Non-Fiction Challenge

I finished one of my challenges for the year!!  I wanted to read 5 Non-Fiction books.  I’m suprised I finished this one second of out of my 6 challenges since I have such a hard time with non-fiction books.  They take me forever to read!  So here is what I read:

  1. Marley and Me by John Groban                     4 out of 5 Stars
  2. The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown             3 out of 5 Stars
  3. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson           3.5 out of 5 Stars
  4. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt                 3.5 out of 5 Stars
  5. Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley         4 out of 5 Stars
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Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley

I give this book 4 out 5 stars!

Description: The Battle of Iwo Jima, fought in the winter of 1945 on a rocky island south of Japan, brought a ferocious slice of hell to earth: in a month’s time, more than 22,000 Japanese soldiers would die defending a patch of ground a third the size of Manhattan, while nearly 26,000 Americans fell taking it from them. The battle was a turning point in the war in the Pacific, and it produced one of World War II’s enduring images: a photograph of six soldiers raising an American flag on the flank of Mount Suribachi, the island’s commanding high point.
One of those young Americans was John Bradley, a Navy corpsman who a few days before had braved enemy mortar and machine-gun fire to administer first aid to a wounded Marine and then drag him to safety. For this act of heroism Bradley would receive the Navy Cross, an award second only to the Medal of Honor.
Bradley, who died in 1994, never mentioned his feat to his family. Only after his death did Bradley’s son James begin to piece together the facts of his father’s heroism, which was but one of countless acts of sacrifice made by the young men who fought at Iwo Jima. Flags of Our Fathers recounts the sometimes tragic life stories of the six men who raised the flag that February day–one an Arizona Indian who would die following an alcohol-soaked brawl, another a Kentucky hillbilly, still another a Pennsylvania steel-mill worker–and who became reluctant heroes in the bargain. A strongly felt and well-written entry in a spate of recent books on World War II, Flags gives a you-are-there depiction of that conflict’s horrible arenas–and a moving homage to the men whom fate brought there.

This book borderlines 4.5 stars.  I can not begin to describe all the emotions it brought out in me.  The only reason I downgraded it was because it was a bit repetitive.  I love the line “The real heroes of Iwo Jima are those who died there”, but really how many times did it need to be said?  And this wasn’t the only thing repeated throughout the book.  I also felt it dragged in places.  But, this book left me in awe of those brave men who fought and gave their lives on that tiny little island.  And it gave me deep respect for those who battled it until their death after they left.  The Photograph is such a part of American History, but to the soldiers that were there that “one” meant nothing.   This book also made me wonder were that kind of patriotism has gone?  I’m sure some people still feel it.  But, not the country as a whole.  I wonder what happened?

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm  Comments (1)  

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Description: For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite…

Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

While it’s not Harry Potter or Twilight, I have to say I may have found a new series to enjoy that isn’t finished yet!!   I really enjoyed this book, devouring it in a little over a day.  The characters are fun and interesting.  I do wish more of the story was devoted to the creatures that inhabit Fablehaven because I’m sure the author barely even touched this subject.  I can’t wait to get the next one and learn more about Fablehaven, the creatures who inhabit it, and those who take care of it!

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

I give this 3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Description: “Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood,” writes Frank McCourt in Angela’s Ashes. “Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” Welcome, then, to the pinnacle of the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of poor prospects in America. It turns out that prospects weren’t so great back in the old country either–not with Malachy for a father. A chronically unemployed and nearly unemployable alcoholic, he appears to be the model on which many of our more insulting cliches about drunken Irish manhood are based. Mix in abject poverty and frequent death and illness and you have all the makings of a truly difficult early life. Fortunately, in McCourt’s able hands it also has all the makings for a compelling memoir.

I haven’t being looking forward to reviewing this book.  I honestly don’t know what to give it.  I feel almost guilty for giving it 3.5 stars (I considered giving it 3).  Nothing about this book really stands out to me.  I don’t understand Irish traditions and customs, nor do I really understand War torn Europe during World War II.  And this books doesn’t really help with any of that.  I keep waiting for someone to admit this is a exaggerated fabrication of what life was really like.  I have to admit every time the drunken father shows up I’m reminded of an episode of Family Guy.  Plus, I’m curious were did the father go?   Am I suppose to feel in awe of this young boy who made something of himself by saving money stolen from an elderly women?   Does it make his story more interesting than those who weren’t able to escape poverty?  I just don’t know….  I do want to know what happened when he reached America, but I’m not sure I will read the next one.

Published in: on July 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm  Comments (1)  

More Books!

So lately I seem to be picking up books faster than I can read them!  Here’s what I’ve gotten in the mail and bought!

  Night World Volume I (includes Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, and Spellbinder) by L.J Smith

Vampires, werewolves, witches, shape shifters — they live among us without our knowledge. Night World is their secret society, a secret society with very strict rules. And falling in love breaks all the laws of the Night World.
     In Secret Vampire, Poppy thought the summer would last forever. Then she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Now Poppy’s only hope for survival is James, her friend and secret love. A vampire in the Night World, James can make Poppy immortal. But first they both must risk everything to go against the laws of Night World.
     Fugitives from Night World, three vampire sisters leave their isolated home to live among humans in Daughters of Darkness. Their brother, Ash, is sent to bring the girls back, but he falls in love with their beautiful friend.
     Two witch cousins fight over their high school crush. It’s a battle between black magic and white magic in Spellbinder.

I love combined novels!!  Especially when you can get them for the same price as one of the individual book.  Looking forward to this series!  I will probably review them as individual novels.

 Kissed by an Angel(includes Kissed by an Angel, Power of Love, and Soulmates) by Elizabeth Chandler

An angelic romantic suspense trilogy in one volume!
“Kissed by an Angel”: Ivy and Tristan have the love of a lifetime–until Tristan dies in a car accident. Tristan returns as an angel, but Ivy is unable to feel his presence.

“The Power of Love”: Tristan has learned that the person responsible for the car crash is after Ivy. Can he cross the boundaries of life and death to warn Ivy that she is in trouble?

“Soulmates”: Tristan must rescue Ivy, but if he does so his mission will be finished and he will have to leave his true love forever.

Another triology in one book!!  The cover is what brought me in (the original covers of each book probably would not have caught my interest)

 The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordon

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse: Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. Percy’s mom decides it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends, one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I have a feeling I might drop all other books to read this one.  I hope its good.  I love mythology!!  That’s what caught me on this book.

 Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society. The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a girl from her school is found dead . . . drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think. Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the heady backdrop of the rich, young, and powerful in the heart of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz’s legion fans.

Another vampire series…what can I say.  I’m a sucker for them lately.

 

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW)

Announcing the Second Annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week September 14-18, 2009

Last year over 400 blogs came together to celebrate the art of book blogging during the first ever Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  I am so pleased to announce that the second annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week will be taking place September 14-18.

WHO Anyone who blogs about books is invited to participate.  In fact, we want everyone who blogs about books and reading to be a part of this week!
WHAT A week where we come together,  celebrate the contribution and hard work of book bloggers in promoting a culture of literacy, connecting readers to books and authors, and recogonizing the best among us with the Second Annual BBAW Awards.  There will be special guest posts, daily blogging themes, and giveaways.
WHEN September 14-18, 2009
WHERE Here at the new Book Blogger Appreciation Week Blog!  (Please note that this year there are three separate blogs and feeds—one for the main event, one for giveaways, and one for awards.)
WHY Because books matter.  In a world full of options, the people talking about books pour hard work, time, energy, and money into creating a community around the written word.  I, Amy, the founder of Book Blogger Appreciation Week love this community of bloggers and want to shower my appreciation on you!

WANT TO PARTICIPATE?
Please help us spread the word about Book Blogger Appreciation Week by posting about it on your blog, stumbling this post, twittering about it, and telling everyone you know that it’s time to have a party and celebrate book bloggers!

Visit http://bookbloggerappreciationweek.com/ for more information!

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reading Rocks Epic Giveaway!

Reading Rocks is having an awesome giveaway which ends July 20th!   Here’s the link…

http://readingrocks4me.blogspot.com/2009/06/contest-that-we-need-to-find-awesome.html

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm  Leave a Comment