Saturday, January 31, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

33 1/3

My latest find is AbFab!!!!!!

33 1/3 is a series of small books each dedicated solely to one album, such as Born in the USA (though I wish someone had done Born to Run), London Calling (coming out in April), Led Zepplin's IV, Meat is Murder, ABBA Gold, Let it Be, and on and on and on. Last night I bought Armed Forces, the book about Elvis Costello's album. I haven't read much of it, though I noticed that the author stated he is NOT a historian, NOT a musicologist, and does NOT care about Costello's personal life so I'm kind of wondering he could possibly have left to write about. I hope it's good. Because that album has some of my favorite EC songs, though (ironically) I didn't recognize the cover when I saw it! I thought Armed Forces was the Elvis album but I didn't want to look like a fool and get all excited about it and then be shown it was someone else! I'll let you know if it's any good and then I'm going to get Ramones!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 6 comments By: Suzanne


This is another book by one of my favorite authors, Charles de lint. Often his novels are infused with music, either on the periphery or as an integral part of the book. In The Little Country he even includes some sheet music at the end of the story. Greenmantle uses the music to bring together the two worlds he likes to write about, ours and the fey.

The story is about Tony Valenti, an ex-mob hit man who is trying to turn his life around and stay hidden after his mob family turns on him. It is also about Frankie and Ali Treasure, a mother and daughter who move to Frankie's childhood home after winning the lottery. They are also looking for a new life. What Ali and Tony (now neighbors) find, is a beautiful and haunting music that calls to them from the woods. Chasing the music and mystery it promises leads them to a forgotten village filled with people who worship and call the mystery to them every night through that music. The two worlds collide when Tony is found by a mob contact who also happens to be Ali's dead-beat father.

I loved the imagery in this book and of course, the importance of the music. The music is not good and it is not bad. The mystery is not good and it is not bad. They are what you bring to them. A very important message for us all in the way we live our lives, I believe.

From the back of the book:

Not far from the city is an ancient wood, forgotten by the modern world, where Mystery walks in the moonlight. He wears the shape of a stag, or a goat, or a horned man wearing a cloak of leaves. He is summoned by the music of the pipes or a fire of bones on Midsummer's Evening. He is chased by the hunt and shadowed by the wild girl.
When he touches your dreams, your life will never be the same again.

Teaser: More Greenmantle

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for the rules and more fun!

I thought I'd give some more from Charles de Lint's Greenmantle. This is from page 212, a nice follow up but kind of make it more intriguing if you don't know what's going on!

The music that came from his reed pipes was not the same as it had been earlier. It sang of regret now, and of things lost, rather than in celebration of the mystery.
Saturday, January 24, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

New Classics Challenge Revised

So, considering I haven't started on this, I doubt I'll be finished by next week! I found a site using this same list a perpetual challenge. Just read all the books on the list and no deadline! I love that. So I guess that's what I'm doing. I'll leave the first six books posted on my challenge bulletin and then update it as I go; six at a time until I get down to the end. This revised challenge is hosted at The Review From Here. Check it out!
Friday, January 23, 2009 5 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: 1/23/09

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This from The Encyclopedia of Ancient Myths and Culture:

Zeus heard him from Olympus - they were all up there watching - and sent his warlike
daughter, Athene of the flashing eyes, down to help. Unknown to Heracles, she gave him
new courage and he stepped out into the open, rolling a stone in front of
one of the entrances; he entered the other one and slew the lion,
strangling it as easily as he had the snakes when he was a baby.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 0 comments By: Suzanne

My new favorite quote

Ok, if you don't know, I've been a HUGE fan of Lost since day 1. When I saw that plane crash on the island in the first episode, I was hooked and have not been able to shake my addiction since (even when nothing happened for many episodes in a row as they retold the time spent from the point of view of the "tailies, VERY FRUSTRATING). I'm very glad I watched tonight's debut because Hurley gave me my new favorite quote:

You know, maybe if you ate more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009 6 comments By: Suzanne

Teaser: Greenmantle

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for the rules and more fun!

This is from p. 49 of Greenmantle by Charles De Lint.

His face was plump, his eyes somewhat vacant-looking, his hair lifting in an untidy thatch from his head. But when he lifted his pipes and set his breath into them, he changed.
Sunday, January 18, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

The New Classics Challenge

This challenge is hosted by It's all about me. It has been going on since August but I just found it and it sounds wonderful so I'm challenging myself to read 6 books in the next two weeks to finish this challenge! Here are the rules:

1) Copy the list and bold the titles that you have already read.

2) Choose at least 6 other books from the list , read and review them between 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009.

2) Come back here and post links to your reviews.

3) In January 2009, cast your vote for which one of the 100 books on the list is your favorite (and write a post on why). The winning book will be sent to a lucky winner chosen by the scientific method favored here in the blogosphere, i.e. names in a hat. Other contests are very probable too, I have some ideas, but they need planning.

4) Have fun! :-)

First of all I have to say that I love that Jon Stewart's book is on here! It just makes me want to do this all the more. Next, I have read surprisingly few of the books on here. Why are there so few fantasy/sci-fi books? Who's made up this list? I'm guessing Harry Potter made it simply because it was so popular. I loved it too but there are some equally wonderful fantasy novels that are not as well known.

I'm choosing my books by going right down the line. The first 6 books I haven't read. This will mean I have to try Toni Morrison again. This is her most popular book so maybe I'll like it better than the one I tried to read before.

Here are the books:

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)
Saturday, January 17, 2009 0 comments By: Suzanne

Death of Legend

I know my blog is dedicated to books but it is titled "Storytime" and as stories come in many mediums, I thought I'd break with tradition to talk about the death of a movie and television star. Most people know Ricardo Montalban from Fantasy Island (which I loved as a kid) but he was also one of my favorite characters of all time: Khan. I grew up on both Star Wars and Star Trek movies, loving both. Of course, I'm sure that is easy to figure out based on my love of Sci-fi and fantasy books. My favorite Star Trek movie is The Wrath of Khan and the sole reason is Ricardo Montalban. He plays Khan so wonderfully that I must have watched that movie 20 times. I leave you with some iconic pictures:

And what a lovely picture it is!

The Friday 56: On Saturday

For my few readers that are participating in this: I'm so sorry! I've been a very bad blog host lately! I'm going to be better about this from now on!

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

So, ironically, my closest book is Eclipse, the third book in the Twilight series. My friend Tammi made me promise I would give it another chance. So here we go:

He rolled his eyes. "I don't think you were in any danger."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

Diary: A Novel

So I had a very long break in the middle of my day today. 4 hours. These kind of days suck because I work about an hour from home it's not really feasible to go home when I have this long of a break. This is going to be a regular thing every Wednesday until I get a few more clients to fill up that in between time. Needless to say, I brought a book! I finished reading Chuck Palahniuk's Diary: A Novel about 30 minutes before I had to get to my client's house, so I tried to take a nap (I felt awful today). Unfortunately it didn't work, so I'll be going to bed early tonight!

Diary is by the same guy that wrote Fight Club. If you're familiar with either the book or the movie or any of his other works, then you probably know that most of what he writes is pretty bizarre. Diary is about a woman, Misty Marie, who meets an odd boy in art college, falls in love and marries him, then moves to his odd little home town on Waytansea Island. By the way, throughout the book I couldn't help but say to myself "Wait and See" Island. I tried to put the emphasis on another syllable to keep that out of my mind because it was kind of distracting but now I'm pretty sure that was intentional. Not the distracting part but that we're supposed to Wait and See. The book opens with Misty writing in her diary to her husband who is in the hospital in a coma after a failed suicide attempt. Misty hasn't painted since she was in college and this becomes a major point in the book. I won't say anymore about the plot because I just can't describe it without giving everything away. This book is seriously bizarre and I kept waiting for the big twist at the end. The weird thing is that there is NO twist. Everything truly is as it seems.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

Playing Catch Up

Yes, I've been neglecting my lovely blog lately. I can't even say I've been really busy because I've simply been lazy! And when I feel like being productive, I have instead cleaned house (oooohhhh, I know you're jealous) and worked on my new sewing project. This last is going pretty slow right now too because I'm also teaching my sis to sew. Considering I'm not an expert yet myself, this should be interesting.

However I have listened to a few new audio books while driving to and from work so I thought I'd put them all in one post. The first I started but did not finish. This is Ines of My Soul. The story is about a young Spanish woman who follows her husband when he goes off to the New World to make his fortune. The book seemed pretty interesting but there was one thing that turned me off and it happened so much that I just couldn't listen anymore. It's told from the point of view of a much older Ines telling about her younger self, which is fine. I've read lots of books that start in the future and then go back. However, she continually makes allusions to things that will happen later in the most annoying ways. "As you will see later," "As will be explained later," "Which would never come to pass," "If I had only known how it would turn out." These phrases are fairly irritating when used more than once. Yes, I believe you should only use this once in a book no matter how long that book is. It can make a certain impact when used correctly. If used too many times, it simply becomes irritating. If the book is 985 pages long, it should still only be used once. I listened to the audio book for an hour and she said it 10 times. I'm not sure how many chapters or pages that was but it wasn't very long of a time to have it said that many times! Just tell me the story as it happens. Quit telling me that something is going to happen or that I will see different results later. Just tell it and let it unfold naturally. So I wish I could tell you more about the book but I just got irritated and stopped listening. The book is already on it's way to it's new owner, care of Paperback Swap. I hope that person enjoys it more than me.

The next book I listened to was The Virgin's Lover. I have long been interested in the Tudors. Actually, one of my fascinations has been Jane Grey (not a Tudor but close enough). I saw Lady Jane when I was in high school and it has been one of my favorite movies since. I know an awful lot of useless things and one of them is the life of Jane Grey. She was a tragic figure. I read a wonderful book of historical fiction on her life about a year or so ago called Innocent Traitor, by Alison Weir.
Anyway, The Virgin's Lover is another book of historical fiction about the romance between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley (not coincidentally, the brother of Jane Grey's husband, their father was terribly ambitious). I really enjoyed this book. I was constantly on the edge of my seat as if I didn't already know what was going to happen! The only criticism I have is that I really didn't like Queen Elizabeth in this book. I've always thought of her as a strong woman who did not need to lean on men to rule. She was painted very differently in this book; fairly weak. Although, she stood up for herself in the end, throughout the book I kept thinking: "Why are you so weak and stupid?"

I also listened The Andromeda Strain. I saw the movie a couple years ago and thought the book must be better. I was surprised to find that the movie follows the book pretty closely, except for the fact that one of the doctors is a woman in the movie. I enjoyed this and it's fairly quick read so I would recommend it. Like most Crichton books, I have no criticism. I think he blends a little bit of horror with science fiction in modern life very well.

The last audio book I listened to recently (I finished it today) was forever by Pete Hamill. This is another that I am HIGHLY recommending. This starts in the 18th century with a young Irish man, Cormac, who sets out for New York to avenge the death of his father. In the process he saves an African shaman turned slave from an angry mob. The shaman then gifts him with eternal life with one stipulation. He can never leave the island of Manhattan or it will be suicide. There's a little too much violence in the book for my taste, but overall the story is very good.

And yes, I did actually read a book with my eyes instead of my ears. It's so much easier lately to listen since I drive so much. I finished reading Speaker for the Dead for the third time. There is a very good reason this is one of my favorite books. I wish I could share it with everyone I love. I wish they could see it the way I do.

Teaser: Diary

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for this and more fun!

This is from Diary: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk (which I have no idea how to pronounce!) This is the guy that wrote Fight Club and this is no less twisted.

In this book, an old woodcut print shows an artist tracing a projection.
Across the page, someone's written,
"You can do this with your mind."
Tuesday, January 6, 2009 7 comments By: Suzanne

Tuesday Teaser: Speaker

The Teaser is hosted at Should be Reading. Be sure to go there for this and more fun!

My Teaser this week comes from Speaker for the Dead. Officially the second book in the Ender series and my favorite. I am currently re-reading the series.
I have some other skills that might be useful. Particularly if you rebel.
pg. 298
Friday, January 2, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: 1/2/09

Sorry I missed last week guys but in all the excitement of the holidays (2 people, 5 dogs, and a bird in a small three bedroom house) I forgot!! So here it is, have fun!

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

My closest book was the entire bookshelf, so I just pick up the top one!

Wake up kid it was the Bolshies wanting to get her. Who's out to bump off all the leading White emirgre's?

From City of Shadows by Arianna Franklin
Thursday, January 1, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne


Happy New Year from Texas everyone! Hope this year will be good to you all.

A recap of the books I've talked about this year. This won't be too long since I just started the blog in September. Also, you'll notice there are more thumbs-ups than downs or so-sos because I simply choose books I'm sure I'll like!

The Dead Zone

The Traveler and Dark River

American Gods, Neverwhere, Good Omens, Anansi Boys


You've Been Warned

Firefly Lane

Book Of the Dead

Sugar Queen

Ender's Game


New Moon

The God Delusion

We The Living

Ender in Exile

The Hour I First Believed