KathyBou’s Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Books

Catching Fire

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At one point I was updating a book blog, but I’ve run out of energy and time for now so  my must-talk-about-this-book-or-implode posts can just go here.

I’m finally reading Catching Fire, though a bit ahead of schedule since I said wouldn’t buy the hardcover.  One of my sisters  did buy it, and even think to send it along with my mother,  so yay for me!

This is the second book in the new, but very popular, trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  While recommending this series to the Harry Potter, Twilight loving set, I’d also recommend it to most everyone.  To me it’s like a literary popcorn night, by which I mean it’s engrossing, exciting and takes you some place else for a bit.  Sometimes that is exactly what you are looking for a in a novel.

The Hunger Games, the first in the series, sets the stage: in a future where the US no longer exists, there is still one rich “district” and many more which are poor.  Two teens from each poor district are pseudo-randomly picked to play in a nationally televised reality TV show – a fight to the death until only one remains.  So maybe how you first imagined Survivor to be before you watched an episode.

I won’t go into any more details here but it’s been over a year since I raced through the first, and so far the second is just as fast-paced and addictive.   I bet there is already talk of making them into movies so go read these now!

The Hunger Games

Catching Fire

Mockingjay due to be released Aug. 24, 2010

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Written by Kat

March 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

Posted in Books, Fun

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Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore

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A bookstore in a church.  An 800 year old Dominican church.  I wanted to see it.

And it happens to be nearby in Maastricht, The Netherlands, which we drive to often because it has an English movie theater  and an Argentinian steak house.  For some reason I still hadn’t seen it even though we’ve walked very near it at least a few times.  D and his sister stumbled upon it last September and in January we found it again.  It’s only a block off the city plaza:

The building itself isn’t so very big, but it is tall, so the designers created space upward.  The nave of the old church now holds three levels of steel bookshelves and aisles, all without changing the original building structure.   Its conversion to a bookstore makes for an interesting mix of old and new:

There is a cafe and a children’s book section at the back.   I was happy to find a selection of English books.

I did a little reading and it turns out this building hasn’t served as a church for a long time.  For anyone who hasn’t seen so much of Europe – there are so many churches that it’s not so crazy that they aren’t all being used.  It was busy on the Saturday afternoon we visited so I’m guessing business is good.  If the building isn’t being used for its original purpose, a place filled with people and books isn’t such a bad fate.

Written by Kat

March 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

Posted in Books, Fun, Travel

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Let me entertain you

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At 1 month entertaining baby A mostly involved bouncing her around and letting her look at the dart board or bright lights.  Luckily (for me and D), this past week she also seems to enjoy it more when we read to her.  Unlucky for us, we only have a few books so far.  I am expecting some packages this week to rectify the situation.

For English baby books I knew a few we should get and asked around for a few more, for the French, I was clueless and relied more on reviews:

Oh! As I’m writing this, the door buzzed, and yay, we have the first arrivals! This will be a twitterish blog post:

And

Oh right, now I remember.  I ordered  Room on the Broom in the big book format because a couple of months ago I bought Eric Carle’s Caterpillar book and when I got it, it was smallish and a little hard to turn the flaps.  Eek, this one is definitely BIG.

Yay, now I have to wait for her to wake up so we can look at them together!

Update*****

She woke up, ate, got changed, did some playing and then we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Room on the Broom.  I like Brown Bear quite alot; the text is a simple in a good way, and the pictures are bold and colorful but also simple in a good way.  Room on the Broom is funny and also has great illustrations, but the size of the book is ridiculous (my fault).

It will be a long time before she can read this book by herself.

Written by Kat

November 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Posted in bebe baby, Books

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Christmas gifted books

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About time for a post mayhaps?

First off, Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope everyone had a good Christmas and enjoyed having a least a couple of days off.  With this economy I know everyone is a little nervous.  I’m hopeful that 2009 will be a better year for everyone.

By the way, we’re still busy doing family stuff on our side. Trying to fit a year’s worth of visiting into 3 weeks isn’t easy. Nor is eating all the delicious food… okay, maybe they are both nice. Heh.  Family visits, especially extended visits, can be trying.  Of course, after a thought like that you want to hug everyone and tell them how much you love them. Haha.

I have started a couple posts but realized they were going to take more time than I had, or that I don’t have the appropriate photos to include, so instead, I’ll just mention the interesting books I saw gifted or received this Christmas.

While I was out doing last minute shopping with my sisters on the Tuesday before Christmas, one of my dear sisters saved ALL of her shopping until the week of Christmas, I saw a few others that I’d like to read too, like Outliers and The Hunger Games.  Both are hardback right now though, and since D and I are going to be moving (again) in 6 months (maybe), I’m holding off.  I am going to love living again in a place where I can utilize a library.

Written by Kat

January 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Books, family, holidays

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Oh my

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I’m currently reading A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison, and wow, Jenks got suddenly very interesting (at around the 100 pages mark). I won’t go into detail so I don’t spoil the plot for anyone who hasn’t read the series yet. And yes yes, I loved him before, but I like this interesting turn of events. And I’m happy that things have been resolved between him and Rachel, I thought that whole thing from book 3 was overblown. Sometimes this book has some questionable plot hooks, but the rest is so great that it feels a minor. I mean, are we really reading this book for the political intrigue? I think not. I’m reading this particular one, right about now, just to hear more about Jenks. 😉

Written by Kat

February 28, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Posted in Books

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Double Book Review – Southern Vampire Novels 1 & 2

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Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire #1) and Living Dead in Dallas (Southern Vampire #2)
Charlaine Harris

Books one and two of the 6 or 7 long (so far) series. I’m a vampire lover, I suppose, so I like this kind of book. I tend to group these, though, into the trendy romance genre, along with regency romance novels and such.

So back to these books in particular – they’re fun. There is a generally action-filled plot that doesn’t take itself too seriously – at one point I forgot about one of the townpeople that died mysteriously, until the story eventually got back to it. Quite a bit of the books so far seem to focus on Sookie being Sookie, the main character. She’s got blonde hair and big boobs and is not afraid of vampire sex (it’s there but it’s not super detailed), but she’s also from Louisiana, lives in a big old house and waits tables for a living. Oh and she can sometimes read people’s minds. So it’s not sophisticated, it’s just entertaining light reading. I’ve been working late all week, for a couple weeks now, so it’s been a nice change at the end of the day for me.

Verdict: If you aren’t tired of vampire romances, I say give this series a go. Even if you don’t like romance, there is plenty of other vampire/supernatural action going on. It’s got some interesting takes on the subject matter, and after two books, I kinda just want to see what Sookie keeps busy with next.

 

 

 

Written by Kat

February 20, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Books

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Book Review – Breakfast of Champions

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Breakfast of Champions
Kurt Vonnegut

I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end.

As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent, and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason people shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.

(…) I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.

If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.

It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.

Above is a section of Breakfast of Champions that I found thought provoking. This is one of the novels that Vonnegut is famous for – for being a part of the story. He actually inserts himself, as author and creator, into the story here and there in a biographical sort of way, and it actually works out pretty well.

So yes, much of this book was thought provoking for me. Not so much on the exact ideas presented, but more from the perspective from which it came, and that slant applied to America, to the world. I say America because one of the author’s favorite pastimes seems to be introspection of the American culture, mostly pointing out the flaws, which he does in a way that is, in my opinion, so very well executed. It is straight forward and funny, but it doesn’t come off glib like a comedian would. It seems to me, and perhaps I’m being dramatic, that it comes across as though Vonnegut himself has been carrying around these burdens, and that he is (trying) to come to terms with the things that many people generally try to ignore – the things of which people can’t make any sense: suicide, murder, violence, pollution, political idiocy. This coming from a book which is stylized simply and even with illustrations like this one:

Which is a Kurt’s representation of an asshole. Nice.

Vonnegut has turned into one of my favorite vintage authors. It’s surprising to me because when I had heard of him in the past, a writer popular in the 70s, I thought: egh, hippy anti-war novel stuff, no thanks. So it took me quite a while to actually read one of his novels, and the first was because a friend and I were both taking turns picking the same books to buy and then comparing notes. Good thing I eventually discovered his works.

I don’t think everything is as grave as Vonnegut does/did, but I appreciate his books immensely.

Written by Kat

February 10, 2008 at 12:31 am

Posted in Books, Life

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