Yes, I read banned books too!

From September 30, 2012 to October6, 2012 is the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week. Here is a list of the top 100 books that were challenged in the first decade of this century:

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Thankfully, we have not had a truly banned book in years, but many have been challenged. You can read about the difference of challenging and banning here at the American Library Association (ALA) website.

The one thing I take away from that list is this….you have a right to read! Use it! Exercise it!

 

REVIEW: Wings of Fire by Caris Roane

Title/Author: Wings of Fire by Caris Roane

ISBN: 031253373X

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Aug 30, 2011

Buy it link Amazon / Buy it link Barnes and Noble

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis: By night, the winged warrior Antony Medichi fights the death vampires who threaten his world. By day, he hunts the rogue vampires who invade Mortal Earth. But deep in his heart rages the fiercest battle of all—his soul-searing passion for the one mortal he is sworn to protect…the one woman he is doomed to love.

After a rough patch with reading Hey God, Are You Really Really Up There? I needed a palette cleanser, and a healthy shot of paranormal romance was exactly was the doctor ordered. I fell in love with this series from the first book, and as the series progresses, I fall more and more in love with the world. This book opened up some more of Madame Endelle (will she find a breh eventually during the series?), and we actually meet James, the Sixth Dimension being who has been giving a gentle hand to the Warriors against their arch-enemy, Commander Greaves.

All of this while the main story of Antony and Parisa blossoms, and more forward story propels us into the next books in the series. I love the way the author introduces just enough forward story to keep us interested in reading the next in the series, while also keeping the focus on the actual story of that particular book.

The war between Commander Greaves and Madame Endelle have come to a head, and are slowly tipping in the Commander’s favor (not a good thing for those who have not read the series yet). However, this is just the third book in a series that is at present count 6 books long with one novella between books 2 and 3, so I’m hoping to see more of the good forces winning.

 

Thought my TBR list was getting a little shorter!

At the end of last week I was a little overwhelmed by the massive pile of books to be read and reviewed. In one day however, I was able to cut that down by three and only received one more.

So, I decided since I needed a palate cleanser, and a very little TBR list in front of me, I started Caris Roane’s Wings of Fire. She’s really getting to be one of my favorite authors of Paranormal Romance. After her, I’ve got I’ll Put 3 Chips on God – Just In Case There Is One by Preeti Gupta. A book on grieving because I’ve been in a tailspin lately with Uncle Jimmy’s death almost 2 years ago, and of course I just received a copy of a book one of my old college peeps wrote, Dimensional Games by Robert Cerio.

Teaser Tuesdays: September 25th, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Stannett had a lot of talented Seers, so either he didn’t know how to make use of them, or he had plans of his own. Thorne knew the bastard well.

~page 121, Wings of Fire by Caris Roane

 

REVIEW: Meant for Her by Amy Gamet

Title/Author: Meant For Her by Amy Gamet

ASIN: B008YYLYLS

Buy it link (Amazon) / Buy it link (Smashwords)

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A code that only she can break… A man that only she was made for…
A raging fire consumes a Florida hotel room, leaving behind the charred remains of a mystery man and the key to a safe deposit box. What’s inside leads investigators to Julie Trueblood, a woman who is not what she seems, and a secret that only she can decipher.
Julie’s life has been devastated once before, and she has spent the last ten years trying to separate herself from history. The fire forces open the door to her past, bringing her face-to-face with her greatest fears, and her only hope for the future.
As the Navy investigator on the case, Hank Jared realizes he’s three steps behind the moment he walks in the door. While he works to unravel the truth behind his assignment, passion ignites between him and Julie. Will he choose the love of a woman he doesn’t completely trust, or the Navy career he has worked for his entire life?
I got a free copy of this on Librarything in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book. The writing was great, descriptions were great, the characters were good. My absolute favorite quote from this book is:
“For your sister, I picture Nora Roberts playing the cello on the back of one of her books.”
“Who’s Nora Roberts?”
Julie looked at him like he had blasphemed.  “Just one of the best romance authors of all time, thank you very much.”
When I read this, I laughed so hard. I have totally done this to my husband! How can he NOT know who Nora Roberts is?! This is such great writing, because its so realistic. The storyline is good with enough unexpected twists in it to keep me reading. The author also leaves an opening for a second book.
I can’t wait to continue reading this series when the second book comes out. I definitely enjoyed this one!

REVIEW: Lost Princess: The Journey Home

Title/Author: Lost Princess: The Journey Home by Julie Rainey

ASIN: B007ODWT2S

Rating: 2 stars

I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did you ever read, or hear of that story of the baby that was rocketed from another planet to Earth, right before the destruction of the planet/land, only to be found by the childless couple and raised as their own? Oh, and let’s add in a stylyzed S in there for good measure just in case you didn’t know who I was talking about….

Superman? Oh no, I’m not talking about Superman! I’m talking about this book I just read. Oh, but it is so similar to Superman to be eerie, isn’t it?

Past reviews of this book have said that there wasn’t enough showing, only telling…
His pants and shirt were as black as coal, a perfect depiction of the blackness of its wearer’s heart. Behind him a scarlet red cape billowed in the wind, signifying the trail of blood he left in his wake. His face was hard and emotionless as were his coal black eyes. This was the most evil man in all the heavens, it was Drakeon.

**SPOILER ALERT**

This is a pretty good representation of that. The reader isn’t shown what Drakeon does that’s so bad, we don’t feel any true sympathy for the people that are affected by the change in leadership. Throughout the book there are only two people I feel sympathy for…the adopted parents of Anne (aka Isabelle), because the daughter they’ve raised since a baby has just turned her back on them and gone off to another world she’s never seen.

And the book doesn’t get any better as it continues.

REVIEW: Hey God Are You Really Really Up There? by Malcom Perkins

Title/Author: Hey God Are You Really Really Up There? by Malcom Perkins

ISBN: 0805960899

Publisher: Dorrance Publishing

Buy it link (Amazon) / Buy it link (BN.com) / Buy it link (Dorrance Publishers)

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: I am an old friend of the storyteller, so I surely feel that I can voice my opinion about his story. Extraordinary, is the only way to describe it. It should be read by everybody – by nonbelievers and by believers – by rabbis and
priests – by old people and by young people. It’s not a difficult book, and it’s
not a zillion pages either. It’s in the perfect sense, simply a book’s book, if
you know what I mean. It’s about thee question – a question that has haunted and
plagued mankind since the very beginning of time. Hey, my old friend the
storyteller, is just an average guy – like you or like me. He lived in Kansas,
had a wonderful family, a terrific job, lots of friends and loads of dreams.
Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, in a six-month period, in the 34th year of his
young life, or as many seconds as 34 years would come to, it all came crashing
to a dead halt. My old friend’s name is Walter, not Wally and for sure, not
junior. And best he can, as he tells his story, he tries real hard to answer
that question – thee question. Is there? or isn’t there?

Review: I received a complimentary copy of Hey God Are You Really Really Up There? by Malcom Perkins as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

It’s a book, a fictional biography about a man who had a really crappy 6 month run in his 34th year of life. And he questions whether God exists or not, but if he looks back at it, half of the crap that he went through was self-inflicted. I really felt this should have been more inspiring than it was. We’ve all been through crap, we’ve all lost people, whether it was expected or not, drawn out or sudden, elderly father or newborn. I was really hoping I could read this book and say to myself, “Self, you’ve had a crappy life, but look at this guy, he had it so much worse than you!” And I can’t do that because he hasn’t.

But I did learn one thing….some people are weak, and they can’t search within themselves and find that resilience and strength, so they look to the bottle and the drugs and hope that it will be the magical elixir to take away the pain. I hope anyone who reads this book will come away knowing that external fixes don’t fix, drugs and alcohol don’t take away the pain.

You lose someone dear to you, like I did almost 2 years ago, and there’s no way to get over the pain, or go around it, or avoid it. My sister asked me as we were about to go into the funeral home, “Are you ready?” I looked at her and answered, “If I’m not, is it going to take away the past few days and make him live again?” You take one step at a time, one moment at a time, sometimes just one breath at a time, and you realise that life does indeed go on, whether it feels right or not.

So yeah, the book was just… meh.