Banned Book Week Sept 25-Oct 2

September 25th through October 2nd is the 29th Annual Celebration of the Freedom to Read Books. You can find the complete list of books that have been banned or challenged for 2009-2010 here. I have to admit that this one area that I have mixed feelings about, I am in support of the rights of authors to write whatever they want, they shouldn’t be censored in their content or their style. That being said, I also think that there are age appropriate books and some content is not appropriate for younger readers.  I like to think I take more of a middle ground on the issue, I don’t think Harry Potter or The Twilight Series focus too much on the occult and shouldn’t be allowed in public education libraries but having read books like Push, not everything should be allowed in the libraries. Okay, now you know my opinion what do you think?

Despite my mixed feelings about Banned Books, I enjoyed looking through the lists and decided to post some of my favorite banned books from 2009-2010:

House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee Harper.

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead.

Mirriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Really people?! Some parent was upset because their child looked up a definition, if they don’t look it up in a dictionary where else will they get their information, obviously you aren’t telling them what all the words mean.)

Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer.

ttyl by Lauren Myracle.

Only in Your Dreams: A Gossip Girl Novel by Cicely Von Ziegesar.

Since I didn’t participate last year I thought I would include some good books from 2008-2009:

My Brother Sam Is Dead by James and Christopher Collier.

To Kill A Mockingbird (again).

Wicked by Gregory Maguie.

Twilight Series (again).

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

More information about the banned books and banned book week can be found at:

American Library Association Banned Book week

Banned Book Week.org

Banned Books.com

My goal is to read at least one of the books from this list in the next month and I challenge you to do so the same.  I will be reading a book from the PC and Kristin Cast House of Night Series (I have to confess it is already in my TBR pile). What are you going to read?

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Since I prepared this post, there has been a lot of talk about an article that was written by Wesley Scroggins about several novels he felt were inappropriate for young readers and should not be included in the school curriculum. While I don’t agree with his sentiments, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, you can read the article that has caused so much furor here.

The novel that has everyone so upset is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, having both read the book and watched the movie (which stars Kristen Stewart, who did a fabulous job and shows she can act), I felt like the novel tactfully but truthfully handled a tough subject like rape and the emotional repercussions.  I originally read the book for my adolescent literature class while working my bachelor’s degree and was so impressed with it that I had my two younger sisters who were still in high school read it. Then we all got together and watched the movie together. I have to admit I am a fairly conservative individual, I don’t agree that adolescents should have access to everything because sometime things need to be discussed to either put them into perspective or make sure any questions are answered.  That being said, I do feel like it was a novel that was appropriately done and had my sisters read and watch it so they could understand how not speaking up about rape can negatively impact the individual who has been raped and completely change them. I felt my sisters needed be prepared in case they ever found themselves in that same situation or in case they noticed one of their friends changing and could be prepared to help them.

Before you make a judgment on this issue I strongly advise you to read the book so you can form your own opinion.  The description from the publisher:

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

If you are interested to see what others have to say about this book and the article or to be entered to win a copy of Speak check out these other sites:

La Femme Readers, Mundie Moms, Book Faery, Blkosiner’s Book Blog, Late Bloomer Online, The Story Siren, The Bookologist, The Contemps, or Once Upon a Bookcase.

The Sorcerer’s Songs by Kiki Howell Review

Adam has spent years on the road, traveling from musical gig to musical gig. In The Sorcerer’s Song by Kiki Howell, Adam has the gift of singing spells, tapping into the emotions of his listeners to evoke more powerful emotions.  One night, feeling very lonely, he sings about the girl he left behind when he discovered his power and left his home town.  Fearing he has sung her back to the home town, he finds himself finally returning home.

Stacey spent years recovering from the hole Adam’s abandonment left in her life.  She is now a successful attorney in a big city but finds herself returning home to finally deal with the house her parents left her.  Running into Adam on her first day back was not part of the plan but Stacey finds herself drawn to Adam once again but can she trust her heart again?

I loved the inspiration of this novel being a song written by the author’s husband.  Kiki does a wonderful job of weaving the story with the lyrics of various songs.  I also loved how Adam was irritated to be referred to as a siren, which is exactly what I thought of when I started reading about his powers. Reading the novel reminded me of listening to a song, some parts flowed smoothly and some parts felt slightly hazy like a good jazz solo. It is a novella, so a shorter story then most I review but was a good quick read.

Rating:

Title: The Sorcerer’s Songs

Author: Kiki Howell

Format:  ebook novella

Page Nos.: 90

ISBN:

Publisher: Fido Publishing

Release Date:

Available for purchase:

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

“Weathervanes”

Songs
1. Hello Old Friend
2. Weathervanes
3. Gray
4. A Lot Like That
5. Change
6. In America
7. The Road
8. Brand New To Me
9. Sick Of You co-written by Kirstein Howell
10. The One Job
11. In Tommy’s Name
12. My Shoes
13. I Won’t Be Home For Christmas co-written by Aaron Boyle and Amanda Pfeiffer
14. Laundromat w/ Alethea Brown
Recordered at: Jonasol Studios
Engineered by: Dustin Simmons
Cover Photo: D.L. Merone (exposureart.com)
Steven Howell, BMI 2009
Buy Links: The Sorcerer’s Song in eBook formats can be purchased athttp://fidopublishing.com/store/catalog/ and most other retailers where ebooks are sold likehttp://www.amazon.com/,http://www.omnilit.com/,http://www.smashwords.com/, etc.

Also, a trade paperback version of the novella, The Sorcerer’s Songs,  and the CD, Weathervanes, can be purchased through the author only at http://www.kikihowell.com/2010/06/sorcerers-songs-trade-paperback-novella.html

Author Website: http://www.kikihowell.com

Doctor Right by Janet Tronstead Review

Dr. Alex Haven is only in the Alaska for a short-term duty until he moves onto his dream of opening a free clinic in Los Angeles, but can he give up that dream after meeting Nurse Maryann Jenner. In  Doctor Right by Janet Tronsted, Alex’s dream has been to open a free clinic since an accident as a child almost killed him and permanently injured his brother.  Alex is faced with several tough choices, should he choose his childhood dream or should he reevaluate his dreams before he loses a new dream that is right in front of his face.

Maryann decided long ago that when she fell in love it was going to be based on a mutual liking and genetics.  Maryann’s childhood was in constant turmoil because of her parents falling in and out of love regularly. Maryann, not paying attention to who was listening in the small town, made the comment that Alex needed a wife, now she has to work to protect him from all the women determined to catch the attractive doctor. Forced to deal with the women, Maryann starts to realize why Alex is such a create catch but she fears that it is only the situation that is causing her feelings and she fears any strong feelings she might have because those feeling might not last.

Doctor Right is a cute read, continuing the Sons of the Alaska Sun story line, where an special article that ran in a magazine about all the bachelor’s living in Alaska has brought what the locals refer to as the “fancies”, or desperate wealthy women who show up to try and catch a bachelor. Alex’s feelings of survivor guilt and frustrations in dealing with this brother was compelling and understanding. I can easily see how he could confuse guilt with desire to do things. One of the issues involving Dr. Alex regarding his financial situation and his involvement of the community using his finances seemed a bit disjointed from the story and wasn’t resolved adequately for me, this was the only problem I had with the story. Janet’s description of the Alaskan area was great and made me want to visit the area.

Rating:

Title: Doctor Right

Author: Janet Tronstad

Format: Paperback,  eBook

Page Nos.: 224

ISBN: 978-0373876204

Publisher: Steeple Hill

Release Date: September 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Target

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Romance Best Seller on Jeopardy

Romance Best Seller on Jeopardy, Romance Blog by Avon posted that last week (9/16) under Best Sellers for $1200 “A vampire series by Kerrelyn Sparks is punningly titled “Love at” this..”  Can you finish the question?

If you haven’t checked out Pocket After Dark, you should, they are currently allowing you to read The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries and The Laird Who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins.

Elizabeth Hoyt has a new novella out, The Ice Princess.

Good Choice Reading has posted that Nicholas Sparks’ book The Lucky One will begin filming in October, starring Zac Effron as Logan.

Interviews:

Stacey Kade, author of The Ghost and The Goth, at Girls Without a Bookshelf.

Stephanie Draven, author of Poisoned Kisses, at A Journey of Books.

Erin McCarthy, author of The Beast Within, at Fiction Vixen Books.

Diana Cosby, author of His Conquest, at The Lovestruck Novice.

Kody Keplinger, author of The Duff, at Confessions of a Bookaholic.

Shelley Munro, author of The Spurned Viscountess, at Book Faery.

Artist Author, author of Manifest, at Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm.

Giveaways:

The Bookologist is giving away Hush by Eishes Chayil, contest ends Oct. 7.

The Season Blog has posted about several authors contests including Paula Quinn and Christie Kelley and in celebration she is having her own contest.

BookHounds is participating in author Scott Nicholson’s blog tour and Kindle 3 giveaway, contest ends Sept. 22nd.

In the Hammock is participating in the Hatchett Book September giveaway, giving away the three books I posted about earlier.

Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog is giving away Sherrilyn Kenyon’s No Mercy, contest ends Sept. 30th.

History with a Twist is giving away Vicky Shecter, Cleopatra Rules!, contest ends Sept. 30th.

21 Pages is giving away a hardcopy of Erin Bow’s Plain Kate, contest ends Oct. 10th.

Once Upon a Chapter is giving away a signed copy of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Wicked Intentions, contest ends Sept. 24th.

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Teach Me Tonight has posted about the qualifications for entering their Journal of American Culture writing contest for the special edition of Love and Romance in American Culture, you can find out more here.

Once Upon a Bookcase has been listed by Cicsion as one of the Top 10 UK Teen Lit Blogs, congrats to them and you can read the entire list here.

Dear Author has posted about an interview with the CEO of Kobo Books, Kobo is an ereader available through Borders Bookstore, they have a new desktop app out and to celebrate there is a $2.00 off coupon.  The app is free so download it onto your computer and simply type “twodollars” in the checkout section. (I can’t hear “two dollars” without thinking about the movie Better Off Dead “I want my two dollars”, but I digress.)

Want to touch a Kindle before you purchase it? Now you can, Bestbuy is going to be carrying in store the Kindle,  Sony and Nook, so you can touch all of them before you purchase it.  There is no specific date listed when they will have them in store according to Publisher’s Weekly.