Tags: dogear challenge

Reading

DogEar Challenge Round 5

I have finished the DogEar Reading Challenge. My last book was Marley and Me and I just finished that yesterday. The entire 5 are:

1. A book featuring an animal Marley and Me by John Grogan
2. An adult fantasy book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about) Infernal Device by Erik Ruhling
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

Marley and Me is definitely for dog lovers. There are just some things in that book that only a pet owner or former pet owner can truly appreciate. He talks about how Marley is a terrible dog and I have to heartily agree. I had a wonderful dog for 12 years and we didn’t have a fraction of the problems they had including jumping, slobbering, shedding, garbage raiding, food stealing, leash pulling, disobedience, random property damage, and anxiety. It also helped that my dog was smaller but still.

Marley is a big, loveable lug who just can’t seem to learn certain things. While it’s easy to understand the massive frustrations, you also feel the love and appreciation they have for that dog and the other way around. One time when John Grogan is out of town for business, his wife and kids notice how Marley just seems restless in his inability to locate him. It’s a sweet dopey thing that dogs do when they miss you and want you home. I won’t say too much more since the book is better left read.

It’s not a great work of literature and it won’t change your life but it was a very nice read. It’s a fun romp for pet owners since, no matter how wonderful you dog is or was, they have done at least one of the things Marley has done.

I’m glad I did this challenge. It helped to motivate me to read with a good amount of variety. I worked my way through several very interesting books in my vast collection. It gives me an idea for a personal book challenge. I will either post it at the start of next month of January. I’m leaning toward starting in December though. It will be long but anyone who is willing to join me for the ride is welcome. There will be no prizes or anything like that. I’m doing this because I own a very large number of books and, with the help of GoodReads.com, I’ve calculated that I’ve only read about 40% of what I own. I’m going to spend a year trying to change that.
Reading

DogEar Book Challenge Round 4

I have completed book 4 in the DogEar Challenge.

1. A book featuring an animal  Marley and Me
2. An adult fantasy book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)  Infernal Device
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

I found it very interesting and slightly disturbing but that's what you get when you read a book about torture.  As part of the disinformation series, I believe it is very upfront and honest in its presentation.  It gives you a short history about each device and adding details for uses and variations in various countries.  Ruhling also used 3D imaging software to create very realistic images of what the devices would/do look like.  I would not say it's the definitive book but an excellent introduction. 

It gives you the history of well known devices such as the iron maiden, the rack, thumbscrews and the guillotine.  It also details slightly lesser known devices such as the heretic's fork (seen in an episode of Criminal Minds), St. Elmo's belt, the garrote (seen in a James Bond movie), the gibbet (any pirate movie ever probably) and the interrogation chair (the cover art).  It also provides miscellaneous information such as the origins of the phrase "Sacre bleu!" Given the caliber of most modern horror movies, this book fits right in with Halloween.  Given its upfront telling and graphic nature, I found it best read in small doses.


There is something slightly fitting that the fourth book I read was actually number four on the list.  I don't think the order in which I read these books is too important.  I'll tackle Marley and Me next month.  I've got at least two dystopia novels begging to be read.


Reading

DogEar Challenge Update

I'm working my way through one of the books I'm reading for the DogEar Challenge.  As of my last update, I only had two left to go.

1. A book featuring an animal  Marley and Me
2. An adult fantasy book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)  Infernal Device
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

I still have multiple books going at this time but Infernal Devices shouldn’t take me especially long.  I was originally going to do something by Michio Kaku (a popular talking head for Discovery and History Channel shows) but I just don’t think I would be able to keep myself motivated and interested with the lack of stimulation in my life at present.  Most science books tend to be on the dryer side and it always takes me longer to finish them than a novel.  It’s difficult to get yourself lost in statistics over a plot sometimes.  I will read them but not for this challenge.  Besides, I think a book about torture devices better fits the criteria anyway.  While most people don’t read about astrophysics, it’s not too difficult to find a book about it.  Torture devices might actually take some work to locate at the local booksellers.  So far it’s pretty interesting and just a tad bit disturbing.

Reading

DogEar Book Challenge Update

I have a conundrum.  I’m not sure what to read next for the DogEar Challenge.  I know Marley and Me will be my animal book but I have come into possession of three books that would work for obscure knowledge.  I have Witsec, Infernal Device, and Parallel Universes.  I’m leaning toward Infernal Device since it would be a good book for October to get into the spirit of Halloween.  I think I’ll go with that.

1. A book featuring an animal  Marley and Me
2. An adult fantasy book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)  Infernal Device
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

I haven’t started either one yet but I have several books going right now and I just got reminded that I pre-ordered The Lost Symbol.  It’s not a great work of literature but it has fun factoids, is a fun read, and might have a lot more going down on my home turf.  Plus I got a good price so I was so in.
Sweet Lips

The DogEar Book Challenge Round 3

I have finished book #3 for the DogEar Challenge

1. A book featuring an animal
2. An adult fantasy book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

This was a teen novel about a girl going through a hard time in her life.  Her older sister runs away just days before she is due to start Yale University.  Her parent's are each trying to cope and in light of the tragedy of 'losing' their daughter, Caitlin becomes somewhat invisible.  During her invisibility, she begins dating Rogerson Briscoe.  At first she enjoys the fact the he simply likes her for her and knows nothing of her near-perfect sister.  Eventually, her feelings for him become so strong that she begins to forgive things she knows she has no business forgiving.  Despite knowing better, she can't make herself leave once he starts abusing her.

I respect Dessen for taking on such a controversial topic.  Many people don't have much sympathy or understanding for the situation.  Dessen writes the novel in such a way that while you may not agree with Caitlin, you understand how it happened.  That is something that is very hard to do.  I think she painted an accurate picture of how something like this can and does happen.  As always I enjoy Dessen's novels and this one is no exception.  It's not my favorite but it's definitely good, especially compared to those girl-gets-guy, dime a dozen teen lit out there.  There is one more novel out there that I haven'y read yet but I'll take my time.  I need to make a bigger dent in what I have.

I have two more books left for the challenge which I think I have narrowed down my choices for.  For obscure nonfiction, I will read something by Michio Kaku.  He's a popular talking head on the History and Discovery Channels specials about space and astrophysics.  I consider astrophysics pretty obscure since many people don't know much about it.  For animals, I'm down to Tell Me Where It Hurts or Marley and Me.  I'll likely go with Marley since it's more clear cut as to the role of the animal.  Besides, I think I have something else I can read Hurts for...

Sweet Lips

The DogEar Book Challenge Round 2

I have completed my second book in the DogEar Challenge

1. A book featuring an animal
2. An adult fantasy book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

My second book was The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.  I know some may try to debate me on it being a fantasy book but I think those people may not have read it.  It has vampires, werewolves, time police, recreated species (the principle character has a pet dodo), a portal to travel into literature, and a villain that just won't die.  When I Wikied the book, it was described as 'comic fantasy.'  It is described as a subgenre of fantasy that is largely comic in tone and intent as opposed to the more serious fantasy novels like LOTR.  It's fantasy but light, funny, and good fun. 

It is also an 'alternate history' concept since it takes place in 1985.  There are parts that I found quite clever and amusing like when Thursday is talking to her father when he brings her a Beatles record from 1978.  She says, "I thought they broke up in 1970."  Her father replies "Not always."  He also asks about how the Duke of Wellington died at the start and end of the book.  It's something to watch that tickled me.  It is hardly the main point of the book which is to catch a literary criminal and psychopath who can control minds and seems impervious to bullets.  Thursday's journey was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I can't wait to get to the sequel.

I've got three left and until the end of December to finish them.  I think I can swing it.  My game plan is to (re)read Pride and Prejudice.  I tired before and got very close to the end before I had to stop.  I want to try again but I got an idea while cleaning out the basement.  I found an old tape player that I loved to use as a child to play audio tapes that went along with my books.  I would read and enjoy the pictures while a pleasant voice told me the tale.  I found a podcast of a woman who reads aloud chapters from classic literature.  She has Anne of Green Gables, Huck Finn and Pride and Prejudice.  I can't imagine my text will vary greatly from her's so I will give P&P another go with her help.  I have some trouble getting into some of the classic literature simply by reading.  If I can get audiobooks from the library, I might be able to enjoy other works that I should read like Dracula, Emma, Jane Eyre and others.  We'll see how it goes but I quite like the idea. 


Sweet Lips

DogEar Book Challenge Round 1 Down

Assuming this does not have to be done in a specific order, I have completed the first round of the DogEar challenge.

1. A book featuring an animal
2. An adult fantasy book
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food 

Number 5 is done with Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.  Overall, I was very entertained by the book.  Julie Powell's attempts at cooking result in many profanity laced melt-downs, interesting dinner 'parties' and a surreal, unexpected celebrity.  Some parts of her lack of housekeeping bothered me because I'm not a neat freak but I am better at keeping my kitchen clean (you'll find out what I mean toward the end. Bleach anyone?).  I think since I am not into cooking or wine the way she is, I've lost something in the reading.  It can be appreciated by the grilled chicken, Hamburger Helper masses such as myself but foodies might get a bit more out of the esoteric references.  I would recommend it but I felt it dragged a touch toward the end but that could be the result of my getting a new release book from the library due back in about 2 weeks.  I'll keep you posted as it goes.

Reading

DogEar Book Challenge

I was surfing the net when I found this.  It's a reading challenge:

1. A book featuring an animal
2. An adult fantasy book
3. A YA or juvenile fiction book
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)
5. A book about plants, gardening, or food

It goes from 8/01/2009 until 12/31/2009.  I entered because it sounds like fun and many of the books I want to read are on my to-read list as it is.  This is the tentative list I have for the challenge. 

1. Either Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes OR Tell Me Where It Hurts by Nick Trout (both are want to reads)
2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (want to read)
3. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (want to read
4. Hyperspace by Michio Kaku (want to read)
5. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (reading)

If number 2 is debatable as to it's fantasy standards, I can always use Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.

What's mildy amusing to me is if I look over all the books I've read this year, I may have made a sizable dent in the list as it stands.

1. A book featuring an animal
2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
3. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
4. A non-fiction book on an obscure topic (or something you don't usually read about)
5. My Life in France by Julia Child

Julia Child's memoir almost doubles for 4 and 5 because I don't usually read about French cooking, or cooking in general.  I wouldn't it's an abscure topic but for me, it's very obscure.  I don't really have any books from this year featuring animals unless you include Soon I Will Be Invincible where there's a mutant human-tiger hybrid type of creature.  Of course these don't count since I didn't start reading them this month but it's interesting nonetheless.  I'll keep you all posted as I progress.