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Deja Vu Review (8) – A Classic

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

A Classic

For as big of a reader that I have been for many years, my knowledge of the classics is sorely lacking. In part because growing up in Australia, lots of the classics that kids read in the US aren’t read – I also didn’t take the English class where they did read some of those classics. So it wasn’t until college when I optionally took a Shakespeare course for English (yes, i was that person) and moving into my 20’s and now 30’s, that I have started reading more classics. In fact, just recently, I decided to participate in the The Classics Club 5 year challenge – where the goal is to read 50 classics (you determine what makes a book a classic) in the next 5 years. I had a great time picking my books, now to actually read them ;)

jane eyreBut onto the Deja Vu Review question – this was actully a relatively easy pick for me. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. This was one of the first classics I read after I graduated from college and started listening to audiobooks on a regular basis and I was blown away. I loved reading/listening about Jane’s trials and tribulations and came to love her as a character. While I haven’t yet, I easily forsee myself re-reading JE in the future. As well as watching several (if not all) of the various movie adaptions that have come out over the years.

I am also excited to see what lays in the future for me with the other classics that I have chosen to read.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Deja Vu Review

 

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Deja Vu Review (7) – An Author You Are Thankful For

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

An Author You Are Thankful For

When I first saw this prompt on the Book Addicts Guide, I was like easy-peasy…and then I sat down to write the post and ummm, yeah, not so much…there are many authors that I like and admire because of all their writing, but thankful for is a bit harder…then it was like a lightbulb…the one author I am thankful for is LaVyrle Spencer – wayyy back in my teen years, she was my main introduction to romance (aside from a few Silhouette/Harlequin’s that I had read). I found a bunch of her books when I was snooping in my mom’s room one day (statute of limitations has expired now right?) – I then proceeded to devour all of her books.

Most people know her for Morning Glory – which is not related to the Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford movie that came out a couple of years ago. But it was turned into a movie starring Christopher Reeve and Deborah Raffin (see more here). However, unlike most people this wasn’t my favorite book by her – I liked it, but didn’t love it.

At the same time, I am hard pressed to figure out which one of her books is my favorite – its a toss-up between Years featuring a mail-order bride right before WW1, Bitter Sweet about finding love, losing it and finding it again, That Camden Summer or The Gamble – each one holds a special place in my heart. It was a sad day when she announced her retirement from writing. I keep hoping, even now 15 years later, that she will release just one more book. I recently trolled ebay and bought a collection of her stuff that I had lost/misplaced over the years.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Deja Vu Review

 

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Deja Vu Review (6) – A Cute Love Story

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

A cute love story

So I’m a bit late in getting this one up, but when I saw the question for the week I couldn’t resist. Especially since the book I am going to review is one that I was recently talking about with a friend, who I convinced to read it and who gave it 5 stars (yes, my book recommendation powers are just that awesome!)

Last Chance, My Love
Author: Lynne Connolly
Read: 2009
Rating: 4 stars

In most romance novels, there is a standard boy meets girl, boy and girl hook up, girl and boy get married, and depending on the publisher, girl pops out numerous kids in the epilogue. (yes, all tongue in cheek, but hey, if it works…). What I loved the most about Last Chance, My Love was that it focused on life after marriage and re-discovering love. The two main characters, Miranda and Daniel, had been married for several years, but health issues for her had resulted in them becoming further and further apart in their daily lives. So he tries to rekindle what they once had. Of all the historical romance I have read in the past, this one felt real to me – it didn’t seem to be the overly tedious courtship, but real (if that makes sense). After reading it, I went out and bought the other books in the series and never read them, so they are now on the pile as my memories of this one have been rejuvenated.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Deja Vu Review

 

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Deja Vu Review (4) – Childhood Favorites and Banned Books

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

A book that reminds you of your childhood

With this week being Banned Books Week and many books from my childhood showing up on the list I thought I would take the opportunity to post a few of them. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a mother that let me read pretty much anything I could get my hands on (even romances), and I remember all the trips we used to take to the local library when I was growing up and moving from the children’s section, to what at the time was a very limited YA section, to the adult section (I still remember discovering Danielle Steele when I was in my early teens…lol!).

1. Anything Judy Blume

When I hit my teenage years, I pretty much devoured all the Judy Blume books that I could get my hands on. Are you there God, It’s Me Margaret, Deenie, Tiger Eyes, Blubber – I found something in these books that I could relate to. It was surprising to me, when I looked not only at the Banned Book list from 1990-1999, but also 2000-2009, that books by Judy Blume still appeared. Many of her books have been out 30+ years now, but there must be something scary in think (snerk) to make them still show up. It will be interesting to see, now that Tiger Eyes (one of my favorite books by her) has been made into a movie, whether it makes it back onto the list.

Judy Blume’s books have also stood the test of time. Just last year, in one of the various reading challenges I do, we were asked to read some childhood favorites, so I took it as an opportunity to listen to Tiger Eyes and Are You There God, Its Me, Margaret. And I still found myself laughing hysterically hard at the “we must, we must, we must increase our bust” section.

2. Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson
Katherine Paterson’s classic about two friends and the world that they create for themselves – I had a place that I used to go and hang out with, luckily none of my friends ever died like in the book. But there was something so innocent about Jess and Leslie’s relationship. I didn’t realize that this was on the banned/challenges list until last year when I was doing some reading on Banned Books week – cited reasons include the promotion of the use of vulgar language (because damn and hell is said); the showing disrespect to adults and then the ultimate death of a main character. Here is a link to a really good blog detailing some of the challenges to the book – Bridge to Terabithia

3. The Witches – Roald Dahl
I loved pretty much all of Dahl’s books growing up – prior to discovering Judy Blume, he was one of my favorite authors (and I just recently discovered that he has several books of short stories for adults available – heaven!). While not exactly one of my favorites, I remember the enjoyment of reading the Witches and just a few years ago, watching the movie that was released. The following journal article takes a look at some of the controversy surrounding The Witches – it is a bit dense, but an interesting read

There are so many other books that I would love to mention here, but my blog post would then go on and on and on, and no one wants that right?

What about you guys – What books remind you of your childhood (banned/challenged or not)?

As a bonus at the end of the week, I’m going to collect all the names of people who have commented and throw them in the drawing for some kind of prize (yet to be determined).

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Deja Vu Review, Reading Events

 

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Deja Vu Review (3)

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

A foreign book/book from another country

Having been working my way around the world reading over the last couple of years, I have been exposed to many books that I normally wouldn’t have read. So it was kind of hard for me to limit my recommendations for the Deja Vu Review this week. But I ended up going with a YA and a series of essays.

This was one of my top YA reads in 2011 and although its set in a country I can’t say I want to visit (Nigeria), it was an interesting look at the experiences of a teenager growing up there. The author really did her research and if I remember correctly, she actually spent several years in the country growing up, which was reflected in her writing. I would recommend this not only to teenagers, but to adults who want to read about life in Africa.

The second book that I would recommend is J. Maarten Troost’s travelogues – this one is about his time in Kiribati (which as point would have it, is actually said Kiribas…) – although unfortunately, he doesn’t really talk about the sex lives of cannibals…but the title did make me pick up a book I normally wouldn’t have listened to. There are two others written by him, although I have only read one of them Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu – in which he actually does get drunk and stoned on a local delicacy, Kava…

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Blog Hop, Deja Vu Review

 

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Deja Vu Review (2)

The Deja Vu Review is a weekly meme hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. Its an opportunity to revisit old books you might have read before you launched your blog, but that you think should maybe still be highlighted.

A book you found by chance/by accident

When I was working the night shift a few years ago, one of the ways that I killed time was looking for book lots on ebay and sometimes buying them. Its amazing how buy clicky your finger gets at 3am when there isn’t much going on and you are struggling to stay away. One of the best deals I found online was buy 10lbs of randomly selected books (you could pick the genres) for $15. And if you bought 30lbs, you got an extra 10lbs for free (yeah, I totally got suckers into buying the 30). I ended up selected romance – and a mix of contemporary, historical, pnr and other stuff for the box.

When the box showed up wow, it was like a treasure trove and I immediately dug in. There was at least one awesome find in the box – Stormfire, written by Christine Monson. This book has been talked about on romance message boards for years – it was released in the height of the bodice ripper genre and is definitely either a love it or hate it book. What’s more, if you try to buy the book nowadays, you normally can’t find it cheaper than about $60, because only a limited print run was done, and it has not been re-released since and likely won’t. So the fact that I got it in a box that I probably only paid on average about $2 per book was pretty awesome. Oh yeah, and I feel in the love it category. But it wasn’t an easy read – it was violent, it was disturbing and by all rights, I should have hated it, but the writing was extremely compelling and sucked me in.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Blog Hop, Deja Vu Review

 

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