Friday, August 28, 2009

The End of an Era: Reading Rainbow

Being a reader and a teacher, I feel like I have to write something about the end of an era. Reading Rainbow started in 1983. I was 5 years old. I don't remember the first episode I saw, but I saw quite a few. I had a voracious appetite for books, even as a 5-year-old. I loved the section where there were kids sharing their favorite books! I hunted down quite a few of those recommendations to read myself, not to mention the featured books.

I loved LeVar Burton. He was a magnificent choice for a host. I did a fangirl dance when LeVar showed up on Star Trek:TNG (Oh, you didn't know I was a geek? Surprise! Card-carrying, thank you very much!) a few years after Reading Rainbow started. Geordi, LeVar, Geordi, LeVar. I couldn't get enough.

I haven't seen an episode for quite a while, but I'm very tempted to troll PBS for every episode that they have online from now until December when they cut off access to the show's website. I have no doubt that I will enjoy them as much now as I did when I was a kid. I feel sorry for the generations to come who will miss out on the book love that is Reading Rainbow.

Would it be weird to say that Reading Rainbow was a book review blog before there were book review blogs? In my mind, that's kind of what it was.

It just today occurs me to wonder if LeVar is as much of a reader as I imagine the host of a show about reading should be. Was he part of the impetus to start the show? How much of a hand did he have in creating the show? He is one of the people I follow on Twitter, and he seems to be an amazing person in real life. I think that he would be on my top 10 of famous people to meet. He has an amazing legacy! If I were him, I would be proud to have been host of such an influential show for a 26(!) year run. I think it should be at the top of his list of accomplishments. Then again, I'm a teacher in addition to being a book lover.

Take a look, it's in a book...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesday--The Lacemakers of Glenmara

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

  • I've been reading The Lacemakers of Glenmara by Heather Barbieri this week, after having read someone's teaser on a previous Teaser Tuesday. The teaser was here. I use Goodreads to keep track of the books that I want to read because I usually find them online! Please feel free to add me if you're also a member! I love to get the emails with people's reviews of books. I think my screen name is busweet. Let me know if you try to add me and I've got the wrong screen name!

    After I added Lacemakers to my Goodreads "shelf," then received a lovely message from the author! Now, I know that authors are real people. I write, and I'm a real person. I've even gone to at least one reading/signing. The internet is a wonderful thing, however, and it brings normal people together from all corners of the world. I am constantly amazed that I am worthy of notice by authors. I am honored by their notice. I appreciate their talents and the effort that goes into writing a book.

    All that aside, you're here for a teaser! Here are my two sentences, from page of The Lacemakers of Glenmara: "A pair of Bernie's panties, tangled in the sleeve of Kate's jacket, fell to the floor. The older woman snatched them up. 'Aren't these the most god-awful things? Not fit for the light of day. Elephant drawers, I call them.'" --pg 50

    I'm enjoying this book so far, and even just 70 pages in, I would recommend it. I look forward to finishing it, and I'm hoping that the author will consent to do an interview or a blog post for me!

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Coyote's Mate by Lora Leigh

    Whoooooooo! This one had a serious wet panty factor! I am still cooling off after reading it. If you're looking for an erotic romance novel, this one's for you.

    I had a difficult time at first. I didn't realize that I was jumping into the middle of a story. Since I've finished this, I've read another of Lora Leigh's books. Each of them is a standalone story, but it helps to have read some of the other books in order to puzzle out exactly what the back story is.

    So, I'll give you the Cliff Notes as I see them. First, Leigh's Breed novels are set in the future. There's a group of scientists who have been doing genetic manipulations on people. I don't think they're shifters like we see in Sookie Stackhouse, Riley Jensen, and Mercy Thompson books. None of the characters have shifted in the books I've read so far. However, they've been bred with specific animalistic charactaristics in order to make them better soldiers. There are wolf, coyote, and quite a few feline Breeds that I've encountered so far.

    The biggest factor in the novels is the breeding heat. It makes it impossible for the couples to deny that they are meant for one another and it makes it impossible for them to stay out of bed for very long. I think I'm going to have to write a whole post about how I feel about this type of story later, so I'll keep my opinions to myself for now.

    I put this book down in the middle. For some reason, all the militaristic stuff going on quit making sense for me. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the fact that this book is something like the 18th in this particular world, but the first I read of them, maybe it was the things going on in my life at the time. When I went back to pick it up, I finished the rest of the book easily. The characters weren't all that compelling to me, though. I didn't feel like I would have liked to have gotten to know Anya or that I would have liked to date Del-Rey.

    It was a light, fast, erotic, romantic, entertaining read. If you're looking for something to read on an airplane, at bedtime, or when you have some free time, it's perfect. Don't expect anything deep from it!

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Upcoming Book Blogger Appreciation Week

    I am so excited about participating in BBAW next month. I have all sorts of exciting things planned! There will be a giveaway every day, a special review the first day, and a great deal for readers of my blog!

    Check out the main website and see who else is going to be participating in this fun-filled week!

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Teaser Tuesday August 11th Edition

    I'm reading a novel by a Kentucky author! I've felt very enthusiastic about supporting locals lately--local authors, local farmers, local stores. So, here's my teaser:

    "She was Del-Rey's mate. They might have trust issues. She might want to rap his head against a wall. But he was hers, just as she was finally accepting that she belonged to him."
    Coyote's Mate by Lora Leigh
    p. 158

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski

    I literally had both my parents hanging over my shoulder, salivating to read this book when I was finished! They both love James Rollins, and are excited to have a chance to read this now that I'm done.

    Again starring Jon Payne and David Jones, this novel begins with the murder of 7 monks at a monastery in Greece. Nick Dial of Interpol flies in to investigate and teams up with Marcus Andropolous, a local Greek policeman who also works with Interpol.

    In Russia, Allison Tyler witnesses her boss Richard Byrd killed by a contract killer. Payne and Jones get the call this time, and make plans to sneak into the country using fake passports. They find Allison, only to have to avoid the hit man and figure out what Allison's boss was looking for.

    The Lost Throne is a wild ride across Russia, Greece, and parts in between. There is murder, treasure, history, and mystery, all elements of a great thriller. I had a hard time putting it down because I wanted to know what the mystery was all about! There was an intense dose of history involved as well. I love history's mysteries, and Kuzneski did not fail to dig up a mystery I knew nothing about.

    I read another of Kuzneski's books last fall. You can read the review here. I'll admit that I had some criticism of the author's writing at that point. It has definitely improved since he published his last book in 2006. My only criticism of the writing this time was Kuzneski's overuse of the work smirk!

    I did feel as if some of his characters were unrealistic this time around. Payne and Jones had a serious bromance going on. While bromance is fun on TV, it doesn't carry over well in novels. I've never known any guys in real life who had a bromance, so it is kind of unbelievable to me. I also had issue with Kuzneski's description of a Russian police officer as someone who would accost a woman. I'm sure it's possible, but that wouldn't fare well for Russia's tourism.

    These are really small nitpicks about the book, though. I really, really enjoyed it and I would highly recommend it, especially if you like James Rollins and Dan Brown!

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    For my first Wordless Wednesday, a photo that I took with my Nikon D40x last month in Chicago. Click on the photo for the full-size image!

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Teaser Tuesday

    This is my first time participating in Teaser Tuesday!

    I am currently reading The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski. I'm really excited about it, and I've already started my review post. It should be up some time in the next week. Here are a couple of sentences from the book to start you off!

    "Toulon laughed. 'Nick, you must realize that Sparta was conquered centuries ago. Today it is a series of crumbled ruins. Nothing more.'"
    p. 101

    Hope you enjoy!