Booking Through Thursday - Beginnings

Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by: Nithin

Here’s an idea about memorable first lines from books.

What are your favorite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

The first sentence of a novel has about as much importance as the actual plot. It's the same idea as a person trying to make a good first impression. Whether we realize it or not, that first glimpse, first word, first thought is going to colour our opinions. Some authors have a flair for sparking your interest with unusual openers, that make you want to keep reading in order to unravel their mysteriousness. Other writers unwind magnificent, flowing and lyrical beginnings that show the power of their writing. And sometimes you find that first sentence that just stinks, but what can you do but keep reading, because surely it must get better.

Here are some of my favorite beginnings:

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. City of Glass by Paul Auster

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, 'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?' Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

"When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing." Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

While enthusiasts and detractors will continue to empty entire dictionaries attempting to describe or deride it, "authenticity" still remains the word most likely to stir a debate. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

A.M. Homes and Chuck Palahniuk are authors I've read that have first sentences that have stuck in my memory for no apparent reason. They seem very blah, but I find myself returning to these openings to see if I can decipher a hidden message of sorts.

Elaine takes the boys to Florida and drops them off like they're dry cleaning. Safety Of Objects - AM Homes

He stands at the glass looking out. This Book Will Save Your Life - AM Homes

It is after midnight on one of those Friday nights when the guests have all gone home and the host and hostess are left in their drunkenness to try and put things right again. Music For Torching - AM Homes

And so here is my confession. Survivor - Chuck Palahniuk

If you're going to read this, don't bother. Choke - Chuck Palahniuk

The problem with every story is you tell it after the fact. Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk

Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die. Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

And here is the clunker for me. I really can't express the hatred I had towards this first sentence. I think I was about 5 years old when I opened this book up, read the first page, closed the book, criticized (to my teddy bear, mind you) the unimaginative moron who must have written this muck, and placed it on the very bottom shelf of my bookcase. About 2 years later I opened it again and realized that first sentences don't necessarily define an entire work. Anyways this was the sentence that infuriated a 5 year old bibliophile:

It was a dark and stormy night. Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Weekly Geeks #12 Mini Review - Dystopian Novels

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
"Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Snowman is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.
Seems to me that these two novels together make a perfect duo for doing a mini-review and answering your questions. I hope I managed to answer everyone's questions well. This is only the first of my mini-review-answer blogs - so keep your eyes open for my next post when I answer some more questions.
And I'd also like to thank everyone for reading and submitting questions for me, this has been really fun and has helped me look at these books in ways that I didn't before. Happy Reading!

Alessandra asked...
Hi! The only book in your list that I've read is Brave New World. How did you like it? How do you compare it to other dystopian novels, like 1984, if you've read it?
I really loved Brave New World, it is a book I had read in junior high and decided to pick up again when I was assigned a multi-part project in which we had to dissect a novel commonly used in the High School curriculum.
Brave New World has always been compared with George Orwell’s 1984, which is really funny considering that Orwell was a student of Huxley’s at Eton University. The two books seem much the same, but they are much more opposites. Brave New World was based on never-ending satisfaction, while in the world of 1984 punishment was used to improve society. Huxley wrote about banning all books to control the thoughts of people, but Orwell wrote of a government that would re-write all literature to conform to their beliefs. The other main difference is that the people in Brave New World are conditioned to behave correctly using science and psychology while in 1984 the characters are conditioned to act a certain way by threat of violence or death.

Bibliolatrist said...
Of these ten books, which was your favourite and why?

Of them all Brave New World would be my favourite (with Oryx and Crake so, so close behind). Brave New World has always struck a note with me, because this bizarre world that Huxley created is similar to ours and that's truly scary. Commercialism and materialism forced upon citizens, loose sexual values, designer babies, thought control/behaviour modification and the terrible treatment of people considered different or undesirable (written as sci-fi, but seems more like non-fiction to me)

Chris said...
Since you have 2 dystopian novels on your list: Oryx and Crake & Brave New World, how did they compare?

Yikes ... to me these two books were so dissimilar that it would be impossible for me to compare them. Brave New World was about the individual's need to fit in or break away from society and it's expectations. The ruling government has decided that "you must live, be, think this was" in order to have peace and harmony in the world. Whatever displeases you must disappear. Huxley really examines how horrible the consequences would be of living in a utopia. Oryx and Crake is the vision of what happens when a utopian society fails. Jimmy known as Snowman grew up in a society where the deserving and valuable citizens lived in idealized gated communities, while the undesirables (or individual thinkers) lived in the outlands known as Pleeblands. But utopia self-destructed and the Snowman must make his way alone in the wastelands that the world has become. Atwood seems to be trying to show just how dangerous it can be to try and create the perfect society, with a hidden message about the dangers to our eco-system by our ever-increasing need for higher technology. One similarity between the two novels is the advances in bio-engineering forced evolution onto humans, rather than allowing nature to takes its own course.

Maree said...
What did you think of the end of Oryx and Crake? Did it end too abruptly for you; did you want to know what happened next? (It's one of my favourite books)

Ahhh that's what I thought about for nearly a week after finishing Oryx and Crake. I enjoyed the ending and felt that it fit the story overall, so the abruptness didn't bother me so much. But (big but) I found myself wishing there was a sequel, I had become so enmeshed in Snowman's world that I really craved more. Alas I will have to be happy with re-reads or just revisiting my favourite scenes.

Julie said...
After reading Oryx & Crake, will you ever eat chicken nuggets again? ;-) And what did you think about the game Extinctathon? Would you ever want to play it?

OMG that was so gross, seriously the idea of a bunch of feathered drumsticks walking around ... ewwww. To answer your question, I never have eaten chicken (I'm not vegan, I just don't like the taste of chicken) but if I was a chicken eater - I probably would vomit at the sight of chicken nuggets after reading about ChickieNobs. As for Extinctathon, although it seems like a great way to work out your memory muscles, I thought it was pretty morbid. And seeing that I have trouble remembering where my car keys are - I'd suck.

Nari @ The Novel World said...
My questions run the same as Chris above, how would you compare Brave New World to Oryx and Crake? How do you feel about Atwood's description of the fall of the world, do you see it as something that could potentially happen?

After reading about how the end came in Oryx and Crake it really made me think about how dangerous it is when such intelligent humans mess around with science as a plaything. Although the society that Atwood described was clearly going to self-destruct eventually anyway, the experimental destruction really made me consider how much we know about our own society and if a similar thing may happen to us "in the name of science, technology, advancement of humans or simple curiosity"

Dewey said...
Several people have told me that Oryx and Crake is the only Atwood novel they dislike. But I liked it just fine. If you've read lots of Atwood, how did you feel about the fact that this book was such a different genre from what Atwood usually writes?

All of the Atwood fans I know have asked me how on earth I enjoyed Oryx and Crake - my response has been to ask what the first Atwood novel they read was. It usually turns out that they read Edible Woman, Robber Bride or Lady Oracle. This seems to reveal to me that they have found a comfort zone when reading Atwood - as these stories are all about women and personal struggles. For me I had read Handmaids Tale, Oryx and Crake and then Robber Bride so the change of genre and even the change from female perspective to male was not that shocking.

bkclubcare said...
I've not read A Brave New World but I see you had to read it in school and then re-read it recently? What was the difference for you in how you related to it, if any?

During Junior High I read Brave New World and considered it a work of pure science-fiction, thinking to myself "hah like that would ever happen". But re-reading it as an adult, I realized how much of the science-fiction in the novel was actually a satirized view of our own society and exactly where we may end up if things don't change. It really changed the way I read fantasy now, I am more aware of what messages authors may be trying to convey.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Tuesday Thingers

Today's topic: Recommendations.

Do you use LT's recommendations feature?

LibraryThings recommended books feature is both a blessing and a curse to me. A blessing because it helps me find books that interest me and are related to topics/genres I enjoy. It becomes a curse to me for exactly the same reasons - my wishlist and TBR piles are getting out of control, but I worry that if I don't take note of interesting reads asap I may forget them or never find them again.

Have you found any good books by using it?

Yes I have found lots of good books, but the most valuable thing I have gotten from LT recommendations is the desire to read outside my normal lines. I have broadened my reading by taking a closer look into more non-fiction books and also authors that are not main-stream or well-known.

Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the "special sauce" recommendations?

No. The LT anti-recommendations seem to have a flaw in my opinion. The first 100 or so books listed for me are religion based books, when I click on "WHY" it uses the fact that I have many horror-related titles as a reason. This seems very stereo-typical to me, yes I enjoy horror, but does that mean that I'm not a religious person? Or that I would dislike books that focus on religion?

How do you find out about books you want to read?

What I want to know is how not to find books I want to read!! Everywhere I look I seem to be adding to my lists. Newspapers, magazines and book websites are the main villians. Just as bad is book/review blogs - One type of book I really don't enjoy is Historical Romance, but sure enough, I read a review about author "Julia Quinn" that made me crazy to read her work. Another culprit is friends and family (all of mine are bookworms) Of course you always get that friend who tells you how great a book is, so you give it a shot. But my problem is when someone says "Oh you would hate this book", yup there I go and read it because I need to know why? Why would I hate this? Oh I almost forgot another one - have you ever watched a movie or read a book and the character is reading? If you're like me, you then think to yourself "Hmm I wonder if that book is any good?"

Madness I tell you (with a bit of obsession) (and maybe a touch of OCD)

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

The Sunday Salon - better late than never...

Sunday Salon

First off, Kathleen from Kathleen's Book Reviews tagged me this week for the Book Club Classics Meme which was created in order to promote the new site, (a site dedicated to helping teachers/students navigate classic lit) So here are my answers.

  1. What is the best classic you were “forced” to read in school?
  2. What was the worst classic you were forced to endure?
  3. Which classic should every student be required to read?
  4. Which classic should be put to rest immediately?
  5. **Bonus** Why do you think certain books become classics?
  1. The best book I had to read was probably "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. There are many reasons I enjoyed this book but I would say the main reason is that I could really understand how the characters felt about the society they lived in. Huxley seemed to develop his characters so fully that they were almost like real people. Also I thought it sent a very important message out about the dangers of a society of people becoming too involved in materials goods and commercialism.
  2. The worst was probably "Lord Of The Flies" by William Golding. This was assigned to us in advanced Grade 10 English, which is most likely the reason I disliked it. In my mind it was very childish for Grade 10, I can understand the moral behind it of good and evil and how circumstances can change the social structure, but even so I think it would have been more valuable in Grade 5-8.
  3. This is a hard question to answer because I think it really depends on the class, the grade and how the teachers go about teaching the text. However I do believe that every student should be given the opportunity to study William Shakespeare. There are many valuable things to learn from Shakespeare, he was the master of creating realistic personalities and his character development was amazing. In particular, Othello is a great example of a work that can contribute much to a child's education, a great study of human relations, jealousy and racism.
  4. I don't believe any book should be removed from the school curriculum. Again I think it really depends on the class, grade and teacher. No matter how bad a book may seem to one person, certain teachers can make anything an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience.
  5. I'm not really certain what makes a book become a "classic". I like to believe that it is because the book teaches some lesson or contains some element that is directly or indirectly relevant to society and the human race in general. Good literary devices, plot construction, characters that we love or love-to-hate, or even just an original idea could all contribute.

I didn't do too badly this week with my reviewing, so far I have added reviews for the following four books, with more to come this week.

This week has been fabulous for book-buying, I hit up quite a few of the local used bookshops and found an interesting mixture of reading to add to my TBR stack, that has turned into separate piles while slowly winding its way throughout the house.

atlas shrugged book of shadows cover darkness that comes before diary of ellen rimbauer fabulous nobodies freaky green eyes heart of darkness hidden life of humans kitchen witch lamb liars club life as we knew it mona lisa overdrive replay ruins secret of the lonely doll survival the bride stripped bare the girls time travellers wife vinyl cafe diaries white noise

So my main goals for the upcoming week is to finish up reading the 12 or so books I've got started, post a bunch of reviews and not do any book-shopping (for the sake of my wallet and the need to eat)!!

So what about everyone else, have any exciting plans for the week, any books you're itching to get read or like me are you just taking the days as they come?

Have a great week and happy reading everyone!

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Weekly Geeks #12

weekly geeks 2The assignment for Weekly Geeks #12 is a little bit like last week - but instead of asking Dewey questions about her TBReveiwed books we're asking each other.

How to:

1. In your blog, list any books you’ve read but haven’t reviewed yet. If you’re all caught up on reviews, maybe you could try this with whatever book(s) you finish this week.

2. Ask your readers to ask you questions about any of the books they want. In your comments, not in their blogs. Most likely, people who will ask you questions will be people who have read one of the books or know something about it because they want to read it.

3. Take whichever questions you like from your comments and use them in a post about each book. I’ll probably turn mine into a sort of interview-review. Link to each blogger next to that blogger’s questions.

4. Visit other Weekly Geeks and ask them some questions!

This is a great assignment for me because I would like to go back and review all the books I have read since the beginning of the year (sometimes I hate being an over-achiever) I have included a list of 10 books I've read but haven't gotten around to reviewing. So question away - ask anything about any books - questions could be about the books, authors, topics, covers etc. - anything goes, just have fun!

  1. Man In My Basement by Walter Mosley
  2. The Book Of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
  3. Oryx And Crake by Margaret Atwood
  4. Rape - A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates
  5. The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
  6. Book Of Revelation by Rupert Thomson
  7. Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel
  8. Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk
  9. The Collector by John Fowles
  10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Lastly I would like to send out a huge thank you to Dewey for choosing my questions last week as a winner of the book "When You Are Engulfed In Flames" by David Sedaris.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Booking Through Thursday


Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?

Do you have favourite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?

What/Where are they?

I have a notebook that I keep in the car, everywhere we travel I jot down notes about the various bookstores we stop at. Any information I think would come in handy I add (what they specialize in, if they have a website, etc.)

Even if a bookstore only had a few items I'm interested in, I will make sure to stop again next-time just in case.

In the last few years this notebook has become huge - listing shops from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Montreal, Quebec - which is our normal route at least once a year. I also keep track of many stores in the eastern states that we visit occasionally - Maine, Massachusetts, NY, NJ, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

I don't have any particular favourites because to me most bookstores change inventory so quickly, you never know what you'll find.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Review - Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

wicked lovely

Synopsis (from Fantastic Fiction)

The clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in this cool, urban 21st century faery tale. Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world, and would blind her if they knew of her Sight. Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer. Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention. But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King and has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost! Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working any more, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.


If you could see faeries what would you do? Aislinn can see them, but her grandmother taught her at a young age how to deal with them and what rules she must obey. But wait, what if you could see faeries and they were following you? That is where we come into the story of Wicked Lovely. For some strange reason the Summer King of the faeries has taken an interest in Aislinn. According to her grandmother this is a very bad thing and unless Aislinn can put an end to it, she is going to end up a prisoner in her own home. So Aislinn and her (boy)friend Seth have to solve this quickly - luckily Seth lives in a train car (made of iron) which gives Aislinn a safe place to sort out this mess.

Wicked Lovely is one of the best young adult urban fantasies I have come across recently. The characters are thoroughly developed and realistic teenagers who act and react much the way you would expect of today's teens. Aislinn is the modernized version of a classic heroine and you can't help but empathize with her struggles.

Melissa Marr's faerie story is comparable to the world-famous Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. And hopefully with the release of her second novel Ink Exchange, the continued story of Aislinn, and a third part (tentative release April 2009) this series will develop it's own well-deserved fame.

About The Author

Melissa has never been good at choosing just one path. After finishing high school with the dubious honour of being voted "most likely to end up in jail," she went to college and graduate school. Eventually, she went on to bartend at a number of other weird little bars, teach lit both live and online, and discover the joy of tattoos. After marrying someone who shares the love of ink--on the page and on the skin--Melissa began moving around the country. In the process, she discovered how vast the Mojave really is, how many incredible museums are out there, and how hard it can be to think about settling in one place. She's continued teaching along the way, but traded beer-slinging for book writing.

Author Website

Published by HarperCollinsTeen

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Review - Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

lost and found

Synopsis (from Fantastic Fiction)

New from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Dogs of Babel, seven unlikely couples scour the globe searching for love, treasure, fame, family--and themselves--in an astonishing new novel. Seven oddly matched pairs--a mother and daughter, two business partners, two flight attendants, a born-again Christian couple, two former child stars, and other unlikely couples--are thrown together to compete in a high-stakes, televised contest. It is the new reality show, Lost and Found, a global scavenger hunt whose initial purpose is entertainment, but with each challenge, the drama builds as the number of players is whittled down. Laura signed on to try to reconnect with her recalcitrant teenage daughter, Cassie. But Cassie knows they were only selected because of a secret she hides, one the show's producers hope will be revealed as the pressures of the competition mount. Justin and Abby aim to use the million-dollar prize to spread their message of faith, but they soon find the game putting their marriage to the test. Juliet and Dallas, deep in the "where-are-they-now" stage of stardom, just hope to spark some life back into their flagging careers. But as the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?


Lost and Found is a book written about the contestants of a reality TV show much like The Amazing Race. Each Chapter deals with a different team of partners. A mother and daughter struggling to re-connect. A religiously reformed (gay)husband and (lesbian)wife trying to cope with their sexual and religious beliefs. A man who with the help of his brother is dealing with divorce and the sickness of his son. And a man and woman who were child stars and are now attempting to regain their fame. Along with a couple other teams who are not part of the main story, the book slightly delves into the mind of the hostess of the show and how she feels about the face she puts on for the cameras and society.

Although this novel encompasses many subplots different narrative views, Carolyn Parkhurst shows her skills as a writer by bringing all this information together into one coherent story. Lost and Found is fast-paced and action-filled but also full of realistic drama. With so many different characters and viewpoints, you quickly begin rooting for your hero. By having each character deal with their personal problems while undergoing the stress of a reality TV challenge was a brilliant idea. Rather than focusing on the TV show perspective the author has instead turned it around and used the challenges they face as an excellent vehicle for character development. Overall Lost and Found is a fantastically thought-out drama of human interaction.

About The Author

Carolyn Parkhurst is the author of the novels The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found and has published fiction in the North American Review, the Minnesota review, Hawaii Review, and the Crescent Review. Carolyn received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

Author Website

Published by Little, Brown and Company

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Review - Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg

her last death


Her Last Death begins as the phone rings early one morning in the Montana house where Susanna Sonnenberg lives with her husband and two young sons. Her aunt is calling to tell Susanna her mother is in a coma after a car accident. She might not live. Any daughter would rush the thousands of miles to her mother's bedside. But Susanna cannot bring herself to go. Her courageous memoir explains why. Glamorous, charismatic and a compulsive liar, Susanna's mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit. With outrageous behaviour and judgment tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying. Susanna struggled to break out of this compelling world, determined, as many daughters are, not to become her mother. Sonnenberg mines tender and startling memories as she writes of her fierce resolve to forge her independence, to become a woman capable of trust and to be a good mother to her own children. Her Last Death is riveting, disarming and searingly beautiful.


I read this memoir a couple of weeks ago and have been agonizing over this review ever since. After going back and doing a quick re-read, my opinion has not changed. There are not many positive things for me to say about Her Last Death, and much as I hate talking badly of any book, I am going to give my honest opinions in as much fairness as I can here.

Susanna Sonnenberg receives a phone call letting her know her mother is dying - she must see her now if she plans to say good-bye and make her peace. However Susanna does not plan to go, and no amount of thinking, dwelling or considering is going to change her mind. From this main plot, the story goes back to detail her life growing up with a mother who lies, cheats, drinks, does drugs, manipulates and competes. Which is meant to explain or perhaps excuse her decision.

The positive thing about this novel is that it is very will written. The plots mesh together nicely and is very well paced overall.

However the negative aspects of this memoir seem to be mainly about content. The experiences she recounts of her adolescence are all very predictable and repetitive. Her mother does something to her once or twice, but yet the third time it happens still seems to come as a surprise to Susanna. Although the stories may very well be true, they come off as being embellished in order to add "shock value". If you read this thinking "what's the worst that could happen" - that's exactly what happens, which becomes tedious.

Overall this was a very well written novel, lacking in point. You don't truly believe the writer has learned anything from her horrible childhood. After my second read through it occurred to me that in writing this memoir Susanna Sonnenberg was merely trying to excuse her feeling of guilt with how she dealt with her mother. I wouldn't recommend this memoir, as their are many more valuable "bad childhood/parental relations" memoirs available.

About The Author

Susanna Sonnenberg was born in London in 1965 and grew up in New York. Her essays have appeared in Elle, O, the Oprah Magazine and Parenting, among other magazines. She lives in Montana with her husband and two sons.

Author Website

Published by Simon & Schuster

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Tuesday Thingers

Here is this week's Tuesday Thingers
Courtesy of
The Boston Bibliophile

Today's topic: Book-swapping.

Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT's book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

Book swapping amongst friends and family is a normal thing for me, most everyone I know reads (many different types of reading genres). So there are always books changing hands, promises made that "you get this book next" and often a surprise book with a note saying "you have to read this".

As for online bookswap sites - I was a member of bookmooch, but found that it became a bit unreliable. Many people would mooch or offer books for mooching and then change their minds, and there were the people who sign up, offer a huge list of books and never return to the site again.

Thanks to taking a walk through the beautiful Halifax Public Gardens one afternoon, I discovered the BookCrossing website. Lying on a park bench was a paperback, and book lover that I am I picked it up. Inside was a note telling me about how the book was travelling - I could take this book to read and then release it back into the wild. It sounded too good for words! Since then I have released many books into the wild - then exciting part is discovering where they may pop up again. I try to drop a few at the airport everytime I can so my books can journey.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Another Giant Book Giveaway @ Hey Lady!

Run over to Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? for a chance to win a fabulous book prize package. Each package includes 14 books from a variety of genres.

Giant thanks to Hey Lady! for hosting this great giveaway!!

Contest closes July 19

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Review – Meeting Evil by Thomas Berger


John Felton, prototypical husband, father of two, and real estate salesman, is interrupted while eating breakfast, by a disturbing stranger who asks for his help with a stalled car. John's assent, an automatic if grudging gesture of politeness leads him into a string of disastrous events, including a tabloid worthy crime spree in which he is an unwitting accomplice to robbery, kidnapping, arson and murder. More unnerving still is the stranger's stony-faced, near convincing contention that each barbarous crime is an act of kindness and protection.


Meeting Evil starts out innocently enough with a brief introduction to the main character, John Felton, and presents a picture of suburban normality as he goes about his everyday activities just like on any other Monday morning. But then, as you turn to page four or five, you read about John Felton hearing his doorbell ring. From this point on Thomas Berger does not let his character stop to take a full breath – and the author has masterfully written this novel in such a way that the reader feels breathless as well. The adventure that John Felton embarks on (not so willingly) is a rollercoaster of action, but it is also a journey in which John Felton must explore his feelings regarding social responsibility and ethical behaviour.

Thomas Berger has created a voyage for his protagonist, which is much like a Choose Your Own Adventure book come to life. John Felton is given many choices throughout his story and also several chances to change his mind. However for every choice he must make there are myriad consequences. While reading Meeting Evil you begin to question what you yourself would decide for any given situation, and the judgements and decisions you come to may change how you look at the world and yourself.

This review has been a hard one for me to write, I have been thinking on the best way in which to present this novel in a positive light without giving away any of the plot. In the end I have decided that this rather small review is all that I am willing to reveal, mainly because I personally enjoyed this book tremendously because I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I opened to the first page. If you have ever been in a situation where you chance upon an unknown (to you) book and start reading it only to discover a wonderful treasure – then you will have some idea of how I felt when I found this book.

As readers we should all remember that sometimes the best books are the ones we aren't even looking for.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Huge Contest @ Bookshipper

Take a look at Bookshipper for a chance to win one of 5 fabulous book prize packages. Each package includes 14 books from a variety of genres.

Giant thanks to Bookshipper for hosting this great giveaway!!

Contest closes July 31

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

The Sunday Salon - My Week So Far...

This will be my very first time participating in The Sunday Salon, so I'd like to start out simple with some stats on my reading so far this year.
Books Read - 56
Total Pages - 15856
Average Books Per Month - 9
Male Authors - 41
Female Authors - 15

So that's not looking too bad overall - I really do need to get in some more female authors though. With 56 books read I am now 75% of the way to completing my 75 Book Challenge over on LibraryThing.

As for posting reviews, I did get 3 done and blogged Songs For The Missing by Stewart O'Nan, Candy Girl by Diablo Cody and The Game by Teresa Toten. In the coming week I will be blogging about Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst, Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr and Meeting Evil by Thomas Berger. (fingers crossed lest I procrastinate)

A quick list of what I am currently reading:
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Isabel Burning by Donna Lynch
  • Blankety Blank by D. Harlan Wilson
  • The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan
  • Too Beautiful For You by Rod Liddle
  • And the perfect way to end my first Sunday Salon (although my TBR stack is starting to tremble quite precariously) Here are the books I scavenged on my weekly trek through the bookshops. I decided to go book shopping without a list or a plan in mind, so my finds are a mish-mash of books recommended to me and blind buys.

    From the giant Chapters/Indigo store I got ...

    Another stop I made was at The Dartmouth Book Exchange one of my many favourite used bookshops. Here's what I picked up there ...

    And finally while shopping for laundry detergent at the local drugstore, I couldn't resist picking up these three books ...

    So if anything I have a whole summers worth of reading from one day of shopping, now I just have to stay away from the library so I can get a good start on these books first :/

    Happy reading everyone!!

    For anyone who wants to join in on The Sunday Salon click here for information on how to sign up and take part in the fun!

    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.