-time favourites, those which I would read over and over again and I absolutely covet my copies of and would never lend to anyone, ever! Both P&P and The Historian I have rated 5 stars.
The most interesting to me is that The Complete Novels of Jane Austen has a 4.69 rating!!! The Historian has a 3.69 rating...come on people that is way too low! I think readers become resentful if a book has too many pages...or there are some very detailed they rate a book lower. But just think of the effort required of the author! You are reading a book called The "Historian" of course there is going to be a lot of history! The whole point!

March 22, 2009

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

I still have not yet exhausted my desire to read the most popular of Georgette Heyer’s novels…this time reading Sylvester which has become my new favourite.  Sylvester is the Duke of Salford and at the age of 28 has decided it is time to marry, but of course only to a suitable girl who meets all his particular requirements.  His mother concerned for his happiness secretly prefers him to marry for love to keep in check his sense of consequence and deep reserve, and suggests he consider the granddaughter of a very good friend, Phoebe Marlow. Phoebe being neither beautiful nor elegant and quite lacking in confidence had perceived a cut from the Duke on a much earlier occasion and formed an instant dislike of the Duke’s arrogance.  So much so that she used him as the model for the villain in her first published novel…the dastardly Count Ugolino. Both Sylvester’s and Phoebe’s relatives muddle in the affair and further complicating things Phoebe’s novel becomes a success…from here follows a rollicking tale of misunderstandings and missteps.
Sylvester reminded me at times of Pride and Prejudice.  Although the setting and exact nature of the grievances are not the same, what is similar are the bumbling of the hero and the lack of tact from the heroine. Miscommunication leads the characters to make assumptions about one another and because of the violence of their emotions efforts at reconciliation often have even more disastrous results. The Duke’s arrogance and self-consequence create misunderstandings with Phoebe and Phoebe has made assumptions about the Duke’s unfeeling character because of his treatment of those beneath his consequence. Sylvester has much in common with Heyer’s other Regency stories; humor, witty dialogue, fast-paced plot and great characters…but what makes this story distinctive from the others are the incredibly interesting complex characters. The toplofty Duke who must be taken down a peg or two, the talented guileless ingénue who is always getting into scrapes, the mischief-making nephew, the meddlesome cranky grandmamma and the foppish dandy obsessed with his boot tassels!  I loved every bit of the story and hated to finish it. My Rating: 5.0
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March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson

I am deeply saddened and upset by the passing of Tony-award winning actress Natasha Richardson, age 45...a vibrant woman and amazing actress who has had many striking performances in her career, with her roles in The Handmaid's Tale and Maid in Manhattan among my favourites.  During a ski lesson on a beginner run at Mont Tremblant Resort outside Montreal she fell and hit her head...she was fine and able to walk afterward but after an hour complained of a headache and was rushed to hospital. Her death was announced March 18, 2009. She leaves behind her husband Liam Neeson and two boys as well as numerous family, friends and fans.
The way she died really strikes close to home as a few weeks ago my Mom slipped while skating in an ice rink and hit her head very hard.  Thankfully a nurse was there who helped her off the ice and drove her to the hospital...only afterward did we find out she has no recollection of the accident or the few hours proceeding it.  My Mom is fine now and hopefully will have no long term side effects.  Neither my Mom nor Natasha were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
Its so incredibly cruel that a simple fall by this talented person has resulted in her death only two days after...while there are many people out there taking wild risks, performing crazy stunts and driving drunk who get into accidents but come out of them just fine.
I am posting this to remind everyone not to take life for granted...cherish every moment you have with your loved ones.

March 17, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Today’s Question from Wendi at Wendi’s Book Corner: Do you visit the memes section often? Have you visited recently? Have you discovered anything that surprises you when you visit the memes for your library? Wendi asked last week for suggestions for upcoming TuesdayThingers posts and I suggested the LibraryThing Memes feature. I am fairly new to the blogging world and until a few months ago I had no clue even what a meme was. Browsing through blogs posts in my GoogleReader I had come across the word a few times and eventually figured out what they were…basically, as per Wikipedia, a meme is “a unit of imitation” and the Internet meme is “a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet” (at its most basic is a digital file or hyperlink). Did you know a link to the LT Memes feature is on your LT Home page? It is the last link or underneath “Your Home” in the link menu. I have seen LibraryThing memes before in blog posts, the Dead or Alive and Work Duplicates memes, and have been curious as to why memes are so popular in the first place and why LibraryThing added this feature. I thought it would be a great TuesdayThinger topic and Wendi agreed! I think we each have a need to connect with others and find common interests, which make memes so popular because they create a social and/or cultural bond between individuals. As for the current five LT Memes, here are some fun facts from my results. You and None Other - I do not share any books with exactly one member. Dead or Alive? - 16 of my authors are dead, 126 alive and 34 unknown. Dead or Alive Comparison - At 88.73%, only 4% of members have a higher alive percentage than me. Male or Female? - Only 28.82% of my authors are male. Work Duplicates – I have no work duplicates. What really surprised me is that I share no books with exactly one member…I guess most of the books I read must be popular ones.

March 10, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Today's Question from Wendi's Book Corner: Were you aware of the Member Giveaways Program? Have you posted any books in the giveaway? If so, what are your thoughts on the program? Have you requested any books, and if so, did you win any?On another note - does anyone have any special requests for upcoming discussions??
I was aware of the program and first noticed mention of it in the LibraryThing newsletter sent by email periodically. I have never posted any books in the Member Giveaway because I am not an author. I look at the Member Giveaways once in a while but I'm a very picky reader so I only request books that I am very very interested I have not requested any books in the Member Giveaway section but I think its an absolutely fantastic program...and the requirements to post a Giveaway are very straightforward...every Author should be on LibraryThing posting books!!! I do like the View by Country tool.
I would like to suggest the LibraryThing Memes feature for an upcoming discussion.

March 4, 2009

Tuesday Thingers

Today's Question from Wendi's Book Corner: Were you aware of the Early Reviewer Program? Have you received any books from the program? If you have, how have you liked the book(s)? Any other thoughts on the LTER program?
Apologies for being a day late in posting my TT response. I have used LibraryThing's EarlyReviewer's program since I purchased my lifetime LT membership almost a year ago (LibraryThing is Most Awesome!). This is a great feature with the potential of winning books and also a reference for books about to be released. I only "Request" 1 or 2 books a month, sometimes none, as I already having a large TBR pile at home, and only those books that really interest me...and that I think I could win. So far I have won four books. Any given Doomsday by Lori Handeland which I DNF but posted about. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen and The Wednesday Sister's by Meg Waite Clayton both of which I loved, reviewed and highly recommend. The last is Woman Of A Thousand Secrets by Barbara Wood which I have yet to read.
I like the fairness of the LT's ER program...determined by a variety of criteria including the books in your library, your reviewing history, random chance...much more fair than some arbitrary choice by the publisher as it gives everyone more of an equal oppourtunity...but I think you need to have books in your library that relate to the book you are requesting to have a better chance of winning.

March 3, 2009

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

I just finished reading Frederica by Georgette Heyer. I only started reading Heyer’s books a couple months ago and now I am obsessed with getting all of her best novels. So far I have bought 9 of her books and Venetia came in the mail yesterday to total 10. Yippee! I now own the following: The Devil’s Cub – Reviewed These Old Shades The Black Sheep – Reviewed Reluctant Widow – Reviewed Faro’s Daughter Frederica Friday’s Child Cotillion Sylvester Venetia I have been debating whether to buy The Talisman Ring, The Grand Sophy and The Convenient Marriage. What do you think? Anyone recommend these stories too? Other Georgette Heyer novels? Frederica has been my favourite novel of the four I have read now and I think Frederica Merriville is the strongest female character created by Heyer so far. Frederica is determined to give her beautiful younger sister Charis a season in London to make a comfortable marriage. She asks very distant relation Marquis of Alverstoke to hold a ball at his London home to present her sister to the Ton and the Marquis agrees, but only to gain revenge upon his sister and relieve his persistent boredom. So follows the tale of the Merriville family in London and all the scrapes they get into. Frederica is only 24 but has been raising her three younger siblings for years since their father died and her brother Harry went to Oxford. She has not much thought for herself and has determined to never marry, only thinking of a beau for Charis. At turns I thought Frederica lighthearted yet serious, ardent yet distant, knowledgeable yet naïve. Heyer has given her wit, an independent spirit and although she may not be the most beautiful woman in the story but she is certainly the most vibrant, loyal, determined and unassuming. I was really captivated by the Merriville family dynamic. Heyer certainly thought up some creative scrapes for the younger Merriville children, Charis, Felix and Jessamy, to get into…running the gamut from balloon adventures to almost elopements. Too funny. Their brother and the heir to the estate, Harry, rusticated from Oxford arrives in London and is shocked by all the goings-on. He is mostly self-absorbed as only young men can be but eventually puts his hand in to take up the reins of the family…with disastrous results! But somehow the Marquis is always there to save the day… Frederica is a delight and I highly recommend it. I only wished the story was longer. My Rating: 4.5 More Georgette Heyer Reviews at Jane Austen’s World Chapters Amazon