Monday, June 22, 2009

The Big Read - top 100 books

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own Blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnet
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Mailbox Monday #12

These are the books I've received this last week.

How to Train a Rock by Paul Steven Stone
ISBN: 978-1442117211
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date of publish: April 22, 2009
Pages: 200
S.R.P.: $15.00

Man Overboard by Sandy Mason
ISBN: 978-1439233849
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
Date of publish: April 16, 2009
Pages: 230
S.R.P.: $14.99

Broken Wing by Judith James
ISBN: 978-1933836447
Publisher: Medallion Press
Date of publish: Nov. 2008
Pages: 440
S.R.P.: $7.95

Friday, June 19, 2009

Book Review - The Skeleton at the Smithsonian by Ron Roy

Title: The Skeleton at the Smithsonian (Capital Mysteries #3)
Author: Ron Roy
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Challenges: To Be Continued…Challenge, 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, Book Around the States Challenge, A to Z Reading Challenge, 2009 Support Your Local Library, 20 Books in 2009, 2009 Second Chances, Pages Read Challenge, 2009 YA Challenge, Summer Vacation Reading Challenge 2009, The Four Month Challenge, What’s In a Name 2009

Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 96
Published: 2003

From the back:
When Leonard Fisher claims that the Smithsonian and all its museums belong to him, Washington D.C. goes into an uproar. KC Corcoran and her best friend Marshall have a feeling that there is something fishy about Fisher. But if they are wrong, the United States may lose the Smithsonian forever!

Reading this series along with my nephew – who loves this series. It’s great when we make a trip to the library together.

KC is at it again, getting into trouble and solving the mystery. Leonard Fisher claims he is a relative of the James Smithson (who started the Smithsonian) and wants to be paid. It’s up to KC to figure out how he did it before the government has to pay big. She and Marshall get trapped in the crypt, Happy comes to the rescue and helps solve the crime.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Larry Kaplan - Guest Author Blog

Constructing The House of Ghosts

I am a self-confessed history junkie. World War II is my disease. I’ve read more than a hundred books on the most destructive period in world history when 100,000,000 died.

My late mother-in-law, Irene Lederer, was a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 when American bombers flew overhead on the way to bomb the I.G. Farben, synthetic rubber and oil plant being constructed by the camp’s inmates only four miles away. An SS Guard used to taunt her, “Deine freunde sind droben haute,” which means, “Your friends are overhead today.”

She always wondered, why didn’t those bombers attack the camp to stop the murders taking place there? By then, the world knew of the camp, and knew its only purpose was to dispose of the remnants of European Jewry.

“Deine freunde sind droben haute,” stuck in my head.

Those bombers were of the 15th Air Force based in Italy. They returned four more times and flew another forty missions in that section of Poland. No attack was ever made on the concentration camp where 700,000 Hungarian Jews awaited the ultimate outcome - death - either from gassing, beatings, hanging, or starvation.

I read Sir Martin Gilbert’s Auschwitz and the Allies. There was an inscription in the book under a picture which stated that it was taken at 22,000 feet by a B-17 bomber on one of the runs against the I.G. Farben plant. I thought that had to be wrong. I contacted veterans’ groups and befriended a retired general who, as captain, flew on one of the missions. The bombardier used the chimneys of the crematoria in Berkenau as landmarks to begin the bomb run. He told me they were at 12,000 feet and could see the trains unloading at the ramp.

I knew I had to write about this. My initial thought was to write a non-fiction book about the crews who flew on those missions. I also wanted to write about the social and political situations in the U.S. prior to WWII, and how they influenced American reaction. Why didn’t the United States lift a finger to help the helpless gain entry into the country instead of stifling immigration, specifically of European Jews? And most important, I wanted to find out why Assistant Secretary of War, John J. McCloy, did not authorize bombing of the gas chambers in Auschwitz, when one 500-pound bomb could have stopped those murders.

So, I read everything I could get my hands on -- The New York Times on microfilm, personal interviews. I buried myself on Fridays, my day off, in the Firestone Library at Princeton University, for over six months. The research was tedious and difficult. Pilots and crews either were deceased or didn’t want to talk. Only that one retired Air Force general opened up to me. He flew a B-17 in the 15h Air Force during WWII. Based in Foggia, Italy, his group, the 2nd Heavy Bombardment, flew missions to Germany, France and Poland. The Poland runs took him over the death camp. He confirmed my suspicious and stated in no uncertain terms that the accepted version that the pilots did not know what lay beneath them was untrue. The massive complex with the crematoria stacks blowing smoke and ash into the sky wasn’t an amusement park, and everyone knew it.

Unfortunately no one else would talk to me, and one man’s testimony does not make a book. Even with all the research I did, I worried that I couldn't substantiate my theories. Somewhere during this time, I also began to worry that I had a DDS after my name, not a PhD in history. Without scholarly credentials, I feared the book would never be published. This was when I decided that fiction was the best genre in which to work. I changed direction, and the process of giving life to House of Ghosts began. I would use a washed-up Westfield NJ Police Department detective and his Russian stripper neighbor to uncover two sets of diaries that spanned the years 1938-1944. One diary was written by a WASP freshman at Princeton University, the son of a Wall Street investment banker. The other diary was written by a young Jewish NYU student from Brooklyn, the son of Hungarian immigrants.

House of Ghosts uses historical fact. It includes the aviation hero, Charles Lindbergh, and his affiliation with the isolationist organization America First and their attempts to keep the U.S. out of another European war. It shows the perceptions of American-Jewish college students to the events unfolding in Europe, and their hesitation to act. It reveals the acts of Assistant Secretary of War, John J. McCloy, the man responsible for not bombing the camps. But House of Ghosts delivers all this information through the sub-genre of mystery,
because I wanted the book to also be entertaining. The material is very serious, so placing it in the voice of a cynical New Jersey detective allowed me to control the tone, to bring in some humor and sarcasm.

House of Ghosts tells a story that I believe needs to be told, and tells it in a way that promises to reach a wider audience of readers. House of Ghosts offers an answer to a question that has been asked since 1944. I hope your readers believe that it does those things well.

“Larry Kaplan is giving away a signed copy of his book, House of Ghosts, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Larry’s book tour page, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 8930, for your chance to win. Entries from Books, Books, the Magical Fruit will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Larry’s book tour page next week.”

Giveaway at The Book Resort

Check out The Book Resort for a chance to win Molly Harper's Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs! It's worth it :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mailbox Monday #11

These are the books I've received this last several weeks.

Critical Mass by Kathleen M Henry
ISBN: 978-0595524129
Publisher: iUniverse
Date of publish: Nov. 18, 2008
Pages: 124

The Philosopher King by Ronnie Lee
ISBN: 978-1432735814
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of publish: April 30, 2009
Pages: 738

Surviving High Society by Elizabeth Marvin Mulholland
ISBN: 978-1935098072
Publisher: Bascom Hill Publishing Group
Date of publish: November 25, 2008
Pages: 184

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Upcoming Author Book Tours - Larry Kaplan

Larry Kaplan's online book tour and giveaway for his debut mystery House of Ghosts introducing detective Joe Henderson starts Tuesday, June 16th. For more information visit his tour page at Larry Kaplan

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Library Loot #7

I went to the library on Saturday to return and then pick up some books.

I picked up the following books: