Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: March 2012

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (A Review)

PARIS, JULY 1942. Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard- their secret hiding place- and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
SIXTY YEARS LATER, Sarah's story interwines with that of a Julia Jarmond, a journalist investigating the round-up.

My review:
I loved the way that Julia Jarmond's investigations revealed more about Sarah's story as they read parallel to each other. The story was gripping, revealing and sometimes horrifying. I never knew anything about the Paris round-ups until I read this book, which really made me feel that it was important to know. One to read if you like books about hard life situations.

Action Reader's Action: Are there any events that you feel not enough is known about? Investigate them (if you don't know already) and that make a blog/facebook post or leave a comment here about them. Make sure the world does not forget!

Question: Do you think people know enough about what happened during WW2?

Friday, 30 March 2012

Book Beginnings- 30th March 2012

Hosted by Rose City Reader

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The girl was the first to hear the loud pounding on the door. 

Why I Shudder at Movies of Books

The Hunger Games movie has been popping up on many book blogs recently,  along with the question "Are you going to see it?". To which my answer is an emphatic "probably not!". It's not that the Hunger Games is not my sort of genre. Neither is it that I don't enjoy the cinema. The simple fact is that I shudder at the idea of book-based movies.

The reason? Well, I like to pride myself in having a good imagination. This is a real blessing when reading a book. There was may a time when I was younger that I went to sleep imagining myself in my favourite book. I used to dream up new adventures, imagine what I'd do differently. And all the time I'd have a vivid picture of what the characters looked like. The observant of you may now have seen my problem- what if the movie casting doesn't live up to the image I already have?

Also, if I haven't read the book already then I feel that seeing the movie first can really spoil my reading experence. I can't always picture the actor doing what's on the page,  nor can I enjoy using my imagination in the same way. Plus, somehow those pages become less of an escape from realism.

There are exceptions to this rule of course. I simply loved Northern Lights- the film being even more exciting than the book, the whole series of which I enjoyed. I think the key with this one was that it still kept the feel of the book, the basic outlook of Phillip Pullman.

And when it comes to Harry Potter I've never really enjoyed the books. This could be because I tried to read the first one after watching several of the films (see above), but I have a feeling I probably wouldn't have liked them anyway- something I can't quite pin down to do with the writing style. Of course, all this means that I could enjoy the movies totally guilt-free.

Despite all this I somehow feel obliged to watch film of books. When people rave about them then I generally read the books quickly if I haven't already before going to the cinema (I intended to do this with War Horse but, due to a cold, never actually got to a screening). Other times I'll get it out on DVD after I've done my reading. It could take me a while to actually getting round to watching it however (The Time Travellers Wife is waiting for this treatment).

When it comes to The Hunger Games I'm unsure what to do. I have the original book sitting on my shelf. I've heard the hype. But yet something is stopping me from either reading or watching. I wish I knew what it was.

The Friday 56 #16 Sarah's Key

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
No,  she couldn't leave, she had to stay, she had to stay because of her brother, she had promised to come back to save him. 

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Third Sentence Thursday #17 Sarah's Key

Hosted by Proud Book Nerd

Sarah's Key by Tarrtiana de Rosnay
At first, dazed with sleep, she thought it was her father, coming up from his hiding place in the cellar. 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

N.H.I (No Humans Involved) by Ray Ellis - A Review

Half of Treasure City is controlled by a violent street gang. The other hald is controlled by fear. A rookie detective, Nate Richards, is thrust between the two. Abyss, a mysterious street gang moves into the valley and people have started dying. Nate's girlfriend suddenly disappears and the gang is being targetted as the cause. Will Nate succumb to the pressure to get the job done by any means necessary, or will he become part of tthe problem and prove that there are No Humans Involved.

My review:
I'm not usually into detective/police stories, but I am so glad that I accepted this one for review. Suspense, drama, feeling and a dynamic plot combine to create a gripping story-line. I just simply couldn't put this book down- despite having been in a reading rut previously I stormed through this book within only a few days of hectic lifestyle. I had to force myself to go to sleep at night, feeling so connected with Nate and his girlfriend that I simply wanted to find out what would happen next. I'd also like to praise Ray Ellis for writing a book that truly shows Christianity within the context of a realistic life- something which I wish more books would do. Definatly looking forward to the sequel.

I accepted this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Action Reader's Action: Think about what motivates your everyday life. Make a conscience desicion to change anything you are not happy with.

Question: Do you have a faith? If so, how does it impact your life? 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey (A Review)

Another Turn, and the deadly silver Threads began falling again. So the bold dragonriders took to the air once more and their magnificent flying dragons swirled and swooped, belching flames that destroyed the shimmering strands before they reached the ground. But F'lar knew he had to find it before the rebellious Oldtimers could breed any more dissent... before his brother F'nor would be foolhardy enough to launch another suicide mission... and before those dratted fire-lizards could stir up any more trouble!

My review:
Social science-fiction at its best, Dragonquest continues the story of Dragonflight into a new era. The focus of this book is on social dynamics, making it a bit less of an adventure story than the first one. New creatures and people help keep up the interest level, but whilst I liked it (personally) I preferred its predecessor.
Action Reader's Action: Consider (any) tensions in your home, work or school situation. What could you do to improve them? Put your ideas into action.

Question: Have you ever been jealous of someone else? What did you (or they) do to resolve the situation?

This book is part of a bookcrossing spiral. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

Musing Mondays #12

Hosted by Should Be Reading

This week’s musing asks… Would you choose to review a book if its description sounded interesting but the cover was terrible?

If I read the description first then, yes. I've come across several books, particular self-published, where I might not have read them based on the cover but where the description really won me over. 
However, I am quilty of not bothering to look at descriptions in the first place if I see terrible covers in a bookshop or on offer in competitions. 

So, yes for reviewing but I might not pick them up for pleasure.

How about you?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

How fast can you read

Thanks to Michelle at 'The True Book Addict' for bringing this interesting online quiz / app to my attention.

I read 692 words an hour, which apparently makes me 177% faster than the national average and reading just above the speed of a college professor. If I continued reading at this speed then I could read The Lord of the Rings in just over 11 and a half hours.

Had a go? What did you score?


39 days ago, having seen a blog post about it, I decided to join Postcrossing. Since then I've received 3 postcards from around the world (Italy, Canada and the Netherlands), learnt some new country locations, swapped postcards with two other people, and added plenty of stamps to my stamp collection. All in return for getting rid of a few postcards of my own that have been accumulating in my study.
What a great bargain and experience!

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Friday 56 #15 DragonQuest

Hosted by Freda's Voice

Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey
He could consoe himself with the fact they hadn't been able to escape all the implications of this incident. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Musing Mondays #11

Hosted by Should Be Reading

This week’s musing asks…
When you walk into a bookstore — any bookstore — what’s the first section you head toward (what draws you)?

I used to always be drawn to the science fiction/fantasy, but nowadays I'm most likely to start at general fiction. Although, to be honest, I'm just as likely to stop off at any other bookshelves before it on-route. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Writing a Reply #2

Welcome to my monthly reply to all your lovely comments. I really do appreciate your comments and I wish I had time to reply to all of them straight away but, unfortunatly, I just don't have the time. So please take this post by way of an apology and a chance to finally get the response you may have been hoping for.

Michele @ http://abigailannreadi... - The Corridors of the D... 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Hum, Interesting--thank you for posting this review on my linky!! I am now following you on GFC!!

Michele aka MikiHope www.mikishope.com
Thankyou for hosting the linky Michelle. I love to be able to share my reviews with others, especially those who might not read them otherwise. Corridors of the Dead is currently taking a new bookcrossing journey, it will be interesting to see where it ends up next.

TrueBookAddict @ http://abigailannreadi... - Winter Respite Readath... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · +1 points
Wow, I like your covet more than mine! I'll add that to my coveted home library list, if you don't mind. Lovely description of your books. I didn't need a picture. Your description painted a picture in my mind. I can tell you love your books as much as I love mine and it seems we might have similar reading tastes. Thanks for playing! 
I dream of a place where I could have as many books as I want, all easily available to reach. Or even better, my own private library from which I could lend people books but always know where they were so that I could get them back and read them again whenever I wanted. But I guess most readers dream of that!
I love writing and I guess that must have come across in my description. Thanks for the compliment. And thankyou for hosting- I just love readathons and their challenges!
TrueBookAddict @ http://abigailannreadi... - Winter Respite Readtho... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · +1 points
That sounds really good. Thanks for playing! 
 I had great fun with the mini-mini-challenge. It was great to try and put together sentences from various parts of the book so that they still made sense in some way. I'm not sure I quite managed, but I think it nevertheless gives a good flavour of the book as a whole.

Laurie @ http://abigailannreadi... - Winter Respite Readath... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
dang, I wish I had found this when you started so I could have joined in. Sounds like you enjoyed it :)

(alexa hopping from http://agoddessofliterature.com)
The Winter Respite Readathon was great fun! Sorry that you missed it, maybe you can join in next time?! You may have noticed that I do lots of readathons around here- keep an eye out in my 'Readathons and Reading Challenges' tab if you want to be sure of catching those that I'm signed up to.
Now hopping back

Brandilyn @ http://abigailannreadi... - Winter Respite Readath... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
I keep trying to find time to read... it isn't happening though :(
Alexa Hopping from http://www.BuildingCarpenters.com Now following you everywhere:) 
Woah, following me everywhere sounds scary ;) Seriously though, thanks for the visit and the following. Hoping back over to see you now. 
 TrueBookAddict @ http://abigailannreadi... - Winter Respite Readath... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · +1 points
You did a great job, Abigail. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for joining me and I hope you will consider joining me for my next one. It will be in the Spring and I'm hosting at my other blog, Castle Macabre. Be watching for details! 
Thanks. I loved doing the Winter Respite Readathon. I won't be doing your next one as its not really my genre, but the next time there's a non-genre-specific readathon I'll no doubt join you again. 
diane @ http://abigailannreadi... - First Chapter, First P... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
That is an interesting intro -- think I'd need to read a bit more to decide whether this one's for me. enjoy 
One paragraph is better than a line, but with Pratchett the start is quite mysterious. If you haven't spotted it already, I've posted a review of Pyramids here. Hopefully that will help you get a better idea of if you'd like to read it or not. It used to be my favourite Pratchett book, but I'm not so sure anymore.

Trudy Z @ http://abigailannreadi... - Operation Deepen Faith... 4 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
I need to do this type of project too.
Visiting from the Alexa hop. I took the time to write a review and hope you will do the same on one of my blogs. http://www.made-only-in-usa.com http://www.boystobooks.com
Thanks  for your visit. Operation Deepen Faith has been going OK for me at the moment, but some of my fiction reading is starting to get in the way of my books about the bible reading- more in my monthly update soon. 
I popped across to your blogs, but couldn't see a review- did you mean this comment? If not, drop me a link because I'd love to see the review. I'm popping back across to 'boys to books now' now to say hi properly. 

Bonnie @ http://abigailannreadi... - Wicked Winter Readatho... 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Fantastic idea! Can you imagine the culture shock when you woke up? ;) 
Thanks for the compliment. Ice just made me think of cryogenic status, that's all! It would be an enormous culture shock when you woke up. Interestingly enough I watched a Stargate episode the other day which had a similar plot- on a planet had been devastated the natives went into a sort of virtual reality which sustained and nourished them. Eventually, after lots of unexpected delays, they woke up to find their planet thriving with life once more. The first thing they did was to pick the flowers!

Kim @ http://abigailannreadi... - Wicked Winter Readatho... 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · +1 points
Bloggity Blog just hopping over to share some love! http://my-bloggityblog.blogspot.com/
Thanks for the hop. Hopping back over to you to show my appreciation.  

Claire @ http://abigailannreadi... - Wicked Winter Readatho... 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Brilliant teaser! I love Terry Pratchett. Thanks for taking part :) 
Terry Pratchett is brilliant isn't he! I just love the way his fantasy takes elements of real life and distorts then into something else completly different. Its such an intelligent kind of wit!

Savings is free @ http://abigailannreadi... - Book Blogger Hop #7 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Stoping by from Alexa hop! 
Thanks for the visit

spar9797 @ http://abigailannreadi... - Teaser Tuesday #20 Gua... 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · +1 points
Visiting from MVM Alexa Hop. Make it a great day :) 
Its already a great day! Hope your day is as great as mine :)

Paige @ http://abigailannreadi... - Teaser Tuesday #20 Gua... 3 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Sounds interesting! Here's my teaser.
Guards! Guards! certainly is an interesting book. And I'll tell you what else is interesting- I seem to be getting more comments on Pratchett books than on my other review. Must mean something!
Popping by to visit your teaser now. 

Centsablelady @ http://abigailannreadi... - Pyramids by Terry Prat... 2 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Just stopping by from the alexa hop. Come by and leave some alexa love: http://www.centsablelady.com
It's really interesting the mix of people that visit during an Alexa hop. I usually pop by all the book-related sites that are there when I sign up, but there only seem to be a few of those at the moment. Thanks for visiting me. I'm dropping by your site now- 'see' you there! (What a catchy name btw)

sharon martin @ http://abigailannreadi... - War horse by Michael M... 2 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Liking the review xx

Alexa hopping and saying hi :-) http://www.beckvalleybooks.blogspot.com and www.beckvalleybooks.co.uk xx 
Glad you liked the review. War Horse is one of those books that I felt it was important to read before I saw the movie. Still haven't managed to get round to seeing the film however *rolls eyes*. Interestingly, I took this book to a local bookcrossing meetup the other day and everyone wanted it- even more popular than I thought!
pussreboots @ http://abigailannreadi... - TGIF at GReads #4: Blo... 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Hard to believe February's more than half over. Happy Blog Hop. I hope you stop by
I know, February has gone so fast! It may take me a while to stop by but if you leave a link then I always will eventually. Stopping by now.

Alexa Loves Books @ http://abigailannreadi... - TGIF at GReads #4: Blo... 2 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Building an audience and appealing to them with your posts is definitely something you should be proud of! :) 
Now I just have to find an efficient way of quickly replying to comments in a meaningful way. 

Darla @ http://abigailannreadi... - TGIF at GReads #4: Blo... 2 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points
I can't help but enjoy watching as the follower numbers go up too. Just because then I know for sure someone has been reading my blog and the stats aren't just someone googling some random sentence and wound up at the blog.

Here's my FF
Yes, although its becoming more complicated as there are more ways to follow. Does anyone know a way of counting how many people are following you by e-mail / feed? Is that even possible? 

Kristin @ http://abigailannreadi... - Saturday 9: I Second T... 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
I am happy being single as well :)

Stopping by from the Alexa Hop! Please stop by my blog at http://wholelottamama.net <3 
Isn't it sad that so many people presume your have to be going out with someone to be happy! Stopping by your blog now.
Wickedly Bookish @ http://abigailannreadi... - WWW Wednesdays #11 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
Love Anne McCaffrey! Now I have the urge to pick up one of her books! Happy reading!

Here's mine:
Anne McCaffrey is quite a new writer to me, but I just love books about dragons as a rule. And this one did not disappoint! I'm reading the 2nd book in the series now and finding that good as well.  
Valentina @ http://abigailannreadi... - WWW Wednesdays #11 1 week ago · 0 replies · 0 points
My reading is nothing but varied. I just love the fact that I have such a range of genres, time periods and writing styles on my shelves. It means that I rarely get tired of reading since there's always something to pique my interest.  

Vicki @ http://abigailannreadi... - WWW Wednesdays #11 1 week ago · 0 replies · +1 points
Ugly To Start With sounds interesting!
Here's My WWW 
It was very interesting! The review is now up btw- its here if you're interested. 

Thankyou again for all your comments.

I'd love to hear what you think of this method of replying.
Also,  feel free to ask me any questions that interest you- I'd love to tell you some more about myself, my reading and my blogging.


Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colourful, and Washington, D.C. is was across the mountains- a winding sixty-five miles away.

A series of short stories, brought together by the simple fact that their main character is the same boy. We read about how his family, and he himself, is changed my the passage of time.  Jason's life unfolds rapidly infront of your eyes, showing the ups and downs of his growing up. The perfect book for those who don't have much time to read, each chapter being a story on its own but also fitting together as a whole book. 
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 
Action Reader's Action: Write a chapter, or short story, about your own growing up. Plan a time when you will share it with someone special.

Discussion point: Do you prefer reading novels or short stories? Why?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy World Book Day

If you hadn't realised already today is World Book Day.

It's one of my favourite days of the year- a time when we can really celebrate books! Loads of schools in the UK (and elsewhere in the world, I guess) have been dressing up as bookish characters, doing sponsored reads, or sharing their favourite reads with other classes. And, of course, each child has received a £1 book token to spend at their local bookstore.

The official website says:
This is the 15th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 1st March children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. Very loudly and very happily. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

What are you doing to celebrate World Book Day?

Well, I was down in the woods this morning, preparing a big surprise. OK, it wasn't exactly the woods- but it was a big surprise judging by the looks I got. I popped round to an area of trees just over the road from a secondary school and a short walk away from a nearby primary school. Then, and this was the fun part, I hung lots of children's books from the tree branches. Each of them was registered with bookcrossing and protected by its very own plastic bag. The purpose? To encourage passing pupils to enjoy the fun of reading and to provide free books for some of the primary aged children.

4pm, and I passed by the school once more. Where this morning there had been a forest of books, now there were just a few pieces of string and empty bags. I hope this means that they've found a good home (or stopping place to rest before their next journey.

I'd like to give a big thankyou to all the bookcrossers for encouraging me to keep releasing through they're own great stores and those who have picked up and journalled my releases for giving me great joy. But a particular big thanks goes to MissMarkey for giving me the idea of making a bookcrossing tree for children.
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