Monthly Archives: September 2011

Morning Meandering… Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream! I’m just saying…

Good morning!  Happy Friday!

It’s feeling fall here this morning.  I have already been outside with the dogs and yeah… a bit chilly for sleep pants and a t shirt but the trees are looking gorgeous as the weather man said they would this year. 

Anyway… I did mention ice cream.

I am really not a big fan of ice cream but occasionally a flavor will draw me out.  A couple of summers ago there was a limited edition called Key Lime Pie.  Of wow…. that was bad.  Lets just say I would go downstairs to do laundry (which is next to the freezer) with a spoon.  ‘nuf said. 

Then recently at the store, I seen this limited edition Pumpkin Pie ice cream.  I am not even sure why it called to me… I am not a big pie person either and if I were to have pie, pumpkin probably would not make my top 5 choices….. yet there it was…

For the record – I thought it was ok…. different, good – but not a “have to have”.  Remember though… not the Pumpkin Pie fan… my college son however, who I sent a text to about my find, made a special trip to the store last night in Mankato to find this ice cream.  His #1 pie of choice:  Pumpkin.

Moving on… we are nearing the end of banned books week and we are down to only two more clues – today and tomorrow.  If you have missed any of them, I have organized them here for you so you can quickly catch up and get in on tomorrows big banned book giveaway.

Today your clue comes from Laura at Book Snob, with her review of The Handmaid’s Tale (one I have yet to read but own and want to!)

In other banned posts going up today and each one worth a bonus entry for tomorrows giveaway – please take a little time to see:

Sarah from Sawcat’s Book Blog has her review up of The Hunger Games

Krystyn from Someday I’ll Get There wrote up her review of The Diary Of Anne Frank

Crystal from I Totally Paused has her review up of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince

Reagan at Miss Remmer’s Reviews reads from To Kill A Mockingbird

And for all your year around banned book curiosities… Bonnie runs the Banned Books Blog which I am thrilled to be a contributor to.  These reviews not only let you know what each book is about – but why it was banned. 

There’s the banned plan!  As for me….I think this morning I will have a little tea, a little reading and maybe this afternoon a bike ride or a walk with the dogs.

Morning Meanderings… A Peek Into Pottermore

Good morning.  :razz:

We are having some nice weather here in Minnesota.

I had a busy Wednesday so had no reading time whatsoever running from one commitment to another… however, once home,  I cuddled up in my blanky, put on the recording of Survivor, and played a little Pottermore on line. 

I know I am revealing my level of Harry Potter geekiness here but… so be it, it’s POTTERMORE and I just received my letter of entry a few days ago.  I wont go into a ton of detail but let me just say – wow.  The story opens into chapters, you look for clues to collect in your trunk as well as ingredients for potions which is cool…

BUT – coolest of all is that J K Rowling reveals back stories on the characters the places, from character names, to addresses…. all great stuff for the Potterheads out there like me.  :D

Yes, it is still banned book week and I have another clue for you! 

Clue holder:  Meredith from Wandering In The Stacks shares her review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

 

For bonus entries into the giveaway (plus amazing posts on banned books) please check out the links before.

Jon from The Rogue Scholar is posting his review on The Handmaid’s Tale

 

 

Jennifer at Literate Housewife has a post on Take This Book And Ban It!

 

 

Christa from Hooked On Books has a review up of Water For Chocolate

 

 

Gina from Book Dragon’s Lair discusses The Night Kitchen

 

 

Beloved by Toni Morrison (Banned Book Week)

In the troubled years following the Civil War, the spirit of a murdered child haunts the Ohio home of a former slave. This angry, destructive ghost breaks mirrors, leaves its fingerprints in cake icing, and generally makes life difficult for Sethe and her family.  People will not visit the home at  124 Bluestone road for it is clearly haunted – things moving on their own accord, a heavy reddish light of sorrow in the doorway. While Sethe’s daughter Denver would like to move, to escape this every ever enduring life, Sethe herself finds the haunting oddly comforting for the spirit is that of her own dead baby, never named, thought of only as Beloved.

Beloved is also a movie starring Oprah Winfrey

Does the above synopsis sound like a Paranormal read of today?  It is not, instead it is a book released in 1997.

Beloved was my first book by Toni Morrision and I read this for banned book week. 

In the beginning of Beloved, the haunting is merely ghost like, a feeling, a movement…. knowing someone is there.  Soon in the book Paul D is introduced, a former friend of Sethe’s who is initially passing through the area, but upon making his way to Sethe’s door, finds that she was who he was searching for all along.  His presence disturbs the ghost and brings her to full manifestation, in the body of a young woman who immediately falls upon the sympathies of Sethe and Denver as a woman who has nowhere to go and winds up staying with them.

Its hard to write my thoughts on beloved… it was at times powerful, the writing smoothly flowing on each page to the next as I followed Sethe’s loss and pain..  And then at other times it was disturbing.  The entrance of Beloved and how she immediately wrapped herself into the family, only Paul D sensing that there was something about her that did not sit right…

As I closed the book (late at night) I had to sit with my thoughts for a bit, all jumbled and processing… was Beloved’s appearance into the home of Sethe a good thing?  On one hand it led to abuse – both physical betrayal, and sexual.  Her presence, being full accepted as it was creeped me out a bit. Yes on the other hand, Beloved’s arrival also forced Sethe, Denver, and Paul D to make the decsions they did…. to move on and beyond….

Perhaps even more so for me was the fact that Morrison based this book on actual events and the story of an escaped slave named Margaret Garner who had murdered her own child rather than see them all returned to slavery.

Overall Beloved is a disturbing read.  Not always, in a bad way.  This book made me think about the slavery in our history and the lengths people went to escape it.  Toni Morrison shows us here through her work in Beloved, that some ways of escapes…

are not escapes at all.

Why was Beloved banned?

Challenged at the St. Johns County Schools in St. Augustine, FL (1995). Retained on the Round Rock, TX Independent High School reading list (1996) after a challenge that the book was too violent. Challenged by a member of the Madawaska, ME School Committee (1997) because of the book’s language. The 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning novel has been required reading for the advanced placement English class for six years. Challenged in the Sarasota County, FL schools (1998) because of sexual material.  Retained on the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 reading listing in Arlington Heights, IL (2006), along with eight other challenged titles.  A board member, elected amid promises to bring her Christian beliefs into all board decision-making, raised the controversy based on excerpts from the books she’d found on the Internet.  Challenged in the Coeur d’Alene School District, ID (2007).  Some parents say the book, along with five others, should require parental permission for students to read them.  Pulled from the senior Advanced Placement (AP) English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, KY (2007) because two parents complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted the inappropriate topics of bestiality, racism, and sex.  The principal ordered teachers to start over with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in preparation for upcoming AP exams.

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map has been updated to include Beloved

I purchased this book from our Fall Library sale

Morning Meanderings…

Good Morning!  D

Central Minnesota has been kind to me these past few days and I have been able to get my lawn mowed, yard cleaned up, and yesterday I even cleaned out the garage while listening to…

Night Circus.

I know, I know… I am reading all banned books this week but my thoughts on this are – if they are saying this read is going to be as big as Harry Potter, already had the movie rights bought by the same company that made the Twilight movies…. certainly it will one day be banned/challenged as well right?  :razz:

 

We are sitting right in the middle of Banned Books Week and I have been thrilled to have so many Book Bloggers join me here sharing banned book reviews and thoughts.  I hope you are able to take a few minutes and peek at some of the links I have been giving you since this last Saturday as Banned Books Week is an important week .

Each day since Saturday I have been giving a link with a clue letter for you to gather for the Banned Book Giveaway…. here is the Wednesday clue…

Lindsey from Literary Lindsey features today Bridge To Terabithia

For other links to Banned Books – and bonus entries for the giveaway, please check out these other blogs:

Samantha from Booking It With Runner Sami reviews Twenty Boy Summer

Danielle from Mercurial Musings review Catcher In The Rye

Brenda from Simple Pleasures talks about Being A Reading Mentor

Kim from Mild-Mannered Librarian talks about Language in Banned Books

Angie from Book or By Crook reviews and Tango Makes Three

 

So how is Night Circus on audio?

I am still deciding, I am liking the story line but it is taking me awhile to get into Jim Dale’s narration.  That’s sad as I love Jim Dale… but the tone, I dont know… its too early to tell.  If all else fails, the book is right here on the table  :D

SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson (Banned Books Week)


Melinda wanders the halls of her school.  She sees the excitement of the cheerleaders (which she has much opinion on this group), the decorations for the upcoming dance, people passing her… passing her… passing her by.  The preps, the  jocks, the human waste, euro-trash, big hair chix, goths, thespians, shredders, country clubbers, suffering artists… all roaming the halls in their little herds… Melinda stands alone.

She is outcast.  And she is not speaking.

There is no point in looking for her friends…. err.. ex friends.  Her best friend Rachel, now goes by Rachelle.  They have moved on without her.  Ever since the day she called the cops during the party she was attending, the entire school population has turned their back on her.

Loser.

What they do not know is why Melinda called the cops that fateful night.  Why…. why …. why…. they don’t know about IT.  They don’t know about the rape.  If only Melinda could Speak.  Instead, she stops speaking… to her parents, to her teachers, to anyone.

 

 

Reposting from my original post on 9/28/2010

Told in the first person of Melinda, I found this book to be filled with  raw and real emotion.  Melinda narrates with a true teenager voice.  She is sarcastic and funnily so.


The first ten lies they tell you in High School:

1.  We are here to help you.

2.  You will have enough time to get to your class before the bell rings.

3.  The dress code will be enforced.

4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.

5.  Our football team will win the championship this year.

6.  We expect more of you here.

7.  Guidance counselors are available to listen.

8.  Your schedule was created with your needs in mind.

9.  Your locker combination is private.

10.  These will be the years you look back on fondly.

I have to be honest… I picked up this book because I was hearing all the hype around it being challenged and I was hearing also the other side of what this book was about.  After reading it, I am pro this book.  I did not find the subject matter to be anywhere near as strong as it was described and certainly not offensive.  I thought Laurie Halse Anderson wrote in a very tasteful manner about a hard subject.

The book is a quick read and an important one.  I loved Melinda’s inner dialogue throughout the book, and it is interesting to watch her grow in her own self-confidence through the dynamics that Laurie Halse Anderson breathed into other characters.

A book like this may help young girls find their voice to SPEAK.  And that is really what SPEAK is all about.


FYI:  Before she was Bella, she was Melinda.  Kristin Stewart plays the lead in the movie SPEAK.  (Which I am excited to see!)


Why was SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson banned?

The 1999 young adult novel Speak, which chronicles a high school freshman’s struggle with the aftermath of rape, was challenged by a Missouri professor and father of three in June.

Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University in Springfield, made a public complaint to his local school board about Speak and two other books included on English reading lists at Republic High School. Scroggins also issued an editorial in the Springfield News-Leader on Sept. 18, in which he categorized Speak and other books on the high school reading list as “material that should be classified as soft pornography.”

I purchased my copy of SPEAK at Barnes and Noble


Morning Meanderings… POTTERMORE!!! and Thoughts on Banned Books

Good morning!

How is everyone?  I am doing rather well here, had a great day yesterday, mowed the lawn for what I think is probably the final time for the year and received my Pottermore link to get in.

Yup – that’s right… last night I finally experienced a little bit of Pottermore which has been interesting and fun… I stayed up too late exploring within in and cant wait to get to the sorting hat… that’s all I am saying on that today.  :razz:

It is Banned Books Week. 

I wanted to chat my thoughts on banned books this morning and then link you to the clue for the day as well as a few other great posts on banned books.

Go with me on this… imagine if your favorite book in the world, the one you recommend to everyone to read…

was suddenly being challenged or banned and threatened to be taken out of the schools, stores, library, etc….

what if someone, somewhere, somehow, thought there was a word in the book that was too harsh, too real, too strong, or a character who did not fit in as their idea of what a good clean appropriate character should be…. what if …

in that favorite book of yours an animal talked and some group of people decided that animals should not talk in books, it was confusing and blasphemous and just can not be, what if in an older classic style read a word is used that is not accepted in todays culture and therefore surely we must pretend the word never did… we must… we must cover up our history….

I am saying this today because before last year I thought a banned book must be something disgusting, filthy, unfit for reading…  and then on closer observations, I seen they were books I loved like all the Harry Potter Books, many (MANY) of the classics… books we grew up on as kids…

and that is why I am so passionate about banned books.  Take a look at the list of top 100 books and I think you may be surprised. 

And – it is not just “an older” book thing, as Sheree will show you today from The Eclectic Reader….

Your banned book review today with your clue #5 is:

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, pop over to Sheree’s and see her beautiful blog – and a great message about the book and the clue for today.

Missed a clue?  Need to know what I am talking about?  I have a prize package going on right now to celebrate banned books week.  Check it out here

And please see these other banned book related posts from book bloggers around the world.  A comment on these posts (as well as the ones I have posted each morning since this past Saturday will get you a bonus entry into the giveaway)

Katie at Curse of The Bibliophile shares her Thoughts On Banned Books

Pammy Pam at an Unconventional Library reviews The Diary Of Anne Frank

Danielle at Mercurial Musings reviews Of Mice And Men

Angie at By Book Or By Crook reviews LUSH by Natasha Friend

Gina at Books Dragon’s Lair shares:  Unsuitable For Age Group – The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Christa at Christa’s Hooked On Books shares her thoughts on banned books such as The Lord Of The Rings

Joy from Joystory reviews The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

I love that so many of us have jumped on the banned wagon, and there is so much more than this out there on the web this week.  Take some time and check out these wonderful posts and learn a little more about censorship.

Have a lovely day – it is gorgeous here in Minnesota.  I may go rollerblading or biking this afternoon.  But honestly… will probably be dabbling in Pottermore this morning.  ;)

created by:  Luciano Sormani

created by: Luciano Sormani (click picture for website)

 

Morning Meanderings… *Rushing To The Laptop*

Good morning!

The It’s Monday, What Are You Reading post is directly below this one.

*grabs coffee cup and slugs a big drink*

Coming in a little later than expected today.  I had a really full and fun weekend, a 36 mile bike ride, Saturday evening with my aunt and uncle for dinner and then coffee at our house and then Sunday we were busy out to dinner and  met with a group of friends and then home, and after watching Amazing Race…. I did not get the links prepped to this post as I had hoped to last night.  :shock:

AND – you are not going to want to miss out on these links….  this first one is the one that has your clue to the ongoing Banned Books week BIG giveaway:

The awesome Steve of True Media Solutions LLC brings to you Light in August by William Faulkner (and your 4th clue!)

for additional (BONUS) entries as well as some wonderful posts that are banned books related, I would love it if you would stop by and see:

Crystal from I Totally Paused brings her thoughts in with Banned Books – What on EARTH? and A GIVEAWAY!!!

Erin at Quixotic Magpie delights us with her review of The Witches by Roald Dahl

Danielle at Mercurial Musings shares her musings on Why Celebrate Banned Books?

Kim from Mild Mannered Librarian shares banned Childrens books and how they show “disrespect of authority”

Gina from Book Dragon’s Lair tackles 10,000 Dresses and how it does not reflect community values

Joy from Joystory shares her thoughts on The Lovely Bones, a banned book

Brenda from Simple Pleasures Books Blog talks about Why The Caged Bird Sings

again I hope you can stop by to the wonderful Banned Book Week participants and see what they have to say about banned books.  :D

Oh and if you are wondering, what is going on with Sheila and chatting up banned books and what is she talking about when she mentions a clue?  Here is the info you need.  :D

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hello and welcome to another fun addition of It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading?

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

Last weeks winner:

Julie at My Book Retreat


WOO HOO!!!!  Please choose an item out of the Reading Cafe Grab Shelves  and email me your choice with your mailing address as well!   journeythroughbooks@gmail.com

Oh welcome!  Excuse the mess around here.. I am participating in Banned Book Week and we are right in the middle of it.  If you haven’t been around here in the last week I highly recommend you check out the fun going on… there is a BIG giveaway happening and there are clues towards the grand prize given out each day (check that out here)

Anyway… here is what the past week looked like:

Night by Eli Wiesel – BANNED BOOK – but I did not know it when I listened to this on audio

The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness (oh wow wow wow!!!!)

Forbidden by Ted Dekker with a GIVEAWAY COPY!!!

A little info about Banned Books and what is happening around here Sept 24 – Oct 1

Charlotte’s Wed by E B White – BANNED BOOK (yup… you got that right… click the title and see why it is banned!)

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – BANNED BOOK (no worries… Mrs. Dalloway and I will not be doing coffee together any time soon…

The Banned Book Week GRAND PRIZE event (I hope you join in we are having so much fun!)

As you can see… I have not really been idle this past week :razz:

Now for this week.  Banned Books week runs through this coming Saturday so most of my week is dedicated to banned books… here is my current plan:

Click on the cover for description

Click on cover for description

Click on cover for description

 

 

Of course I still have my three audio still going and the one I am MOST excited about is:

SO there it is… my week.  I have an extra day off this week and a pretty clear weekend so reading is definitely on the agenda!  :D  I am really excited to see what you are reading this week!

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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Banned Books Week)

 

Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party.  As she walks through London on a fine June morning, picking up fresh flowers, decorations, and finding just the right dress.  As she prepares her home for the event, she is flooded with memories of her past -from Peter Walsh, whom she spurned years ago, to her daughter Elizabeth, the girl’s angry teacher, Doris Kilman, and war-shocked Septimus Warren Smith, who is sinking into madness.

As preparetions for the party continue, a series of events intrudes on her composure. Her husband is invited, without her, to lunch with Lady Bruton (who, Clarissa notes anxiously, gives the most amusing luncheons). Meanwhile, Peter Walsh appears, recently from India, to criticize and confide in her. His sudden arrival evokes memories of a distant past, the choices she made then, and her wistful friendship with Sally Seto…

 

"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself" ~ first sentence

Hmmmm….  as  close the book on Mrs. Dalloway I am left with this one lingering thought…

hmmmm…..

I have never read anything by Virginia Woolf before, and with banned book week upon us I felt that this would be a great time to read this book I picked up earlier this year at a sale… this book, Mrs. Dalloway which is considered to be Virginia Woolf’s best book, as well as a banned book.

As I read through this 177 page read I found it to be rather detail oriented, flitting from one topic and one character to the next.  The twenty plus characters al play a role in Clarissa’s memories but also you get a peek into their own as well.  The book is to be a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she deals with the present and the past.  Really for a book published in 1925, the idea behind the book is brilliant.

There are strong subject matters that float through the pages…. feminism, suicide, and apparently referenced homosexuality (more on that at the bottom of this review)

I think for me, who has recently been immersed in dystopia fiction, a steampunk novel on audio, as well as a modern-day thriller….  I found Mrs. Dalloway to be a bit of a bore. I hate to say that I do…. but being honest here, the book more than likely came to me at the wrong time.  It happens.

Am I glad I had an opportunity to try Virginia Woolf?  Yes.  But as for me and Mrs. Dalloway, I think we are going to agree to part ways as mere acquaintances.

“It’s not you Clarissa, it’s me. “

 

So… Mrs. Dalloway?  Why are you a Banned book?

Mrs. Dalloway was banned in some communities because of the homosexual attraction of Clarissa to Sally at Bourton.  Apparently there is a reference as well of Septimus being haunted by the image of his dear friend Evans. Evans, his commanding officer, is described as being “undemonstrative in the company of women”.

 

I purchased this book earlier this year at a library sale for my classic collection

 

Morning Meanderings… Banned Book Week Day Two and I Am Rambling…

Good Morning!  I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  I sure am.  I had a great time yesterday with the kick off to banned books week, doing a little reading, and a lot of Twitter fun.  I hope you are able to join in the big giveaway I am hosting… clues are being given out daily during banned book week and I am about to post another one!  (If you have missed any – check out the sticky post at the top of his blog)

Our Clue today comes from Heather at Based On A True Story, you will find it with her review of The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier.  (Which also involves… a giveaway of chocolate!)

Looking for some bonus entries or just more great stuff on banned books?  I have you covered!

Danielle at Mercurial Musings is going to give away the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2010!

Gina at Book Dragon’s Lair has a fantastic post up on Bookbanning In America

In my regular day to day so far not banned life, I had a wonderful dinner with hubby and my aunt and uncle last night.  This was sweet as we never do this!  We went out to eat and then came back to our house for coffee and chatting.  In other random non banned things, College son cut his hand open at work last night and needed stitches.  I will spare you all the picture he sent me on my phone.  Uhhh…. GROSS.  :razz:  He was stitched up and back to work in no time and laughed at my desire to drive the three hours to Mankato to be with him  :D

And one more odd and interesting (and there may be a banning on this one)… I woke up this morning and had no less than seven (SEVEN!) young cats on my back deck…. in the tree, in the dog kennel, on the deck, on the grill.  We dont own any cats.  I think they were all  wild.  They were cute… cant ban them from the deck…

And this one is just for fun…. but…

Look at this beautiful 1984 version of Little Red Riding Hood.  To me, it looks lovely, something I would love to have on my shelf…. 

BUT…

sharp eyed School Board Members in Culver City, California are quick to question what “Red” is carrying in her basket.  Certainly the bread is understandable, and perhaps there is some sort of homemade jam in there as well – but as big as the wolves eyes….  Culver City School Board decided that the bottle of wine apparently in plain sight in the basket was not a good image to set before the youngsters.  Raising the alert that this book should not be allowed in the school as it sends a mixed message about alcohol.

“Little Red Riding Hood… we are going to need you to slowly step away from the basket….”

AND for purely FYI…. have you checked out Bonnie’s Banned Books blog?  This amazing site is 100% geared towards banned books year around…. if you ever want to know more about a banned book or why it is challenged, this is a great source to check out!

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