27 October 2011

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series is being made into a film!

Are you a fan of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series? My brother and sisters turned me on to the series a few years ago. There are eighteen books in the series and each title highlights which number the book is in the series. I have read five of the books. The first book was my favorite, followed closely by the fourth book.

One For the Money on IMDB.com

I don't recognize many of the stars of the film. I'll tell you the truth, the first person I wanted to find out about was Morelli. I have long pictured Morelli as Josh Holloway. Anyone want to argue with me? Who's cooler and sexier than Evanovich's Morelli? The second character portrayal I wanted to find out about was Grandma Mazur! Debbie Reynolds will be Grandma.

View the trailer on IMDB
The books are rollicking fun. I can't wait to see the film!

  • One for the Money
  • Two for the Dough
  • Three to Get Deadly
  • Four to Score
  • High Five
  • Hot Six
  • Seven Up
  • Hard Eight
  • Visions of Sugar Plums
  • To the Nines
  • Ten Big Ones
  • Eleven on Top
  • Twelve Sharp
  • Plum Lovin'
  • Lean Mean Thirteen
  • Plum Lucky
  • Fearless Fourteen
  • Plum Spooky
  • Finger Lickin' Fifteen
  • Sizzling Sixteen
  • Smokin' Seventeen
  • Explosive Eighteen                                                     
  • 25 October 2011

    Mark Twain...love his writing or hate it?

    I hated reading as a child. Hated it.

    In middle school we had to read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, as I recall.

    In April 2010 I finished rereading Tom Sawyer. It took me a good while to finish as I kept putting it down and having to come back to it. I am rereading Huck Finn right now. I find it much more interesting and easier to read than Tom Sawyer. Anyone else agree? I'm not really sure why though.

    I tried to read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in 2009 but eventually gave up on it (a rarity for me). I just couldn't become interested in it. I think, to be fair, I wasn't reading it frequently enough but it just didn't ever grab me the way I'd hoped it would.

    So, do you love his writing? Do you hate it? Are there books of his you hope to read?

    Hugo, the film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

    Our whole family loved reading and looking at the wonderful illustrations in The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Our reading of the book holds a special place for all of us as we read it while we were vacationing in France. The story takes place in a train station in Paris. We visited the Musée d'Orsay, a museum specializing in impressionist paintings which our family loves. The museum is a former train station. The cafe is situated behind the faces of two large clocks. Eating in the cafe of the Musee D'Orsay was really a treat for us!
    Musée d'Orsay

    My review of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

    I didn't know a film was being made from this book until I volunteered at our children's 
    school's book fair last week. While working I came across this book:

    The Hugo Movie Companion

    I am hoping to put that book on my Christmas list this year.

    I also recently saw that Selznick has another new book on the market. 
    I don't even know anything about the book yet but I'm pretty sure it will find 
    it's way onto my Christmas list also.  

    Here is a Hugo Cabret interactive site sponsored by Scholastic:
    Interactive Hugo

    Preview of Hugo

    Everything you'd like to know about the film on IMDB.com
    I just realized Johnny Depp is in the film as M. Rouleau.
    The film hits cinemas on 23 November, just in time for Thanksgiving! 
    I can't wait to see this with our family.

    I wish the publisher would release Selznick's books as ebooks; I think they'd work great on eInk readers.

    23 October 2011

    Will there be a new NOOK Color for Christmas 2011?

    (My apologies to my readers for not posting much lately. Life has been pretty crazy. Family comes first. I've been really busy managing the health needs of one of our children who has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder this year.)

    I am the owner of an original NOOK. Three months after I purchased it B&N came out with the NOOK Color. I have to say I was a bit envious. Since then I've come to realize that the color screen on the NOOK Color would aggravate and tire my eyes. I love eInk. I do see great functionality possible from a color device though, especially when use for cookbooks. One or two of our five children are dying to have color ereaders.

    In light of that I keep trying to learn more about color ereaders. I want to know as much as possible. I love NOOK and I love that it is the "baby" of a traditional bookstore that has been incredibly smart to move into this new era of technology. I realize that a color ereader may be a distraction from actually reading since so much can be done with a color ereader. 

    While doing some investigating today I came across yet further rumors about ereaders; specifially NOOK Color. Click on the links below to read what may be in the works for consumers shopping for ereaders:




    18 October 2011

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is being adapted for film!

    I volunteered at our children's school's Book Fair today.
    That's something new for me.
    I've homeschooled at least one child for the past 13 years and
    this is the first year that all five of our kids are in public school.

    At the Book Fair I saw this book:

    It is a book about the making of the new film "HUGO".
    I haven't had a chance to look for any previews yet.

    Hugo at IMDB.com

    10 October 2011

    A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

    Have you ever heard of Snicket's book series A Series of Unforutnate Events?
    I heard about it from fellow homeschoolers.

    The premise is that three children are on their own in life, following a fire and the presumed death of their parents. The series consists of 13 books. I bought them all; I read them, and enjoyed doing so.

    1. The Bad Beginning
    2. The Reptile Room
    3. The Wide Window
    4. The Miserable Mill
    5. The Austere Academy
    6. The Ersatz Elevator
    7. The Vile Village
    8. The Hostile Hospital
    9. The Carnivorous Carnival
    10. The Slippery Slope
    11. The Grim Grotto
    12. The Penultimate Peril
    13. The End

    Snicket tells the reader, right up front, not to expect a happy ending; as he puts it, it's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" after all. I'll admit it. I held out hope. Hope is ever-present in this series; the kids in the story always hold onto hope. I like that. Even if I didn't like that it ended without the happiness I really had built a hope for. They are still good books and a lot of fun in an odd sort of way.

    One really great thing about the books is the quirky way that Snicket writes. He's very funny, but also educates along the way. He uses big words and manages to define those words for the reader in a way that garners a smile and not a frown at a bit of education being thrown in.

    Here is a site with some quotes from the books: Lemony Snicket quotes
    There may be better quotes to be found, as I am sure there are, but a peak at the page above won't ruin the story-line for you and may whet your appetite.

    A film was also inspired by the book. It was okay. I didn't love it but I also didn't hate it. The film definitely felt darker than the tone of the books. 

    I think some kids who are good readers could be as young as 7 or 8 and be allowed to read these books. The film is a tougher call; a parent might want to watch it first or read a review such as this one: PluggedInOnline

    Oh!! Before I forget...I also own the first three books on audio CD with TIM CURRY as the reader! He's fantastic! If you begin the books and like them, get your hands on these particular CDs. I own some of the other books with Snicket reading, but Curry is priceless!

    09 October 2011

    How is your reading going for 2011?

    This is  my first year since 1998 that I am homeschooling no children. It appears the number of books I am going to finish reading this year is extremely low in comparison to other years though.

    Why? New things are pulling me: Netflix streaming is a big one, and Words With Friends, and my iPhone in general. I love watching old tv shows or movies with our kids. I love playing Words With Friends, mostly with one of my brother.

    I have found that the 3-3.5 hours it takes each time our daughter has physical therapy for a newly diagnosed neurological disorder (about an hour away from home) is mostly dead time for me. I can't read while driving, can I? I also can't seem to read during the appointments as Gigi, our precious five year old, usually keeps me engaged whether...I want her to or not.

    I'm not really complaining. Okay, I am, I guess. My complaint isn't against the things that are taking my time, but, rather, against the fact that I just can't do all those things AND read more; or at least as much as usual.
    I haven't found a way to add hours to my days yet. I have thought about ways to squeeze more productive time from my days though (more time for reading). I am considering getting up earlier to see if I can cope with that. When I was a homeschooler I kept a book with me at all times and tried to find value in every minute of my day. Now that I have more time on my hand I feel as if I am not valuing my time as much as I should be.

    07 October 2011

    Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix (2nd in the Missing trilogy)

    Sent is the second book in the "Missing" series of juvenile fiction. I read the first book in May 2011. 
    This book takes Jonah and his sister Katherine and two of their friends on a quest into the past, literally, via time travel.

    It's a bit of a heavy topic for kids. Goodness, it's a rare book about time travel that doesn't find me arguing against it being possible. I must have outgrown that annoying trait though, or else my love of The Time Traveler's Wife and Back to the Future caused me to just get a grip and go along for the ride!

    The premise for this series is that some children were removed from their proper time in the past because of what appeared to be inevitable death; another heavy topic.

    The author manages to handle both topics in such a way that it makes for fun reading, action, and a bit of historical context for young readers.

    Our sons are reading these books. Matt, age 10, read the first book and insisted I begin it! I love that! So, yes, I am along for the ride! I will probably try to start reading book 3 as soon as I am able. When will that be?
    My review of Found (Book 1 in the Missing trilogy) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

    06 October 2011

    Have you had any problems with your eReader? (And I'm a good mom.)

    I was awoken in the middle of the night.
    I'm a good mom. I didn't swat at what I perceived to be the cat in my face.
    It was our five year old.

    Once I had her settled in her sleeping bag next to our bed I tried so hard to get back to sleep. Realizing that I couldn't, I grabbed my NOOK and LightWedge and headed to the family room couch to get caught up on some reading.

    My NOOK wouldn't start up. I tried everything. I plugged it in and retried it. I held the button down for 20 seconds. I removed the battery and replaced it. I plugged it back in and played around on this website for a while instead: 
    I'm happy to share that link with you because, so far, there are no photos of me there...
    (I won't tell you how long I looked at the photos and comments on that site.)

    Anyway, upon waking this morning I turned my NOOK on and it is working just fine. While I hated to lose some nice, quiet reading time, I am rather glad that this morning did not find me asking for a replacement under my extended warranty. I'm happy that it came to its senses and is working again! Off to do a little reading...
    It's afternoon now. When I turned my NOOK on again it wouldn't open the book that I wanted to begin reading but had previously downloaded from B&N.

    I visited our local store. The agent phoned online assistance. That particular book just wouldn't open. It supposedly had nothing to do with my problems during the night. A report was filed for the book to be fixed. In the meantime I needed to find a different copy to read. That copy was a free copy. I ended up spending $1.50 to buy it, along with a companion book. 

    I hope that's the end of my eReader difficulty for a while. I need to spend some time reading.

    05 October 2011

    Inventor of ebook, founder of Project Gutenberg dies

    Hart died on September 6, 2011 in his Urbana, IL home.
    He invented the ebook in 1971 and is best known for that. He also founded Project Gutenberg in an effort to share literature with as many people as possible. 

    Hart shares about his invention of the ebook: Click Here.

    Read his obituary on Project Gutenberg: Click Here

    Project Gutenberg makes available over 36,000 titles to the public. Hart's site present those books to the public in 60 languages with more to come.

    Have you used the Project Gutenberg site to read or download a free ebook? I have. Rest in peace, Michael.

    03 October 2011

    What do you know about your local library?

    Do you have a thriving local library? We do.

    Our library is in real need of funding right now though. Generally, I do not support most tax increases. The tax burden for the typical American family is becoming burdensome and I see no end in sight. I am in support of a referendum for our library though. A referendum will not be placed on ballots until November 2012 at the earliest. The library board has seen too many referendums denied and is being proactive to get their ducks all in a row before making another request. I feel that a referendum should be passed. Local statistics support it.

    A change of the interior of the building provided a doubling of computers available for public use in 2004. Changing technological needs of the community changes what a library needs to to provide for patrons.  Today's Plainfield library users are in greater desire of downloadable ebooks and audiobooks, some of the newest offerings of any library. Downloadable material is checked out by our library's patrons more than from libraries serving much larger populations. To increase holdings of digital material our library has set aside funds that may be used to purchase as many as two ebooks per patron when a request is presented. 

    The use of our library has actually increased in these days of technological advancement. I think some people expect that isn't the case. Our library's usage is up by 10% in the past year. Our library's board continues to seek ways to creatively use the space that we have. The director of another area library, Shorewood's Jennie Mills was quoted in THE ENTERPRISE as saying "A good rule of thumb for a library building is 2-3 square feet per person served." Our building is 27,160 square feet. According to her statement our library could easily be as big as 81,480 sqaure feet. Fountaindale Library in Bolingbrook just expanded to 96,000 square feet. That library even has a drive-up window for easy pick-up of materials that are ordered by phone or online! Isn't that great for convenience? Community forums are held in Plainfield so that feedback directly from users is heard and taken into account, hoping that the next referendum will have support and that proposed changes will be those that will be most relevant to our community. 

    What is a library if it isn't meeting the needs of those it serves? Who knew ten or twenty years ago that libraries would be looked to for the lending of films? While the ebook was invented in 1971, could anyone have predicted that today our libraries would be expected to loan books in that format?

    Truthfully, our family doesn't use our library as much as you'd likely expect. We've had times of greater usage though. In the earlier days of our homeschooling we used it more frequently. Eventually, the burden of keeping track of so many library books was more than I could accept. That's when I began buying most of the books that we needed or wanted. These days I still am inclined to buy books. It's a reasonable indulgence, to my way of thinking. We do get sucked in once in a while though. Most of our library use currently is my borrowing of ebooks through our library's ebook lending service, www.mymediamall.net.

    Do you use our local library? Do you support it? 
    Facts for this post were garnered from THE ENTERPRISE Sept 15, 2011

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