Friday, September 30, 2011

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

iconThe first I heard of this book was when I saw it in my library's new ebook acquisitions, but I thought it looked intriguing, so I decided to try it out.

As I Wake is about a teenage girl who wakes up having lost her all her memories to amnesia.  The doctors can't explain what happened or why, but all she knows is that nothing about her life feels right.  As memories begin to come back to her, she becomes convinced that she is not the person her mom and friends say she is.

The way the book is written works very well with the plot.  The narration is pretty spare, and jumps back and forth between Ava's current life and her memories, as they begin to come back to her.  What I think is so amazing is that as the reader, you start out having no flippin' clue what is going on, yet still the author makes it so compelling that you can't help but keep reading, at least hoping that eventually you'll figure it all out.

It's the kind of book that's had me thinking about the implications for a long time after I finished.  I don't want to spoil anything by revealing what is going on, but honestly, I'm still not even sure — I've been working out some of the details in my head.  I like how the author doesn't draw a direct line from the questions she posed (Who am I? Where am I? etc.) to the answers, but leaves you to figure it out yourself, even though by the end of the book you still feel like you don't have all the answers.  The entire thing is genius.

Definitely a very different sort of YA dark fantasy.  Kudos to Elizabeth Scott for coming up with something so original!  I think a lot of teens and adults would enjoy this — it's quite the puzzle, trying to figure out what's going on!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

iconiconI've had this book on my "must read soon" shelf on my Nook for months, but I finally got around to reading it this week — mainly because this is Banned Books Week, and The Hunger Games was one of the top 10 challenged books in 2010.  I always try to read at least one challenged book to celebrate this week, and usually end up reading others on the list later on.

As far as challenged books go, I think I enjoyed The Hunger Games more than any other book I've ever read for Banned Books Week.  I mean, WOW.  This book is a tense ride that grips you from beginning to end.

The book presents a futuristic, dystopian view of America, where a capitol has been established in the center of 12 "districts."  Each one produces something different for the capitol, and depending on what they produce, some of the districts are much poorer than others.  Katniss comes from a district that mines coal, and is therefore very poor — starving to death is a very real threat for those in her district.  Since her father was killed in a mining accident when she was just a child, Katniss has learned to scratch out a living for her mother, sister, and herself, mostly by poaching.

And then there are the games.  The Hunger Games are a punishment for a rebellion that happened years and years ago.  Every year, a lottery chooses 2 kids in every district, a boy and a girl, to come to the Capitol and fight, gladiator-style, against all the other districts' chosen kids.  The last kid alive wins.  The entire thing is televised and viewed as entertainment, but it's also a sinister reminder that the Capitol is in control.

Katniss initially volunteers to protect her 12-year-old sister, who is chosen in the lottery.  She knows she has a better chance at surviving than Prim, since she has been hunting all of these years to support her family.  She goes into the games trying to stay detached, knowing she is going to have to kill or be killed, but as the games progress, she comes to view her situation a little... differently.  That's all I'm going to say, because I don't want to spoil the novel by revealing some of the critical changes that take place in Katniss's outlook.  Suffice it to say that I sobbed my eyes out in the cafe at Barnes & Noble while reading one of those critical scenes.

I already knew that this book was challenged due to the violence, but I was surprised to learn that it was called "sexually explicit" too.  Uh, sure, if kissing is consider sexually explicit...  But while that argument may be BS, you can't really argue that this book isn't violent.  I've heard people say that the violence is "vague," that the book tends to "fade to black" or not describe it, and honestly, I don't think that's true at all.  The violence isn't described in every gory little detail, but it is described.  It's generally a quick description, because that's the way the main character, Katniss, narrates — she is very terse and to the point about everything.  Having lived a hard life, emotions and even taking the time to present something in proper detail is simply something she can't afford.

But I think this is what gets to the heart of the matter.  It's not the violence that those who challenge this book are objecting to — teens read plenty of books far more violent and scary than these books.  Heck, many kids movies (PG and PG-13) are more violent and scarier than these books.  But what I think is so shocking to some people is the hard, matter-of-fact way that Katniss describes everything, including the violence she has to defend herself against, and even perpetrate, in order to stay alive.

The thing is, there are plenty of places in the world, and even in our country, where kids grow up on the brink of starvation, learning violence in order to keep themselves alive.  So what are the challenges against this book supposed to make us think — that parents don't want their kids to know what humans are capable of?  Is it really the "scary" violence that parents are opposed to — or the idea that their kids might develop empathy for people who are forced to live this way?  Because, despite Katniss's rather hardened outlook, that's what this book is getting at: that it's the system that is to blame, while the people should be empathized with.

Interesting thoughts.  Mostly it just infuriates me any time that parents think they have the right to control not only what their kids read, but everyone else's kids, too.  My parents never told me what I could or couldn't read, and I devoured pretty much every book I could get my hands on, reading adult romance and horror by the time I was 12 or 13.  I didn't have nightmares, didn't torture bunny rabbits, didn't turn into a serial murderer or a prostitute.  I did, however, bring my passion for reading and my love of learning — and my empathy — with me into adulthood.

Have you read The Hunger Games?  What are your thoughts on it being challenged — and what are your thoughts on banning books in general?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Luxe only $2.99

iconiconBright Young Things is no longer free, now that the sequel, Beautiful Daysicon, has been released, but you can still get the author's first novel (from her first series) for only $2.99.  Click here to read my original review of The Luxe, which I enjoyed very much.  Don't delay, though — we are nearing the end of the month, so this sale is likely to end in the next few days!

What does your bookshelf say about you?

A friend on Facebook linked to this article over the weekend:

Snooping in the Age of E-book

Have you ever done this?  Gone over to a friend's house, and found yourself checking out their bookshelves?  I have to admit I do note how a friend organizes their books, and what kind of condition they keep them in (I am OCD about reading my books very carefully so that they always look new).  But I also like to see what a friend's interests are, what books they like... and am often disappointed by how many of my friends don't read much at all.

I hadn't considered how ebooks might affect this habit.  Of course, if you have the Nook or buy your books through Barnes & Noble, you can show your library on your My B&N page, but that requires you to want to actively share your library with your friends.  Aside from that, snooping through your friend's e-reader might be the only way to explore their library (and that won't tell you anything about how they like to organize their physical books, or how careful they are with their books when they read).

But I have to say, I think that choosing ebooks says something about somebody.  To me, it indicates that they are not afraid of technology, that they like to stay on top of technological advancements, and that they like convenience.

I also collect physical books, of course, and that hasn't changed since I started buying ebooks.  I think that probably says that I have an appreciation for physical books, especially beautiful physical books, and their history.

What does your book collection — physical and virtual — say about you?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flapper by Joshua Zeitz

iconiconI started this book two months ago, reading it as part of my research for the novel I'm working on, but I ended up getting distracted.  For weeks I didn't touch it — or my novel, for that matter.  Finally, after some work on my novel this week renewed my interest, I finished the last half of the book in a couple of days.

This is the second book on the 1920s that I read as research for my novel — the first was Anything Goes by Lucy Moore.  They were very similar books, but also rather different.  For example, Flapper focused more on how the image of the flapper was created and became so influential, with chapters on Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the role of advertisers and artists, and movie stars such as Connie Moore, Clara Bow, and Louise Brooks.  Anything Goes talked a bit about those things, but with a more general focus on the 1920s, including information about Prohibition and the American economy.

I would highly recommend both books for anyone researching the 1920s.  They are both very well written, very engaging, with well-organized chapters.  Both books contributed lots of good information for my novel's setting!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Banned Books Week!

Banned Books WeekIt's here!  Today is the first day of Banned Books Week.  (I wonder why it starts on Saturday and running through Friday, instead of starting on Monday and running through the weekend?)

Most years I don't find out about Banned Books Week until midway through the week, but this year I found out a few days early.  I have another post with a list of the top 10 challenged books of 2010, and also a post with a short list of cheap and free ebook versions of the most frequently challenged books.  There aren't many listed in the latter post, I'm afraid — most frequently challenged books are not yet in the public domain, so there aren't very many that have free versions available.  Also, ebook prices seem to have gone up over the last year or so, so there aren't very many ebooks under $5, either, even among the older books.

To celebrate Banned Books Week, I'm planning to read The Hunger Games, one of the top challenged books of 2010.  What about you?  Are you going to try to read one of the books on the list, and if so, which one?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cheap and free challenged ebooks

In honor of Banned Books Week, I've decided to put together a list of cheap and free frequently challenged ebooks.  I can't be the only avid reader who has to carefully watch my book-buying budget, so here is a list for those who (like me) can't afford to spend too much, even in honor of such an important week!

For the sake of this particular list, I'm going to define "cheap" as $5 or under.  The free list is self-explanatory, and is almost entirely made up of classics.

Free challenged ebooks

These are public domain books that offered free via sites like Project Gutenberg.  You can also pay for versions with notes and commentary, but if you're just looking for the text of the book, the free versions should do just fine!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Cheap challenged ebooks

* Note that I don't know whether any of these are sale prices or permanent prices, so if you are interested in an ebook, I recommend buying it immediately!

Slaughterhouse Fiveicon by Kurt Vonnegut — $4.79
Cat's Cradleicon by Kurt Vonnegut — $3.99
Junie B. Jonesicon series by Barbara Park — each book is $4.99 or less

I was surprised so few books fell in the cheap category, even the older challenged books.  I think it probably has to do with a significant shift in the pricing-ebooks mentality that has occurred in the past year.  A lot of ebooks now cost several dollars more than they did last year.

Hopefully you thrifty, banned-books-celebrating readers out there can find something on this list to interest you.  If not, be sure to check your library, as many libraries now have extensive ebook collections — many of the books on the frequently challenged books lists are available on ebook through my library.

To help you in your search, here are the lists from the ALA:

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009
100 most frequently challenged books: 1990-1999
Banned and Challenged Classics

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Banned Books Week is coming up!

For once I'm ahead of the game!  Usually I don't realize it's Banned Book Week until it's already partway through the week.  Not this year!

Banned Books Week 2011 starts this Saturday, September 24, and ends October 1.  The ALA lists the top banned books by year, so I already found out what the top ten for 2010 were:

1) And Tango Makes Threeicon, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianicon, by Sherman Alexie
3) Brave New Worldicon, by Aldous Huxley
4) Crankicon, by Ellen Hopkins
5) The Hunger Gamesicon, by Suzanne Collins
6) Lushicon, by Natasha Friend
7) What My Mother Doesn't Knowicon, by Sonya Sones
8) Nickel and Dimedicon, by Barbara Ehrenreich
9) Revolutionary Voicesicon, edited by Amy Sonnie
10) Twilighticon, by Stephenie Meyer

And Tango Makes Three, a kids' picture book about a non-traditional family, has been first or second on the list every year since 2006.  Sad, but not surprising for our homophobic country.  Revolutionary Voices also supports gay culture, so it's not surprising that it's on this list, either — although it's an older book, I expect some teachers must have tried to teach it in class, and caused an uproar.

I'm not sure what Nickel and Dimed is doing on this list — it's an adult nonfiction book, not to mention an older book, about how it's actually pretty much impossible to pay even the minimum living expenses on minimum wage jobs.  I guess parents don't want their kids knowing how important college is?  Though I suppose it's more likely that they don't want their kids knowing how poor the poor really are in our supposedly great country.

Every year I try to read at least one book on the list.  On this year's list, I've already read Twilight and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (and I'm really not sure what landed the latter on this list), and of course Nickel and Dimed.  I'm intrigued by Crank, Lush, and What My Mother Doesn't Know, but I think this week I'll probably read The Hunger Games, since I already have it and it's been on my reading list for quite some time now.

What about you?  Will you celebrate Banned Books Week by reading one of the top ten challenged books for 2010 — or one of the frequently challenged classics — and if so, what are you planning to read?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kindle now supports library books

I was surprised to see this blog post this morning, over on Books on the Knob: Kindle books now available in 11,000 libraries.  As expected, the library's epub files aren't converted into Kindle format — instead, the library directs you back to Amazon, where you download the ebook you just "checked out" directly from them.  The file is different from the ebooks you buy only in that it has an expiration date.

There is apparently only one restriction: you can only transfer the file to your Kindle via wifi or USB.  I guess since you aren't paying for the ebook, Amazon didn't want to pay for 3G transfers.

I checked my library, and sure enough, they now have separate listings for Kindle ebooks.  I'm confused as to how it affects the library catalog though.  I think, even though there is a separate link for checking out or placing a hold on an Amazon copy, Kindle users still have to get in line with those who are checking out the regular epub version.  It's not a separate queue, in other words.  But that's confusing, because it used to be a separate queue for epub versus PDF, and the library catalog would tell you how many copies and holds were on each version.  Now, on epub-only ebooks, that information is at the top, but I wonder how they'll differentiate on listings that have both epub/Kindle and PDF?

If you haven't checked out ebooks from the library, or haven't checked your library's ebook catalog yet today, you probably don't know what I mean.  I do encourage you to head over to your library's website and check it out.

As much as I despise Amazon (and, by association, Kindle), I am at least glad to see that they followed through on their promise to make library ebooks available on their e-reader.  I do love seeing what strides ebooks are making, because it's a sign that they are becoming more accepted!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

iconiconLois Lowry's The Giver is one of my all-time favorite YA books, so when I saw that my library had acquired the ebook of Gossamer, I decided to check it out.  It's a short book, only 88 pages on my Nook, but it's a very sweet, heartwarming story.

The book is about fairies, for lack of a better word, who give people dreams.  Littlest is only a child, and is just learning to give dreams for the first time.  She is assigned to a house with a lonely old woman and her dog.  When the old woman fosters a troubled 8-year-old boy, it's up to Littlest to combat the sinisteeds, who bring nightmares, by making him stronger with good dreams.

The description of the book says this is a good book for younger readers who aren't yet ready for The Giver, but I disagree.  I think it's a great book for all ages.  Older readers and adults will get through it more quickly, obviously, but I think they'll get as much out of it as younger readers (if not more, because there are a lot of details that I don't think younger readers will pick up on).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable

iconiconNote: On Barnes & Noble's website, the ebook listing for this book is separate from the hardcover listing, for some reason, but you can find it here: Good Old Dog ebookicon.

We have two dogs who are getting older, one of whom has hip dysplasia and is therefore showing her age more rapidly than the other. So I was naturally very interested when I saw Good Old Dog in our library's ebook collection.

The book has chapters on the most common issues that owners of older dogs encounter: diet, cancer, heart problems, joint problems, and so on.  Since I was looking for specific information, this made it really easy to just read the chapters I actually needed (although I did skim most of the rest).  I found the chapter on joint problems quite helpful — it talks in detail about the medications available, as well as other ways you can keep your dog comfortable as long as possible.  Surgery is approached as a last resort, although the author does say not to delay necessary surgery because you think your dog is too old, because older dogs actually do much better than you'd think with surgery.  The vet has to be more cautious with anesthesia, obviously, but older dogs tend to recover just fine from surgery.

The chapter on dementia was also very interesting.  Grace (our white shepherd, the one with hip dysplasia) could be showing the early signs of this, although it sounds like the only way to be sure is to completely rule out physical and training issues first.  Since her discomfort and failing eyesight could certainly be causing all but one of the issues we're seeing, we probably need to get her into the vet sometime soon for a physical, a blood panel, and some advice on making her more comfortable.

This is a fantastic book full of good information, and ought to be required information for anyone with an older dog!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts

iconiconAs a horse owner, how could I say no to the image of a horse jumping on the cover of this book?  When I saw The Eighty-Dollar Champion on my library's list of new ebooks, I was hooked even before reading the description.

It was a fascinating biography of Snowman, a plow horse rescued off a kill truck in 1956.  His new owner, Harry de Leyer, was actually looking for a calm lesson horse for his students, which Snowman was, without a doubt.  But when he tried to sell him to a neighbor a few miles down the road at the end of the school season, it became obvious that Snowman had more potential than just packing beginners around — day after day, he jumped fence after fence to get back to Harry's house, until Harry decided to buy him back.

He started teaching Snowman to jump, and when it turned out that Snowman could really jump, Harry started taking him to shows.  And Snowman, who was bred to work and who had never done any show jumping before, ended up winning the championship — though he was still just as happy to go back to packing kids around on the off season.

The book is a well-written biography of Snowman, Harry, and the rest of the de Leyer family, but it's also a well-researched book about the world of horses and showing.  If you love horses, you will love this book!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Incognito by Gregory Murphy

iconiconI mentioned in my last review that I was feeling a little tired of romance novels, which I'd been reading a lot of lately — partly from my mom's influence, since I checked out several ebooks for her from the library, and decided to read them myself.

Incognito — a historical novel I checked out for myself — provided a much-needed break from all the intense, angsty romance.  While there was still an underlying theme of romance, it wasn't the main point of the story.  In the novel, a lawyer assigned to help a wealthy widow take a small, seemingly insignificant piece of property away from a young woman becomes interested in the real story of who she is, and why the widow is so obsessed with taking her property.  At the same time, he is struggling with the truth of his own life: his loveless marriage, his strained relationship with his father, and the mystery of his half-buried memories of his mother, who died when he was just a child.

After reading all that romance, the style was astonishingly succinct, the lack of passion almost surprising — but it was a lovely historical novel, suspenseful and fast-moving.  As my mom (who read it too) pointed out, not a single chapter is wasted — there is always something happening in each one.  If you like historical fiction and novels about unraveling the mysteries of a character's past, this is one you will enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Devil's Highlander by Veronica Wolff

iconiconWhen my mom got her Nook Color recently, she started checking library ebooks out under my account.  When her holds come in, I just download the book and help her put it on her Nook.  (Thankfully we live close to one another and see each other often!)  One of the ebooks she checked out was Devil's Highlander, which looked like fun, so I decided to read it too.

The "Devil's Highlander" is Cormac MacAlphin, who has suffered ever since his twin brother Aidan was kidnapped into slavery when they were 10.  You practically can't have a romance novel without some degree of angst, so of course both Cormac and Marjorie, who were playing together as kids when Aidan was mistaken for a chimney sweep, both blamed themselves for Aidan's abduction.

It was, as I thought it would be, fun — a fast read that only took me a couple of days, and that was with me not having a lot of time to read (my husband Michael has been on vacation this week, and has been home distracting me).  I might even read the next book, Devil's Own, which is (of course) about Aidan.  But first, I need a break from romance — I've been reading too much of it lately, and feel like I need to read something a little more thoughtful for a change.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ingenue by Jillian Larkin

iconiconNearly a year ago, I read the first book of Jillian Larkin's series The Flappers — Vixen — thanks to Barnes & Noble's First Look program, which allowed forum members to read and discuss advance copies of upcoming books.  I love the 1920s — I even had a 1920s-themed wedding — so I was thrilled with how captivating and well-researched Vixen was.

I totally forgot to look out for future books, though, so I was surprised and thrilled to see that the newest installment had already come out.  Ingenue is about what happens to the girls — Gloria, Lorraine, Clara, and Vera — after the shocking end of the first novel.  Whereas Vixen took place in Chicago, in Ingenue the girls have all made their way to New York in some way or another, and the stakes have become much deeper as they've all gotten more firmly entrenched in the more dangerous aspects of 1920s culture.

Interestingly, although I always felt like Gloria was the main character in Vixen, the same doesn't feel true in Ingenue.  While the focus of the events of the book surround Gloria and her love interest, the book itself focuses more on developing the other characters, especially that of Vera, who didn't come in until the very end of Vixen.  I found I liked Clara more and more — she was the country cousin, the flapper-gone-bad who was banished to live with her privileged cousin Gloria in the first book.  In Ingenue, she finds herself unable to resist the draw of the flapper culture, despite the way it'd burned her in the past — except this time, she's doing it with an admirable purpose (and one I can relate to) in mind.

The end of this book is even more explosive than the end of Vixen, and I'm eagerly awaiting the third book, Diva, due out in 2012.  I don't know how many books there will be in The Flappers series, but I feel like the stakes are getting higher with every book!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Speaking of 1920s novels...

iconiconI just finished reading Ingenue by Jillian Larkin (review to be posted tomorrow), so it seemed like lovely timing to see this deal finally hit Barnes & Noble: the ebook of Bright Young Things, the first book in Anna Godbersen's newest YA series, available for free to promote the next book in the series, Beautiful Daysicon.

I read this book early this year, when I was gearing up to write a 1920s novel of my own.  I've been doing even more research, and even started working on my novel, this summer, so this particularly freebie is nicely timed — I think I might reread the book.  You can read my original review here: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen.

This freebie has been available over on Amazon for at least a week as a pre-order, and I'd given up hope of it ever coming to Barnes & Noble.  It is, however, an agency title, and may not be available as a freebie much longer. — all depends on when the publisher pulls the plug.  Don't delay in downloading this one!

Note 9/26/2011: Now that Beautiful Daysicon, the second book in Anna Godbersen's new series, has been released (as of the 20th of this month), Bright Young Things is no longer free.  The image link above will take you to the regular edition of this novel, which costs $8.99 as of this writing.

Sex and the Kitty by Nancy the Cat

iconiconIf the title and author on the cover of this book don't give it away, Sex and the Kitty is a little tongue-in-cheek.  It's essentially a pet memoir written from the point of view of the pet — who is still very much alive, by the way, so this isn't the kind of "pet memoir" that ends in tears.  It's a hilarious account of an adventurous young female cat who has big dreams.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Nancy's owner started out keeping a Facebook page and a blog under Nancy's name.  Seems like little Nancy is quite well known in her area — and is especially famous for visiting the local pubs, and hopping in people's cars and going home with them.  Her "meowmoir" fills in the gaps, when she was MIA from her owner's house, with adventures in her quest to become famous.

It's quite the unique idea, and I love Nancy's (or her owner's... though we don't want to offend Nancy by saying that too loudly, shhhhhh) sense of humor.  Anyone who owns cats will definitely "get" all the cat humor (though it may take a slightly more refined sense of humor to get the rest of it, such as the bits about the artist cat who has replaced his name with a paw print).  And I have to say that it's so nice, for once, not to read a pet memoir that ends with me sobbing into a box of tissues!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann

iconiconMy mom wanted me to check the ebook of Infamous out from the library for her Nook Color, so I ended up reading it, too.  And actually, I enjoyed it very much.  It's either romance or romantic suspense, with a little bit of a supernatural twist.  Alison Carter is a professor of history and considers herself an expert on Silas Quinn and the (supposed) outlaw Jamie Gallagher, but now Jamie's great-grandson, A.J. — who shouldn't even exist, according to how Quinn told the story — is trying to convince her that everyone's got it wrong.  The catch: A.J. is being haunted by Jamie's ghost until he gets the job done.

There's a lot more than just that going on, though.  On the set of the movie being made about Quinn — based on Alison's book, which she's now being told is all wrong — Alison witnesses something she shouldn't, and winds up with some very dangerous criminals trying to silence her.  It's up to A.J. — and Jamie! — to protect her.

For a book that wasn't originally on my reading list at all, I really enjoyed Infamous.  It's good fun — but be warned, it has some pretty descriptive sex scenes in it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

One Book, One Denver: The Art of Racing in the Rain

iconiconFor several years now, Denver has been doing a program called "One Book One Denver," which is designed to promote reading in our city.  Every summer a book is chosen, and lots of book club discussions and other events focus on the book.  In 2008, I read the book selection, The Thin Man, but most years I haven't been.  I figure I don't need any encouragement to be part of a book culture!

Yesterday, however, I was pleased to see that The Art of Racing in the Rain was chosen for this year's One Book One Denver.  I read the book a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it.  It's told from the point of view of the dog, but in such a way that it's totally believable, but totally dog-like too.  We have a pretty strong dog-friendly culture here in Denver, so I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that a book with a dog as the main character was chosen!

If you haven't yet read this book, I highly recommend it — even if you aren't in Denver!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Complete ebook edition of The Lord of the Rings

iconiconI found this ebook edition of The Lord of the Rings about a week ago, and immediately bought it.  As far as I can tell, it's the only ebook edition that contains the complete trilogy, and at $18.99, it's a pretty good deal.  (To buy the ebook editions of all three books in the trilogy separately would cost you $29.97, since all three are $9.99 each.)  I wish more series would come out with "boxed sets" in ebook edition that offer discounts like this!

Another reason why I bought it: It's the same text as the special Millennium Edition box set I own.  For that edition, the publisher had corrected the changes American publishers made without Tolkien's permission.  It feels like this edition is more correct, somehow, so I like having it in ebook form as well as my collector's edition.  I've already read my box set 3 times, and it's starting to show a little wear from that — though not much, because I'm very careful with my books.  Still, it'll be nice to have the ebook edition next time I decide to reread this classic!

Last time I read The Lord of the Rings, I did review it briefly on this blog.  You can read my review my clicking on the text link here.  It's been a while...  I'm thinking I might need to reread it again soon!