Sunday, January 31, 2010

Top Five Reasons I'm Team Damon

Vampire DiariesI guest posted at Zoe's Book Reviews today on the Top Five Reasons I'm Team Damon when it comes to the Vampire Diaries.

Here's a little snippet of the post:

#1 Stefan is the obvious, safe choice. I tend to root for the underdog. Sure, Stefan is more in touch with his "humanity," but I think that Damon doesn't get the credit he deserves for his recognition of and rebuttal to that humanity. And that brings me to...

To find out the other four reasons, and a bonus point, click here and read my guest post at Zoe's Book Reviews. Special thanks to Zoe for letting me post at her blog!

Oh, and tell me. Are you Team Stefan? or are you Team Damon like me?
Vampire Diaries: Team StefanVampire Diaries: Team Damon

OTHER by Karen Kincy [Coming Soon]

Title: Other
Author: Karen Kincy
ISBN: 0738719196
Release Date: 7.1.10

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
There is a sequel called Bloodborn that will be coming out in 2011, so yeah, it totally is.

What is the basic concept?
(from author's website)
I can’t last much longer. It’s been one week, three days, and I forget how many hours.

My belly cramps, and I curl on my bed, staring out at the stars. A delicious breeze glides through my window and cools my sweaty forehead. The air smells of summer–mowed grass, recent rain, lingering barbecue–and tempts me more than I want to admit. Shards of moonlight and shadow shift on the wall. I clench my teeth and toes and try to ride out the pain. My bedroom drifts counterclockwise, and I shut my eyes.

It can’t be good for me, not shapeshifting.

Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate–into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and–most importantly–stay alive.

Is the cover art favorable?
It's intriguing to me. I'll be honest - this is one of those books where the title made me skip over it, but the cover brought me back.

What are some of the author's other works?
OTHER is her debut novel, and a sequel, BLOODBORN comes out in the fall of next year!

Preorder OTHER at Amazon Book Depo Changing Hands
You can Meet the Characters from OTHER on Karen's website.
Find an interview and the first five pages at Liyanaland.
Take the quiz to find out what kind of OTHER you are... I am a Dryad apparently.
What Other are you?
Your Result: Dryad

You are a dryad! A tree-spirit from Greece, you love all things green and have the ability to inhabit trees--you can even puppet their branches, which comes in handy when pesky people venture too near. You and your family have spread from your homeland in search of the oldest forests. Chloe, the best friend of Gwen in OTHER, is fond of sleeping in big-leaf maple trees in Klikamuks, Washington.

What Other are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Amazon Removes Macmillan Books [News]

According to the New York Times, Amazon and Macmillan have been in a pricing dispute over ebooks for almost a year. Macmillan wants Amazon to raise the prices of their ebooks for Kindle from $9.99 to around $15. "A person in the industry with knowledge of the dispute, which has been brewing for a year, said Amazon was expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books," says the article.

It goes on to say that antitrust lawyers say that there may be legal implications because Macmillan has signed on to provide ebooks for Apple's iPad. If they choose to withhold books from Amazon, but not Apple, there may be a lawsuit. It looks like Amazon is the one instigating the removal this time, but who knows what the future holds?

I personally think that pulling a publisher's books from your site is a little extreme, and a little childish. It doesn't seem like a good negotiation tactic to me. What do you think?

UPDATE: Macmillan's CEO has posted a memo about Amazon's actions. Thanks to Lisa Mantchev for posting it on Facebook!

New Moon Available For Pre-Order at Amazon [Product News]

Like I was saying when I was telling you guys about the Alice Jewelry at Amazon, I haven't seen New Moon yet. I really am not planning on seeing it until it comes out on DVD. Well, today Amazon emailed us to let us know that it's available for pre-order!

So, if you're like me and remember the mess that was people standing in line the day of Twilight's release to DVD at midnight in order to get their hands on a copy, you might consider pre-ordering it so that it shows up at your doorstep instead. Hey, that's just me though. For some of you, part of the excitement and thrill might be standing in the lines. Who am I to judge? Go have fun! :o)

If you're wondering, it drops March 20. Right now, Amazon has the two-disc DVD priced at $21.99. My favorite thing about pre-ordering from Amazon though is that you get the lowest price it was offered for from the time you placed your order until shipping, when they charge you. They do that with books too, if you didn't know. (I sound like an Amazon commercial! Sorry, I'll stop now!)

What Single Book Have You Read The Most Times? [You're The Expert]

I wasn't much of a reader in my youth. I pretended to read, because I liked to collect books, but I really only read one book over and over again. Lame? Maybe. But I got to know Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl like it was the back of my hand. To this day, it is the only book I have ever read more than once, and I've read it EIGHT times.

How about you? What book have you read the most times? How many times have you read it?

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Dark Divine [Giveaway]

I'm in the mood for a giveaway, dang it. I guess that means it's your win. I took a quick Twitter poll, and my fellow tweeple voted for The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. Ends Feb. 28th. Open Worldwide.

Here's how to enter:

Comment on the Inspection post. (+1)
Retweet this contest (+1)
Post this on your blog (+1 sidebar, +3 blog post)
Subscribe by RSS or Google Follow (new and current +2)
Post this contest somewhere else online (+1 for each place)

Fill out the form below to enter:

Ivy League Romance Novel Course? [News]

According to The New Haven Register, Yale has begun teaching a course on Historical Romance. As part of Yale’s College Seminar Program, where students get undergrad credit for attending seminars at residential colleges, Reading the Historical Romance Novel, garnered 80 applicants for its 18 slots. The seminar, taught at Saybrook College in the Spring semester, focuses on novels set in the Regency Era.

I kind of chuckled when I read the article, but then I thought, "Hey. At least they're broadening their horizons." Then I stumbled on an article from the Yale Herald, which is humorous, but gives a blurb from the syllabus: “despite the dismissive sniffs, “romance” is achieving not only commercial success but serious academic attention as well.” My favorite line from the article is, "It was, however, very surprising to see my suitemate come home from the Yale bookstore with books with titles such as Regency Buck, The Accidental Duchess, and to top it all off: Beyond Heaving Bosoms; The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels."

Both articles are pretty clear that Romance is not Erotica, and includes "historical romance fiction, mysteries, family sagas to chick lit." If that's the case, I think it'd be a most interesting course. I'd totally sign up. Would you?

Paranormal Suspense & Romance In The Dark Divine [Book Inspection]

Plot Sketch: Grace Divine and her brother Jude were really close to their neighbor, Daniel growing up. Not only did they spend a lot of time together, but Grace developed a sort of crush on Daniel. Then things for Daniel started getting hard at home. He ended up moving in with the Divines for a little while. Then something happened, and Grace doesn't know what, but Jude started to hate Daniel. No one told her what happened, and she didn't feel comfortable asking. Daniel left to live with his mother, and they never heard from him again. Well, that is, until Daniel shows up in Grace's art class. Grace is intrigued and secretly follows Daniel around into a world she was wholly unaware of... until now.

Verdict: I Heart It! I don't know why, but I just didn't see it coming! I didn't predict the plot, though the twists didn't leave me going "Huh?" or "What the?" The writing was unique. It felt coherent, yet not fluid, and not choppy, a truly enjoyable style for me. The depth that Bree Despain grants her characters and their mythology is amazing. I enjoyed this story and its presentation and recommend that you check it out for yourself. Oh, and not that i didn't like the cover before, but now that I've read the book, I adore it.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?

What is the main character's name?
Grace Divine

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Yes. I think she's got a pretty good head on her shoulders, and I think that the her development and evolution were believable, which always helps.

Which character was I Heart Monster's favorite?
Though I liked Grace, I think Daniel was my definite favorite.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
13 days. Not because of the book, I didn't even pick up any book on 11 of those days... I had some busy busy times.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?
I'm not going to put it in Monster's pile, but that's not to say that your guy won't like it.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I can't single out anything that I would have changed, I really enjoyed it the way it was.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"Okay, let's put that on our 'Top Ten Things Not to Say While Making Out' list." p. 309

How many chapters were in the book?


Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Publish Date: December 22, 2009
ISBN-10: 1606840576

Acquire It:

Book Depository
Changing Hands


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The PacMan Bookshelf [Operative Factors]

It's really titled the Puckman Bookshelf and is available for request from GinePro Design. It's made of wood and finished with a glossy yellow, black or white - you choose. I have no idea how much it costs, but if this is something you just have to have, email the folks at Ginepro.

I think it's extremely fun, and extremely hip... you tell me, what do you think?

[Via TechXav]

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TwentyTen Challenge [Challenges]

TwentyTen Reading Challenge at Bart's Bookshelf

The aim is to read a total 20 books, over ten categories, in 2010.

  • Read 2 books from each category, making a requirement of 20 books total.
  • The categories are intended to be loose guidelines only, if you decide it fits, then it fits. (Apart from those marked **)
  • Categories marked with ** have tighter rules, and these must be followed.
  • Each book can only qualify for one category.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • Books read from 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2010 are eligible.
Young Adult
Any book classified as young adult or featuring a teenage protagonist counts for this category.
The Dark Divine
Hush, Hush

T.B.R. **
Intended to help reduce the old T.B.R. pile. Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelves as of 1/11/09.
Radiant Darkness

Shiny & New
Bought a book NEW during 2010 from a bookstore, online, or a supermarket? Then it counts for this category. Second-hand books do not count for this one, but, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts or won in a giveaway also count!
Perfect Chemistry
Guardian of the Gate

Bad Blogger’s ***
Books in this category, should be ones you’ve picked up purely on the recommendation of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book ago).
The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped by Yxta Maya Murray (Katie's Book Blog)
Never Bite A Boy on the First Date by Tamara Summers (Backchat Girl Reviews)

Support your local charity shops with this category, by picking up books from one of their shops. Again, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts also count, as long as they were bought from a charity shop.

New in 2010
This category is for those books newly published in 2010 (whether it be the first time it is has been released, or you had to wait for it to be published in your country, it counts for this one!)
Heist Society
Only The Good Spy Young 

Older Than You
Read two books that were published before you were born, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!
Taming of the Shrew

Win! Win!
Have a couple of books you need to read for another challenge? Then this is the category to use, as long that is, you don’t break the rules of the other challenge by doing so!
Point of Impact
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Who Are You Again?
This one isn’t just for authors you’ve never read before, this is for those authors you have never even heard of before!
The Life of Glass By Jillian Cantor
Arson by Estevan Vega

Up to You! (MANGA)
I choose the Manga genre for this one.
Battle Royale Vol. 1
Battle Royale Vol. 2

My apologies to Bart for being an idiot and posting the wrong link the first time I signed up for the challenge. I don't know what I was doing/thinking. SORRY!

As I complete the books in these categories, I will add them here and link to applicable reviews when posted. Red means read. Blue means planned.

New Moon Prop Jewelry: Have You Seen It? [You're The Expert]

cullen crest setI'm not one to get caught up in movie fads or anything. Seriously, I'm not. I haven't even seen New Moon in the theater, aaaaand I don't plan on it. But I was over at my favorite web-shopping site this morning taking a look at the Deals of the Day when this AMAZON EXCLUSIVE popped out at me, and I just had to get your take on it.
I know that a lot of successful movies (i.e. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) have done similar prop replicas, but in the past they've seemed very collector-ish. Not that this isn't, but I think I could actually see someone working this into their ensemble without it looking off? Not all six pieces mind you, but maybe one? I dunno, that's why I'm asking you!

cullen crest zoom 1cullen crest zoom 2cullen crest zoom 3
This is a replica of the Cullen Crest jewelry from Ashley Green's character, Alice, in the New Moon movie.
There were only 3,000 sets made of the six-prop sets. It is an Amazon Exclusive.

So, here's what I wanna know:
  • First, I'd like to hear your first reaction to this post... for example, "Omigosh, how lame!" or "Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh, omigosh, omigosh" or whatever your reaction is!
  • What's your general impression of this whole prop replica stuff?
  • Would you buy it?
  • Would you wear it?
  • Would you buy it as a gift?
  • What would you wear it with?
  • Would you recognize it if someone else was wearing it?
  • Would you buy it just as a collector's investment?
  • Would you enter a contest to win it?
  • Anything else re: this New Moon Prop Jewelry that you'd like to share would be great!
Don't forget! Care to Comment ends on the 31st!


canaille • \kuh-NYE\ • noun
1 : rabble, riffraff
2 : proletarian

Example Sentence:
"I am not going to write for [the New York Weekly] -- like all other papers that pay one splendidly, it circulates among stupid people & the canaille." (Mark Twain, letter, June 1, 1867)

Did you know?
For a creature said to be man’s best friend, the dog doesn’t get a whole lot of respect in the English language. Something that has "gone to the dogs," for example, has gone to ruin, and the Britishism "dog’s breakfast" means a confused mess of something. The word "canaille," which debuted in English in the 17th century, shows that we have no qualms about associating dogs with the lower levels of human society; it derives via French from Italian "canaglia," and ultimately from "canis," the Latin word for "dog." "Canis," of course, is also the source of "canine," meaning "of or relating to dogs or to the family to which they belong."

I don't care if you consider me one of the canaille, I'm going to do what I want, say what I want, and act like I want. So there. *sticks tongue out*

Now, it's your turn to use this in a sentence. Try it out in the comments!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Unrelenting Unconsecrated In The Forest Of Hands And Teeth [Audiobook]

Size: 135 MB (
Length: 9 hours, 28 minutes
Author: Carrie Ryan
Narrator: Vane Millon

Plot Sketch: Mary lives in a village that is protected from The Forest of Hands and Teeth by fences. The people in her village grow up with the moaning of the unconsecrated from the forest and at the fences. They learn early on not to get too close, lest they get bitten and become infected themselves. The Sisterhood runs the village both spiritually and politically, seeing that customs and culture are conformed to. Mary's father went out into the forest, but has not been heard from since. Her mother is distraught and goes to the fences to look for her husband daily. While Mary's brother Jed is off with the Guardians, the protectors of the village, Mary is in charge of making sure that her mother does not get too close to the fence. They all live in fear that the fences will not hold, and that they will have to flee to the platforms to escape the fate of becoming unconsecrated themselves. How long will they hold?

Plot Verdict: I Heart It? Though most of the time I balked at Mary and her decisions and her lack of rational thought, I cannot deny the fact that I stayed up until 3 am listening to this. I cannot deny that I was intrigued and invested in the story. Though the crafting of the words and sentences was well-done, the story's content and structure left me questioning the actions of its characters time and time again. This may not have been as apparent if I would have read the novel instead of listened to it? I don't know. It was suspenseful and interesting, but also confusing and frustrating. What did you think of it?

Narration Verdict: No Love. I think I may have liked the story more had there been a different narrator. Millon's tone was flat and her inflections predictable. I didn't enjoy her accent, finding it distracting, and wondering why, if the story took place in what used to be the United States, the publishers picked a narrator with such a distinctly Spanish accent? I honestly think more people would like the audiobook if it would have been more appropriately narrated.

People Who Might Like This: people who liked Dawn of the Dead, dystopia lovers, people who love suspense.
People Who Probably Won't Like This: those easily prone to zombie nightmares, people who like logic and reason in their stories, people easily offended by others' loss of faith in God.

  • Read an excerpt.
  • Watch the trailer:

If you want to know the parts I balked at, keep reading... if you haven't read the book, these are spoilers, so don't keep going.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How To Make A Bike Handlebar-Mounted Hands-Free Book Holder [Operative Factors]

So I always want to read while I'm working out at the gym... but the pesky PreCor Ellipticals don't have very good book mounts. If only I could convince them to let me adopt one and put one of these puppies on it! 'Cause I totally would. Totally.

If this is something you're interested in, check out the Instructable. I've taken the liberty of copying and pasting the parts below from the article so that you can tell before you get there whether or not this is something for you!

1 - Used bicycle handlebar stem. I got this free for the asking from Mountain View Cyclery and Fitness in Post Falls. This is my recycled piece and it was the only one he had. Sorry...
1 - Book holder. Barnes and Noble sold it for $12.95. It will hold paperback and hard cover books.
1 - 1/4-20 all thread bolt. I used a 5 inch long bolt but pick one that fits your stem.
4 - flat washers. Two sized to fit the bevel inside the stem, two sized to fit flush with the outside of the stem.
4 - 1/4 inch flat washers to help hold things together.
2 - 1/4 inch nuts.
1 - 1/4 inch lock nut to make sure it stays together.
All the hardware came from my neighborhood Ace hardware store.

1 - Dremel with a cut-off wheel and grinder bit.
1 - ratchet and socket(s) sized to fit your bolt and nuts.
1 - adjustable or combination wrench sized to fit your needs.

1 - bench grinder to speed up the correction of a marginal Dremel cut.

[via Lifehacker via Instructables]

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Woah! Words You Misspell Constantly [You're The Expert]

So... I was tweeting last night like I haven't done in a while (bad me, I know) and I happened to mention that I consistently spell whoa wrong. I think it should be spelled w-o-a-h. I mean, even when I get excited and enunciate the word, I say "woh - uh." @bookaliciouspam and I were tweeting back and forth and we also misspell receive (recieve) and separate (seperate) respectively, on a constant basis. I mean, what's the process to get a spelling changed formally to the way I want it to be spelled?

Hey, so tell us... what words do you misspell constantly? And why should we start a petition to change the spelling of your word? We wanna know!

In the meantime, check out this article on the Top 100 Misspelled Words in the English language. Oh, and while you're out it, give a shout out to Pam @ Thanks for the inspiration, friend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Teens Outsmart Edison Group Once Again In The Awakening [Audiobook Inspection]

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Size: 114 MB (
Length: 7 hours, 58 minutes
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Cassandra Morris

Plot Sketch: What does this second book have in common with the first? A necromancer, a werewolf, a ghost and a sorcerer go up against the Edison Group, a powerful entity out to do research on children of paranormal descent. Come along on the journey with Chloe, Derrick, Simon, Tory, and Liz (and forgive me if I spelled any of their names wrong, it is an audiobook after all) to see what happens next.

Plot Verdict: I Heart It! So I listened to this one while I was hiking for the most part, and during the Dewey's Read-A-Thon. Monster actually listened first, and told me that it was better than The Summoning (which we listened to together) and I scarcely believed him. But, he was right. I'll totally concede this time. It is indeed better than The Summoning with more adventure, more romance, and a story more cerebral than one would expect.

Narration Verdict: I Heart It. In my Inspection of The Summoning, I mentioned that Cassandra Morris took some getting used to, but in the end I couldn't imagine the story in any other voice. This time I knew what to expect, and as before, found that Morris was perfect for the narration, enhancing the story for me as the listener with her talents. Side anecdote: As I was hiking back down the Hieroglyph Canyon trail by myself one morning, I let this play on the speakerphone in my Blackberry. When I stopped to let a group of retirees by, about 6 of the 15 or so mentioned that they were wondering where my companion was because the tone of my audiobook was so conversational and sounded like a real person telling a story rather than a drone just reading one. Another bunch told me they were trying to figure out who I was talking to and decided that I must be crazy until it was close enough that they could tell it was an Audiobook. If that's not an endorsement for this narration, I don't know what is.

  • Read the first ten chapters, but not if you haven't read The Summoning yet.
  • This is the second in a trilogy. The first is The Summoning and the third is The Reckoning which is due out April 27th.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Read Your Name Challenge [Challenges]

Read Your Name ChallengeI just joined the 2010 Read Your Name Challenge...

I'm going to read:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
Rumors by Anna Godbersen
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

My So-Called Death by Stacy Jay
Only The Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Shiver by Maggie Steifvater
TMI by Sarah Quigley
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman

The ones that are italicized are ones that I still need to acquire. As I acquire books, I'll update this post, and as I read them, I'll change them to red in this post.

Are you guys participating? Thinking about participating? I'd love to hear what name you're reading!

A Funny, Short Story [Minimal Investment]

Samurai on the Toilet
[Via Bacon Babble]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Care To Comment?

Hey there peeps! Care to Comment is 2/3 over, and we're only at 40 comments... That's a whopping $2.00! I know you guys can do better than that!!
In case you missed it, here's the blurb from where I announced it:
Care to Comment
Someone who wasn't on the matching game, but did respond to my plea for help with this contest, was author Julia Hoban of WILLOW. She said, "I'm actually giving three types of presents this year, none of them books. The first category is donations in the recipients name to my favorite charity, This is a charity that teaches young girls in underprivileged countries to read, something that they otherwise would never be able to do. Some of these girls are the first in their families to learn how to read, the practical difference it makes in their lives is unbelievable. I strongly suggest you look at the website."

Well, I took Julia up on that suggestion and fell in love with this charity. So - we're announcing today that we're doing another round of Care To Comment here at IHM, this time benefiting So, for every comment received from now until Jan 31, we'll throw in a nickel for the cause. Again, that may not sound like a lot, but over the course of the month, it can add up!
So... get to commenting, wontcha?


myrmidon • \MER-muh-dahn\ • noun

a loyal follower; especially : a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously

Example Sentence:
The boss was more likely to offer promotions to her myrmidons than to those workers who occasionally questioned her tactics or proposed alternate solutions.

Did you know?
The Myrmidons, legendary inhabitants of Thessaly in Greece, were known for their fierce devotion to their king, Achilles, who led them in the Trojan War. "Myrmex" means "ant" in Greek, an image that evokes small and insignificant workers mindlessly fulfilling their duty. Whether the original Myrmidons were given their name for that reason is open to question. The "ant" association is strong, however. Some say the name is from a legendary ancestor who once had the form of an ant; others say the Myrmidons were actually transformed from ants. In any case, since the 1400s, we've employed "myrmidon" in its not-always-complimentary, ant-evoking, figurative sense.

Life would be a lot easier if I had a devoted myrmidon to do my chores for me, dontcha think?

Your turn: Use 'MYRMIDON' in a sentence in the comments section to try out the newest word in your vocab arsenal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cap'n Annalisa Townsend Hunts Low-Life Scum-Sucking Pirates [Book Inspection]

To Catch A Pirate
Plot Sketch: Annalisa Townsend is on her way with her father to set up government on an English-claimed island in the Atlantic. On their way, their ship along is accosted by pirates. Annalisa meets James Sterling, a pirate, who takes a kiss instead of a finger. With suspicion of fraternization with pirates looming on her jail-ridden father, she takes off, forging her own letter of marque with a crew and a ship, set to find the chest of gold that the pirates thieved from her father to clear his name.

Verdict: I Heart It! I read this during the Read. Read. Read-A-Thon, and flew through it. I loved the adventure and empowerment it brought to a young woman, however implausible it may be. The writing was light and the content was definitely squee-worthy at least a few times. It's a quick read, so go ahead, indulge yourself!

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Atlantic Ocean

What is the main character's name?
Annalisa Townsend

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Love her and her sense of right and wrong.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few hours

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?
I think no... it's more of a historical YA romancy-type book, so I'm not sure boys would like it.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
maybe just a few tweaks for plausibility's sake

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"You're the only treasure I'll ever need." p. 226

How many chapters were in the book?


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Point
Publish Date: May 1, 2007
ISBN-10: 0439026946

Acquire It:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ever Get Distracted When Reading Websites? [Operative Factors]

Readability LogoWell, I know I get distracted when I'm reading some of my favorite websites. Flashing banner ads, creepy crawly things that go across my screen asking me to take surveys, and even extraneous videos playing while I'm trying to read all really annoy me.

Readability Clip 1
I read about this site called Readability at Popgadget, and checked it out. I kinda fell in love with it. I mean, I won't use it for every website I read, just the more notoriously annoying ones. Basically, it strips out all of the formatting and annoying flashy things and puts it into your preferred format, just by clicking the bookmarklet in your bar. You get to select the style, size, and margin that you want to read. Styles include newspaper, novel, ebook, and terminal. Size ranges from small to extra large. Margins range from narrow to extra wide.
Readability Options

I definitely thought this site was worthy of an operative factors post, and think that you may end up using it on those annoying sites that have great content, but you can't stand their design. colors, or ads. (Oh, and if you plan to use it on IHM because you hate my design, colors, or ads, please drop me a note and tell me what's bugging you)

Used Readability before? Tell us if you like it. Haven't used it? Tell us if you're gonna try it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

LG's Flexible Newspaper-Sized E-Ink E-Paper [Operative Factors]

LG E-Paper<br />Have you seen LG's latest technological development in the field of e-readers? They've debuted a working prototype of a flexible, newspaper-sized e-paper reader. The display is 25x40cm and .03mm thick. Resistors are on a metal foil, like Hearst's Skiff e-reader, and are able to regain their shape after being folded, unlike the usual glass- or plastic-mounted resistors. Think Minority Report technology here folks.

Demand for e-paper is rising on the heels of the popularity boom of e-readers like the Kindle and the Nook, and LG is hoping to go into the production phase of an 11" sheet of e-paper in the first half of this year. The potential to incorporate videos and other multi-media features will no doubt stimulate the struggling newspaper industry. Too bad this technology didn't debut a few years earlier... maybe some of the dailies that went under in the last few years could have adapted and saved themselves? We'll never know.

People reading on LG E-paper
Right now, the downside of these prototypes is that they are black and white only. We don't know what the cost will be either.

LG is the world's second largest manufacturer of LCD screens, behind Samsung and is based in Seoul, South Korea.

  • So, what do you think?
  • Do you think you might be tempted to buy and play with e-paper?
  • Do you think that this is the way news will be delivered in the future?
  • What are your overall impressions of this new direction in tech?
  • For those of you who like to hold your books, and hold your newspapers, do you think this thin e-paper is a good thing or will the jury still be out?
  • Oh heck, just tell us everything you're thinking - questions, concerns, you name it!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Has Your Religion Ever Been Attacked In A Novel You've Read? [You're The Expert]

Coexist!One of the books I read recently ran a thread of deliberate misinformation of a denigrating nature about my religion. It upset me and I wanted to quit reading the book as soon as I came across it. I was totally offended. I toughed it out and finished the book, and didn't end up liking the book for other reasons, the ignorance and lack of research about my religion just added to my fury. I reviewed the book, but left out the bit about how the author was a bigot, because I felt too emotional to keep it professional.

So, we want to know...

  • Do you think authors have a responsibility to accurately portray religions and research them to get the facts before they incorporate them into their novels?
  • Do you as a reader feel that you have the responsibility to verify information purported as fact about religions other than your own that you encounter in a novel?
  • Have you ever come across misinformation about your religion while reading a novel?
  • Have you ever contacted the author about the mistake?
  • How did you react to the misinformation?
  • How do you feel about the author who wrote it?
  • Will you ever read another book by that author?
  • Tell us everything you have to say on this subject - whether or not you've had a personal experience with it. We want to know what YOU think! I mean after all, YOU'RE THE EXPERT!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Read THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong for FREE [Operative Factors]

The Summoning by Kelley ArmstrongHey guys... I got the Chloe Saunders newsletter in the ol' inbox today and while I was reading it, I noticed that you can read THE SUMMONING for free online via Browse Inside for a limited time. Who the heck is Chloe Saunders? Dude, she's the main character in Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers series, which starts with THE SUMMONING. The second book is called THE AWAKENING and is available now. The third book, THE RECKONING is coming out in early April.

If you haven't read this title, I highly recommend it, and hope that you'll get the chance to read it at some point! Why not read it now while it's free?

To those of you who have read it... Tell us how much you liked/disliked it... we wanna hear from you!

Oh, and you can read my reviews of the audiobook version of THE SUMMONING and really soon audiobook inspection of THE AWAKENING will be live.

You Thought The DAR Was Hard Core? Meet Lena Duchannes [Book Inspection]

Beautiful Creatures
Plot Sketch: Ethan is a Gatlin native. His family goes back quite a ways in the town's history. He's a basketball player and one of the popular guys at school. Well, he was, until he met Lena Duchannes, whom everyone refers to as Lena Ravenwood because she's the neice of the town weirdo. She just moved in to Gatlin, and Ethan is drawn to her. But weird things keep happening around her, like this random song that just showed up on Ethan's iPod and how Lena was playing it the next day. Glass shatters. It rains. It's inexplicable. The story is about Ethan and Lena and ancient ways, destiny, and unbeknownst power... I can't tell you much more without spoiling it.

Verdict: I Heart It! It's impeccably written, dark, powerful and rich in a culture familiar only to those who live it. The characters are well-developed and stick to their development - you don't catch any wrenches thrown. It's unpredictable, which is perhaps one of the best things about it for me because I didn't have the entire story figured out 100 pages in. There were multiple ways things could have ended; it was developed in a way that didn't limit the story to one path, yet allowed your mind to explore the other pathways without disappointment. I hope that makes sense. And I hope you read it.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Gatlin, South Carolina, USA

What is the main character's name?
Ethan Wate

Which character was your favorite?
I think I liked Macon Ravenwood the best. Well, him or Boo Radley.

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Yup, I like him.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
a few days.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?

Is this a good read for Monster?
This comparison is merely for superficial means: I think guys who enjoyed Twilight will enjoy this. Here's why... the stories are not similar in content, but are similar in structural elements.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I cannot think of one single thing. And if they'd have packed more into it, then it probably would have been too much. As it was, it was just right. Oh, but I would add chapter numbers.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"Sixteen Moons, Sixteen Years, Sixteen of your deepest fears, Sixteen times you dreamed my dears, Falling, falling through the years..."

"Lemons and rosemary. I could smell her, even then."

How many chapters were in the book?
You know I heart you guys, but sorry, I don't heart you enough to count the chapters three more times. The first three times I counted, I got different numbers. And since they're named, and have chronological dates on them, they're hard to count...

People Who Might Like This: fans of the Southern Gothic genre, those fascinated with voodoo/vodun and its YA applications, lovers of complex worlds within worlds, fans of Morganville Vamps by Rachel Caine, young adult males
People Who Probably Won't Like This: haters of Twilight are sure to be haters of BC, people who think fiction shouldn't include the supernatural, members of the DAR


Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: December 1, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316042676

Acquire It:


Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Am Ozzy [Giveaway]

I Am OzzyDescription: Has there ever been a more extraordinary rock-star story than Ozzy Osbourne's? Born into a life so poor that the whole family slept in one room, Ozzy endured a tough upbringing. Music was his salvation and his band Black Sabbath went on to change the music scene forever. But along with the rock and roll came the inevitable sex and drugs and Ozzy fell into a long relationship with addictive substances. The stories of Ozzy's days on the road are legendary - biting the head off a live bat, losing his best friend and writing partner Randy Rhoades in a tragic plane crash - but few know of the real heartbreak he suffered during those days of excess. In the end it was love that saved him: the love of his wife Sharon and kids Kelly, Jack and Aimee. In his highly anticipated autobiography, Ozzy comes clean: in all senses.

About the author: Born John Michael Osbourne in Birmingham, 1948, Ozzy Osbourne is one of rock music's most enduring figures who in the last few years also became one of television's best loved personalities via the wildly successful hit MTV show 'The Osbournes'.

Tell us your favorite Ozzy song in the comments. I'm thinking Crazy Train?
Enter to Win (Ends 1/31):