Just A Little Bit Wednesday, Oct 20 2010 

Hello Readers!

 I thought I might let you in on what has been going on with my 2010 Reading List and a little bit about me… just a little bit. Here goes…

I have removed a certain number of the titles I had on the list. For a couple of reasons I might add–this way nobody can spit thorns in my direction. There were just too many titles to get through. It was a wonderful thought–read over 150 books in a year or less. Granted, I am still reading most of them–I just took away about 50 titles, maybe a couple more. I had too much of a topic that I love reading about in small doses, namely European royalty. Also, I started reading Nefertiti, but I have to return it–have to read other books, so I’ll be returning to Egypt one day. 🙂 In any case, that is what’s going on there.

New news with me–I am in the process of making a 2011 Reading List. It is very short and reasonable. The books for 2011 seem to have a theme so that should be fun to play with and see where it takes me. I would like it if I could finish it by the end of 2011, that is how short it is. I am giving my 2010 list a little over a year to be done, however, starting Summer 2011, I’ll probably be mixing up the lists just a bit. I will release the 2011 list in the new year. However, I suppose if you want a sneak peek, you could always ask–ya know? 😉

My original list can be found here, 2010 Reading List. My revised list goes as follows:

Anything that is crossed out, I have finished reading and reviewed by October 19, 2010.
** Indicates that it is currently on hold and what is to come within the next month

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
                The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
                The Girl Who Played with Fire
                The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Eve Duncan Saga by Iris Johansen
                The Face of Deception
                The Killing Game
                The Search
                Body of Lies
                Blind Alley
                Blood Game
                Eight Days to Live
Blue Bloods Series by Melissa de la Cruz
                Blue Bloods
                The Van Alen Legacy
                Misguided Angel
Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs
                Moon Called
                Blood Bound
                Iron Kissed
                Bone Crossed
                Silver Borne
                River Marked
Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
 by Laurell K. Hamilton
                Guilty Pleasures
                **The Laughing Corpse
                Circus of the Damned
                The Lunatic Cafe
                Bloody Bones
                The Killing Dance
                Burnt Offerings
                Blue Moon
                Obsidian Butterfly
                Narcissus in Chains
                Cerulean Sins
                Incubus Dreams
                Danse Macabre
                The Harlequin
                Blood Noir
                Skin Trade
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
                Vampire Academy
                **Shadow Kiss
                Blood Promise
                Spirit Bound
                Last Sacrifice
Vampire Kisses Series by Ellen Schreiber
                Vampire Kisses
                **Kissing Coffins
                Dance with a Vampire
                The Coffin Club
                Royal Blood
                Love Bites

Happy Reading!


Island Beneath the Sea Monday, Aug 2 2010 

“Rhythm is born on that island beneath the sea; it shakes the earth, it cuts through me like a lightning bolt and rises toward the sky, carrying with it my sorrows so that Papa Bondye can chew them, swallow them, and leave me clean and happy” (Allende 1).

Initially apprehensive about reading Isabel Allende’s most recent novel, Island Beneath the Sea, this feeling has since changed. Since I find any or all of the books I’ve chosen to read at Barnes and Noble.com, it is only obvious that I am going to read the summaries to get a final feel–decisions, decisions. This title did not really need its summary to have me pulled in. Island Beneath the Sea. Intriguing. Captivating.

This novel is rich with detail and imagery. Haiti. New Orleans. While her peers  might not think highly of Allende, I can without a second thought say, she has a gift for imagery and tones that might otherwise be lost. This novel takes patience and an open mind–the beginning starts slowly–but once it starts to rev up–the story goes. Zarite’s life pulls the reader in–you are able to connect–and by that point, I was turning pages later and later into the evening than I had anticipated. I absolutely love the way Allende incorporates historical people and events into the novel–it is beautiful. It doesn’t read like a history book–but she makes an offhand comment about the event or person and continues on with the life that inspired the book–Zarite.

There are so many conflicts and themes inside this novel that I would love to delve deeper into. It involves most  conflicts: man vs. self, man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. supernatural, and man vs. nature. In this case it would be woman vs. etc. And some amazing themes that I loved involved society and its impact upon gender roles within a time period. Freedom surrounding not only race and gender, but from fear and inhibitions. My favorite would be the conflict between love and family–more or less, the biases regarding how interconnected love is with family and the kind of  love that is deemed acceptable. Family in this sense is very loose because I consider Zarite to be a part of the Valmorain family.There are so, so, so many themes within this novel. All of these themes and conflicts just make the emotion in the novel tremble with brutal vulnerability.

Read NPR.org’s Review of Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea here.

This has quite possibly, so far, been the most provocative read I’ve had in sometime. I would not mind having this novel be a part of a novel course at my college. That would actually be fantastic! Zarite’s story is unforgettable and beautiful as it is horrific. I give Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea a 5 out of 5. Absolutely tantalizing.