Thursday, September 30, 2010

They're On The Way!

I bought and am expecting 10 more of the Goosebumps books.  Once they arrive, I will begin this series.  I'm intending on reading them in groups of five until I reach the last 12 in the series, at which time I'll read in groups of six.  Once I've finished a group, I will post a review of them.

I thought that if I did it this way, I could put this blog back in regular motion and not keep my followers waiting any longer.

So, bear with me, dear followers ... I am keeping you in the forefront of my mind!

Happy Reading! =)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#94: Goosebumps (series) by R. L. Stine

Series Info:

62 Books in the original Goosebumps series
Number of pages for each book varies
Reading Level: Children, Young Adults

Synopsis:  This series was specifically written to scare you and give you goosebumps (pun intended) ... =)

Reason for being Banned/Challenged:  Surprisingly, this was on the American Library Association's list for being the most challenged between 2000 and 2009.  The complaints against the series indicated that there was 'excessive violence in books intended for children under the age of twelve.'

I am really excited to get all 62 of these books and can not WAIT to start reading them.  I will definitely keep ya'll updated.

Happy Reading! =)

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Challenge To You

I was informed yesterday that Banned Books Week began this past Saturday, September 25th, and ends this coming Saturday, October 2nd.  I was ecstatic that I had already been participating in this event for the past few months now.  Then I got to thinking .... how many other people are participating?

Here is my challenge to you, dear followers and friends of said followers, pick one book that has been banned or challenged and read it this week.  It's okay if you don't finish it by this Saturday, but at least start it and make a commitment to finish it.  If you don't know of any books that are banned or challenged, you can take a look at my previous posts or you can click on my Top 100 List tab at the top of my page.  You may be surprised that some books you already knew about are on this list.

We have to be more open to the stories people have to tell.  You never know what you can learn from someone else, unless you spend time with that person or read their story.

Happy Reading! =)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Slight Pause

The next banned books that are on the list for me to read is the Goosebumps series by R. L. Stine.  There are several Goosebumps series, but I plan to only read the original series.  Having said that, there are 62 books in the original series ... yes, I said 62, that was not a typo. =)

So, while I am in the process of buying all said 62 books (yes, I am that dedicated to the purposes of this blog), I will be reading books and reviewing them for my other blog, Literary R&R.  I currently have four of the 62 books.  I should have the remainder soon, if all goes well.  Understandably, this is the largest series in the Top 100 (thank goodness!!!) so it may take me a little bit.

I will definitely keep ya'll updated.  During the interim, please check out my other blog.

Happy Reading! =)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shade's Children: A Summary

You cannot tell by the title, but if you look at the cover of the book you'll realize the story inside will have a sci-fi feel to it.  Now, I'm not a huge sci-fi fan.  I've not made it thru all of the Star Wars movies or anything.  I tend to find sci-fi somewhat unrealistic and slightly boring.

Upon reading the book, it did turn out to be sci-fi-ish (yes, I just made that word up) but not overly so.  The book was an easy read in that the chapters were not too long and the print was the perfect size for fluid reading ... not too small, but not huge either.  It did have sci-fi terms and names for creatures that only a sci-fi geek would think of (sorry geeksters!).

Banned Reasons:  Vulgarity and for being obscene

I really do not understand how this book can be banned for being vulgar and obscene.  There are a few curse words here and there, but nothing that is overly shocking.  As for being obscene .... I'd like to know which uptight right-wing activist read this book and deemed it 'obscene.'  There was absolutely nothing in this book that was obscene.

One part of the book that may be thought of as "obscene" is the section mentioning the 'Lottery.'  The 'Lottery' is a randomly selected sexual encounter voluntarily participated in by survivors of The Change.  Even though you know there's a 'Lottery,' the book does not go into detail of the sexual encounters being acted out.  It simply explains what the 'Lottery' is and who participates in it.

Overall:  Even though I'm not a big fan of the sci-fi genre, I am glad this book was in the Top 100.  It gave me the chance to read a sci-fi book that I actually enjoyed.  As you can probably tell, I did not agree with the banned reasons.  I think any young adult (around the middle-school age) who likes to read various genres of literature would enjoy this book.  The ending was bittersweet, but well thought out and extremely appropriate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I didn't want too many days to pass without posting something on here. 

I am currently reading Shade's Children.I should be finished with it by Thursday or Friday this week and will post a review then.  After that, it will be time to begin my first series on this list!  =)

Speaking of the list ... I added a page that lists the Top 100 books I am reading for this blog.  If you'd like to read along, please do so.  I would love the "company" and any discussions that arise.

I also added a page for what I'm intending to do after I've finished the Top 100 ... which all depends on you, my dear followers.  So ... don't let me down! =)

Last, but not least, I love having you all as my followers, but I sure would like to have more.  If you know anyone that may appreciate and enjoy my blog, please let them know where I'm at.

Thanks and Happy Reading! =)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Shout Out ...

I am so excited! Yesterday, I was told that I received my very first 'shout out' on another blog!!! =)  When I started this blog I had hoped it would grab people's attention and it looks like it is.

Thank you ~ Paperback Writer ~ for my very first shout out.

Followers, please check out Paperback's blog.  I believe you will enjoy its contents.

Also, I want to mention that I believe my blog could probably use some aesthetic improvements.  I am relatively new to blogging so if you have any suggestions for improvements, I would be more than happy to hear them and take them into consideration.

Thanks everyone! =)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

#95: Shade's Children by Garth Nix

Book Info:

352 Pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
ISBN# 978-0064471961

Synopsis: From what I can tell, this is a sci-fi book about children, evil "overlords" and the ever constant battle of good vs. evil

Reason for being Banned/Challenged:  Vulgarity and for being obscene

I am currently reading and about to finish a book that I will be posting a review of on my other blog, Literary R&R.  I would love for all those following this blog to follow my other blog as well.  The url is  As soon as I've finished the book I'm currently reading, I will begin Shade's Children.

Happy Reading All! =)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grendel: A Summary

I don't know what I was exactly expecting from this book, but here's my summary of it...

Summary:  This book focuses on Grendel and the latter part of his existence.  It's told in first person from Grendel's point of view.

Banned Reasons:  I couldn't find anything online that specifically stated why this book was banned or challenged.  I did find where people suggested it was banned/challenged due to Grendel's violence and view of the world.

Do I agree with the book being banned/challenged?  In a way, yes.

As I read a book, I generally picture it in my mind as I'm reading.  I found the depiction of Grendel's violence in the book a little disturbing.  Whether my disturbed feelings came from the actual reading of the book or the pictures in my mind I was creating as I was reading the book I'm not sure, but I feel it may have been a little bit of both.  Because I would not have created those images in my mind if the scenes I was reading weren't so aptly depicted.

As for Grendel's view of his world and that around him ... I'm sure there are people that think and believe as Grendel, but the majority of people I know have a stronger basis in reality than Grendel.  At first, Grendel believed that there was one Being that created everything and everyone.  As he got older, those beliefs didn't suit Grendel.  I believe it may have been because Grendel was going thru his pubescent phase where a lot of questions arise about self and people in general.  He felt his life was out of control, so to gain a semblance of control, Grendel started believing that his world was what he said it was.  For example, he would believe a tree existed because he said it did.  In essence, he was "playing" God in his mind and he was becoming self-delusional enough to believe it to be true.

I found myself feeling a little sad for Grendel.  He had nobody to speak with, nobody to confide in and those he tried to speak to viewed him as monstrous and were afraid of him.  Grendel was lonely and his loneliness assisted in his viewing the world as he did... where only he existed and everything existed because of him.

Overall:  While this book may not be politically or socially correct, I did enjoy the book.  I think anybody at an advanced reading level (no matter the age) would be able to read and understand the book... even if they didn't agree with story.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

#96: Grendel by John Gardner

Book Info:

174 Pages
Reading Level:  I could not find a definitive answer on this.  I saw where some said 12th grade, while others had grade schoolers reading the book.  This will be something I will have to answer when writing my summary.
ISBN# 978-0-679-72311-0

Synopsis:  A re-telling of the infamous poem Beowulf, but from Grendel's, the antagonist's, point of view.

Reason for being Banned/Challenged:  Again, could find nothing really definitive, but I did see where some people had issues with the book's depiction of violence and its hateful viewpoints.

Well, for those that know me, I'm all about the rebel and going against the grain so it'll be interesting to read this book and give my opinion about it.

Stay tuned!  I promise it won't take as long as #97! =)

The House of the Spirits: A Summary

Wow.  First, let me say that I am extremely grateful that I pushed thru and finished this book today.  I feel like a weight has been lifted in finishing this book.  I do not like to drag out the reading of a book for so long.  You've waited patiently for ... a little over two months to get my review.  That amount of time is not acceptable and, hopefully, will never happen again.  Let's get on with it...

Summary:  The book is a story spread out over an extended period of time.  It begins with a little girl and finishes with that little girl's granddaughter.  It is the life story of a family.  It explores the relationships between them all: good, bad, sad, happiness, abuse, anger ... everything.  It's also important to point out that it also covers this family's involvement of a political and governmental upheaval.  I don't recall that the country the story is based in was ever actually mentioned, but it was definitely of the Mexican/Latin persuasion.

Banned Reasons:  Sexually explicit and offensive language

I am torn between agreeing and disagreeing with the banned reasons.  On the one hand, there are sexual references, and scenes, in the book.  However, they are not as explicitly depicted as in an erotic volume of literature.  The references are written so that you know what's going on, but yet it still doesn't go into graphic detail.

As for the "offensive language"... children riding a school bus probably hear more offensive language than what's written in this book.  I'm not saying offensive language is acceptable, but I would be blind if I thought school-aged children do not curse.  They do.  And the language in this book is no worse than what a child hears or says at school.

Overall:  The book started out slow, then became more interesting and easier to read.  However, by the time the middle of the 10th chapter came around, I was utterly bored yet again.  It picked up one last time towards the end of the last chapter and in the Epilogue.

I think the reason I found it boring was because of the military garble and the depiction of the uprising of the country's government.  Yes, I understand that's an important time in a country's existence, but .... it put me to sleep.  Thus my struggle in finishing it.

With the recommended reading level being Young Adult, I would say that I agree with that.  By the time a child reaches the Young Adult age (say around 13 or 14), they've pretty much heard or said everything that's written in this book language-wise and relation-wise.

Still Here...

I have not abandoned my reading of the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books. I know it seems that way. I am simply trying to force myself to finish the book I'm STILL reading; The House of the Spirits. I am on the next-to-last chapter so it shouldn't be too much longer before I have a review. Although, as you can probably tell, it won't be a good one.

Please hang in there with me. I am still working on this list of books. I have not forgotten, nor will I quit! I will push thru and make it to the end! I'm just glad I didn't give myself a time limit!

Happy Reading all!