A Group Read – A Great and Terrible Beauty

August 22, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Exciting fantasy novel with a gripping mystery, set in a vividly portrayed world, and with relatable characters.

Gemma Doyle is an independent young woman raised in India, struggling with mysteriously prophetic visions and her adjustment to Victorian era England. She is warned to suppress her visions by a strange but handsome young man who followed her from India, but she persists until she is eventually able to enter the world of her visions. This gorgeous world gifts Gemma and her friends with an intoxicating power, one which comes with both dangers and responsibilities. Read more »

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Monday Musings

August 20, 2012 Monday Musings 0

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Have you ever reread a book and found that your opinion changed?

I haven’t ever had my opinion change dramatically or with one re-read, but I have outgrown books that were my favorites for a while. I used to love the Redwall books which were the very first long books I read when I was younger, but now they seem too young. I might re-read them again soon and see if I enjoy them again though. Another one-time favorite was Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s In The Forests of the Night. Again, I just outgrew it, but I still remember it fondly and may give it another try in the future.

Have you ever outgrown a book or had a re-read not live up to your expectations? On the other hand, has a re-read ever made you like a book better?

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Photography Friday

August 17, 2012 Photography Friday 0

Today, I got the most wonderful package in the mail. My boyfriend sent me flowers! Daisies are my favorites and I love the cute little blue mason jar they came in too. I’ll have to find something clever and crafty to do with it later. Or just occasionally add new flowers 🙂

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A Feeling For the Organism – Barbara McClintock in the 575’s

August 16, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: A Feeling For the Organism
Author: Evelyn Fox Keller
Source: library
Fun Fact: Barbara McClintock was the first woman president of the Genetics Society of America and only the third woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This was an interesting biography, similar to The Double Helix in its’ look at the human interactions behind scientific achievement, but much more technical and not something I would recommend for those without a science background.

Barbara McClintock was a brilliant female scientist, unwilling to settle for a “woman’s job” teaching when she was clearly cut out for research. Her intelligence and insight eventually put her discoveries so far ahead of the rest of her field that it took decades for her to receive the recognition she deserved. In this biography, we learn about both her struggles as a women in science and  the details of her Nobel prize winning research. Read more »

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A Group Read – Assassin’s Apprentice Review

August 14, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
Author: Robin Hobb
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: The writing in the book was good, but not great, and the plot often failed to deliver on built up excitement.

Born illegitimately to a commoner and a prince, Fitz has both the ancient ability to talk to animals and the noble Skill of influencing other’s minds. At a very young age he’s chosen and trained to be the king’s assassin. This puts him in a position to defend the kingdom both from vicious Outislander raiders and from attacks closer to home. Read more »

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NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books

August 13, 2012 Uncategorized 4

This post is brought to you by Alison at The Cheap Reader and it’s also the first post I’ve re-blogged, so please bear with me if there are any kinks in the process. I like book lists so I thought this was a really fun question! I’ve read 33 books and/or completed the series. I’ve read at least one book in 6 of the series on the list. And I’d like to read pretty much all the rest 🙂 Thanks for the fun question Alison!

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Monday Musings

August 13, 2012 Monday Musings 7

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you snack while you read?  If so, what is your favorite reading snack?

I love to snack while I read, mostly, I think, because I like having something to do while I’m reading. My favorite is definitely chocolate covered raisins, but I’ve been trying to replace them with less excessively sugary snacks. Trail mix and fruit are some of my candidate favorite snacks 🙂

Do you snack when you read? And do you also have a hard time keeping it healthy?

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Bookends About The Book of Tomorrow

August 11, 2012 Uncategorized 5

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: An intriguing and enjoyable mystery that raises a lot of interesting questions.

Here’s the plot as I knew it going into the story: Tamara’s dad dies, her mother withdraws deeply into her grief, and the previously wealthy mother and daughter most go live with poor relations to get by. While struggling to fit into her new life, Tamara finds a book, which every night reveals the events which will happen the next day.

Based on the description, I was nervous that this book would be very emotional, bordering on too angsty or too sad for me to enjoy. I’m not sure what drew me to read it any way, perhaps the intriguing premise and cover picture, but whatever it was, my instincts were good. Although there were certainly emotional and thought-provoking elements to the story, the story felt most like a really good mystery to me. Read more »

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Photography Friday

August 10, 2012 Photography Friday 2

Wow – now that I’m getting settled in Ithaca, I’m really enjoying the natural beauty. These are all pictures I took right outside my apartment and the campus is even more beautiful as well! I got extremely lucky with the lighting for the shots with boca.  I’d been thinking about going out to take pictures for a while and ended up outside at exactly the right time for the sun to be shining through the trees as it set. I can’t wait to get out and take some more 🙂

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Mirroring People in the 573’s

August 9, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Mirroring People
Author: Marco Iacoboni
Source: library
Fun Fact: People who think about rabid soccer fans before general knowledge tests do worse than a control group, while people who think about professors before the test do better than the controls.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Wow – this is some incredibly interesting and well explained research. I’d highly recommend this to pretty much anyone.

Mirror neurons are the part of our brain which allow is to interpret other’s emotions, predict their intentions when they begin an action, and probably enable our ability to communicate using language. In Mirroring People, Marco Iacoboni explains clearly and intelligently the cutting edge research on this fascinating part of our brain – research with which he was intimately involved. The basic premise of this work is that we use the same neurons to preform an action and when we watch other people perform an action. This lets us put ourselves in their shoes to better understand what they’re doing and why. Read more »

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