Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

In Memoriam: Colleen McCullough

February 4, 2015 Dani Uncategorized 4 Comments

Last week, we lost an author who was tremendously important to my personal reading history. As long as I can remember, Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds has been a staple on the bookshelves of my homes. First, as a book beloved by my mom – carefully packed, transported and reshelved along our many, many moves. My mom later shared this book with me as a young woman giving it her most honored (in my eyes alone) stamp of approval as “one of her favorites.” Most people who know us both, know that we share an awful lot; we have the same voice and mannerisms, we have similar tastes from food to movies, and we have a very deep love of reading. It was these small acts of sharing books like The Thorn Birds by which my mom slowly changed the course of my life. My love of literature grew deeper and stronger, and ultimately, more important than other pursuits.

 

 

Slowly, this book migrated from the communal shelves of our family to my own growing library. When I moved out, this was one of a very few books my mom officially passed to me. It still holds a proud place in my collection. I don’t read The Thorn Birds as often as I used to, but it’s one that I simply hold onto often – when I feel homesick, when I feel lonely, when I miss my mom. As I open the front cover, I see my mother’s (maiden) name written atop the first page. And as I read the epigraph, I can’t help but think of all the times my mom’s eyes have looked over the same passage.

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest I searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain…Or so says the legend.”

Thank you Colleen McCullough for living, for writing, and for imparting your beautiful book to my mom and to me. You are greatly missed.

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Man Booker Prize 2013 – Shortlist Announcement

September 10, 2013 Bonnie Uncategorized 5 Comments

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The Man Book Prize was launched in 1969 and is a literary prize for the best original full-length novel written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.

I have always found myself drawn to the winners and nominees of this literary prize even though I very rarely find myself agreeing with the judges decisions (*cough*Life of Pi*cough*). The judges started with a list of 151 novels and the longlist which consisted of 13 was announced on July 23rd, the shortlist has been announced today with a winner being announced October 15th.

Man Booker Shortlist 2013

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Harvest by Jim Crace
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

I have yet to read any of these (although The Luminaries and Harvest are on my TBR list) so it’s difficult to take a guess at who might win. Jim Crace and Colm Tóibín have already been reported as favorites to win though.

 

Have you read any of these? Who do you believe should win it all?

 

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To the Authors Lost in 2013

August 24, 2013 Bonnie Uncategorized 0 Comments

Much of my reading is occupied solely by current publications, and I often feel as if I’m missing out on the legends and the greats. The ones with classic works that will still be adored even after they’ve left us. Unfortunately, we’ve lost several great authors this year and it shames me to say that these three authors in particular are ones I never took the time to read their works while they were still with us. At least they leave us with their books to remember them by.

Elmore Leonard


“Psychopaths… people who know the differences between right and wrong, but don’t give a shit. That’s what most of my characters are like.”


Most recent is the death of Elmore “Dutch” Leonard who passed away on August 20th, 2013. Over the course of his lifetime he published 46 novels, 26 of them were adapted for film and TV including Out of Sight, 3:10 to Yuma, Jackie Brown and Get Shorty and his stories were also the inspiration behind the hit show Justified. Late last year Elmore was honored with the medal for distinguished contribution to American letters from the National Book Foundation.

Fun Fact: He never owned a computer so all 46 of his novels were written on legal pads before he would type them up on a typewriter.

The first book of Elmore’s I have selected to read is Pronto, the first installment in the series behind Justified. I already had it on audiobook and I started listening to it the day he died. It was the inspiration behind this post because so far? It’s fantastic. And I regret waiting so long to read it.

 

Richard Matheson

“I think we’re yearning for something beyond the every day. And I will tell you I don’t believe in the supernatural, I believe in the supernormal. To me there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it’s only because we haven’t been able to understand it yet.”

Richard Matheson passed away on June 23rd, 2013. He was not only an author but a screenwriter and is most known for his science fiction and fantasy stories. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. He was also the writer of sixteen episodes from ‘The Twilight Zone. It’s always interesting to find out that popular movies were originally books. I watched Stir of Echoes and I Am Legend and didn’t find out till much later they were based on books written by Richard Matheson.

Fun Fact: Senator Richard Matheson, a character from “The X-Files”, is named after him.

The book of Matheson’s that I have selected to read is Hell House. I love a good ghost story and this one sounds fantastically creepy.


Iain Banks

“Writing is like everything else: the more you do it the better you get. Don’t try to perfect as you go along, just get to the end of the damn thing. Accept imperfections. Get it finished and then you can go back. If you try to polish every sentence there’s a chance you’ll never get past the first chapter.”

Iain Banks passed away on June 9th, 2013. He wrote 26 books in his lifetime which were both mainstream fiction and science fiction. He is most known for his first novel ‘The Wasp Factory’ which was later listed as one of the top 100 books of the 20th century and also as one of the 1001 books to read before you die list (a total of 5 of his books appear on that list).

Fun facts: Iain has an asteroid named after him. It resides in the Main Asteroid Belt of the Sol system. He was also an extra in Monty Python & The Holy Grail.

The book I’ve decided to read first is ‘The Wasp Factory’ although ‘The Crow Road’ is a definite possibility as well. I’m open to recommendations. 🙂

It’s overdue (better late than never, right?) but I have finally decided to take the plunge and read these great authors works. They leave a legacy behind, a legacy we are all still able to sit down, enjoy and appreciate I have no doubt this is how they would want their lives to be celebrated.

Did you lose a favorite author this year? Are any of these three favorite authors of yours? What books of theirs would you recommend?

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Mission: Clean My Shelves

August 23, 2013 Bonnie Uncategorized 10 Comments

I really enjoyed doing the Book Survey last Friday. It was fun and different than what I normally do so I decided to try something different again this Friday. Today, I’m going to talk about my next Bookish goal. The only thing I like more about getting new books is talking about them so that’s what I decided to ramble on about today.
 

 

Hi. My name is Bonnie and I am a Book Addict.
 
I visited my library the other day and just wandered around browsing, not looking for anything in particular. No less than 3 times did I see a book, get super excited, and then realize… what a minute, I already own this. And it’s unread (of course). But a part of me still wanted to bring it home with me. I’m just glad I realized BEFORE I actually brought it home. There’s something strange about the intense desire to bring new books home, regardless of how many you have waiting for you at home to be read.
 
Half of my library addiction I think is just my enjoyment of the environment… just being around all the books makes me happy. But in all seriousness, my own personal collection of books is almost large enough to rival my public library so why not treat it as such? I think a part of my problem with reading my currently owned books is my complete lack of organization and my inability to find something when I want it. This would of course be solved with several new bookshelves but for the time being I’m going to have to work with what I’ve got. 
 
Organizing My Books
My unread books are so disorganized it’s not even funny and it BOTHERS me to even look at my shelves these days. Note that there are books stack upon books and stacked in front of other books… I can never find anything I’m looking for. If I had it my way they’d be all pretty and alphabetized and nice and easy to find. So that was my big project: organize my shelves. 
 
How do you organize your books? By color? Alphabetically? By favorites? Are your ARCs kept separate so you know which need to be read next? 
 
The Purge
Once I read a book I usually put it on top of my bookshelf. Sometimes I’ll finish a book and I disliked it so it goes in the giveaway bag for my used bookstore. Most of these books I don’t honestly ever see myself re-reading, so why keep them? It’s a disease I tell ya, a disease!

PLUS, if you look real closely you can see my top shelf is bowing under the weight. Problems. I gots them. My read pile has grown so much that in addition to my top shelf I have several boxes full of books that I can’t bear to part with but have already read. Once I get more bookshelves I’d love to bring them back out because I love being able to have access to all my books, read or not. 


How do you decide when you get rid of books? Do you keep them all? When do you decide if you should do a giveaway for the book or not?
 
Just Do It
Instead of plotting out best ways to do it I ended up just tackling it head-on in hopes I’d come up with some organizational approach that works best for me. I went the alphabetical route because that seemed easiest. I pulled all my read books off and started filling boxes… not exactly what I had in mind but I’d get separation anxiety if I got rid of massive piles of books all at once. Baby steps. 

Plus, I did start my giveaway pile. There are only a few reasons why a book should actually be kept and this is discussed perfectly in a post over at the BookRiot: “Why Keep Books?” 


I have a ton that I plan to read “eventually”. Those types actually encompass the majority of my collection. I don’t reread a lot but I’ve been really trying to make time for my old favorites because it interests me to see how my tastes have changed and to see if I still love those old favorites. I’ve done 3 re-reads this year and am pleased to say I enjoyed them again… maybe not as much as the first time but was still nice to revisit.

The End Result

Okay, so not a VAST improvement but, again, baby steps. Everything is in alphabetical order thus making it much more likely that I’ll actually be able to find a book I’m looking for (and actually read it). I know where to find my books now when I need them. I ended up alphabetizing my ARCs right along with all of my books but I have a feeling I’ll be taking them out and finding a special spot for them since they should have priority.

Working With My ARC/Library Habit

2013 was the year that I really started to kick my ARC habit. I requested SO many my first year of blogging and SO many of those went unread and I look back and cringe. I’ve become a much more responsible blogger and have learned how to calendar and read stuff in order of publication even though being responsible sucks most of the time (especially when you get a book and you want to dive into it immediately but have books coming up due soon? That. That sucks.) Then there’s the books you don’t receive as ARCs but are still dying to read, and as a result my library addiction is born.

I have so many wonderful books I’ve acquired over the years that I remember being ecstatic about getting but… they remain unread. My goal is to get through the last few ARCs I have and then make this my focus. 


Do you have an established method for how you read? Do you read nothing but ARCs because you have so many? Do you read an owned book every other book? Or are you how I wish I could be and read whatever you want, whenever you please?



So, the whole reason for this post is to put it out there and maybe it’ll give me the motivation to actually do it. I can talk about it to myself as much as I want but sometimes putting it into words and giving yourself a plan works wonders. Feel free to include any suggestions or what works best for you, I’m all ears! 

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Armchair BEA – Top 10 of 2012

June 5, 2012 Bonnie Uncategorized 0 Comments

Design Credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Today’s the second day of Armchair BEA and today’s topic is our favorites (so far!) of 2012. The following are the top ten books published in 2012 that received ratings of 4+ stars from me.

Nicole Peeler – Tempest’s Fury
Mira Grant – Blackout
Mike Mullin – Ashen Winter
Katherine Longshore – Gilt
Barry Lyga – I Hunt Killers
Robin LaFevers – Grave Mercy
Karen Thompson Walker – The Age of Miracles
Gina Damico – Croak
Geoff Rodkey – Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg #1)
Eowyn Ivey – The Snow Child
There have been some amazing releases already and we’re only halfway through the year! What are your favorite 2012 releases? Let me know!
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Armchair BEA – Introductions!

June 5, 2012 Bonnie Uncategorized 12 Comments

This is my first year participating in Armchair BEA and am really looking forward to all the happenings this week. Allow me to introduce myself:
  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
  • My name is Bonnie and I’m the sole reviewer on Sweet Tidbits. I set up my blog almost a year ago (July 2011) and have been fairly full-time ever since. (Life does often get in the way!) I started posting my book reviews on Goodreads and enjoyed sharing my opinions on books so much that I wanted to set up a blog dedicated to them. I haven’t expanded my blog very much past book reviews but it’s a work in progress.
  • What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
  • My currently-reading list is out of control right now. I’ve got 4 books I’m actively reading at the moment: A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, The Survivors by Amanda Havard, and Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. My favorite book I’ve read so far in 2012… hmm… I’m going to have to go with Blackout by Mira Grant. Fabulous close to the series!
  • What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?
  • I love my ‘Something To Look Forward To’ post that I do on a weekly basis. I love a wide variety of genres including YA novels, Adult novels, historical fiction, urban fantasy, and even the occasional non-fiction. My post showcases the particular few that I’m personally looking forward to.
  • Where do you see your blog in five years?
  • I would like to expand on my different posts and maybe even team up with another blogger. But who knows what’ll happen, 5 years is a long time down the road! 🙂
  • Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
  • I feel my reading tastes have changed or more accurately expanded. I’ve become more open to trying new genres that I wouldn’t normally read and have found some new favorites.
Thanks for visiting! Please comment with your Armchair BEA post link if you have one!
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Super Amazing Giveaway over @ Literary Exploration

January 18, 2012 Bonnie Uncategorized 0 Comments


Grand Prize Winner:
A mystery box of books and swag!
UPDATE: Upon reaching 900 followers I announced ONE item that will be in the box – A SIGNED copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi!!!
UPDATE: When I reached 950 followers I announced another item that will be in the box – A SIGNED copy of Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi!!!

2nd Place Winner:
UPDATE: I managed to reach 1,000 followers so thank you so much to everyone, and hello new followers!!! Because of this, someone else will win a little something! It won’t be a big mystery box like the grand prize winner, but it will be some swag and maybe a couple books! YOU SHALL SEE 🙂

If I manage to get to 1,000 followers I will add another winner!!! 
Please make sure to read through my giveaway policy on the policies page before entering, and remember this giveaway is US ONLY if you have someone in the US who is willing to accept the box for you, and then mail it to you that is fine too!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over and sign up to be eligible!!

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