Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vampire Knight: Volume 14

by Matsuri Hino, 188 pages

Yuki faces the memories Kaname has shared with her and asks him if they can start over from scratch.  But Sara Shirabuki, another pureblood who's been stirring up troubles and tensions lately within the vampire community as well as between them and the hunters, makes a move that may force his hand and ultimately change Yuki's life forever.

Oh my!  I don't want to spoil anyone, so I'll leave out the details.  Things have taken a dramatic turn that have the potential to change the story and relationship dynamics significantly.  Now we'll just have to watch and see what the characters do with this new situation.  Will they stubbornly keep to their professed paths?  Or will they adjust to deal with the realities before them?  I want to know!

Cowboy Ninja Viking: Volume 1

by A. J. Lieberman (story), Riley Rossmo (art, tones), and Clayton Cowles (lettering); Dave Casey (cover design), Jim Valentino (book design), 154 pages

An unstable man with multiple personality disorder is drawn back into the defunct secret government program that turned his affliction into an asset in the War on Terror in this high-energy, humor-driven action series.

For more details, please see my full review on!

Friday, August 10, 2012

"Making Babies: Stumbling Into Motherhood" by Anne Enright

196 pages 

After eighteen years of marriage and almost reaching middle age, Enright found herself becoming a mother. Before she knew it, she had two children running around. She was already a successful author in her native Ireland, but she soon realized that she was much less confident at being a mother than writing. During the first few years of her children's lives, she took time between feedings and diaper changes to write about all the messiness as well as the joys of motherhood, particularly motherhood at a later stage of life. I found this collection charming, funny, and thought-provoking. I like that Enright loves her children and wants what's best for them but she doesn't bow to the guilt and pressure associated with trying to be a perfect parent. I feel like this is a book that would comfort a lot of new parents who feel overwhelmed. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

J.K. Rowling
309 pages

This is the first book in the Harry Potter series.  Harry's parents were killed by "You-Know-Who" when he was just a baby.  "You-Know-Who" also tried to kill Harry, but failed and disappeared.  Harry is a celebrity in the wizarding world, but he is unaware of this.  He doesn't even know that he's a wizard because he's spent the last ten years living with his unmagical relatives who have been hiding this knowledge from him.  However, Harry is now 11 years old, and it is time for him to go to Hogwarts, the school for wizards.  He is suddenly thrust into the wizarding world and learns about his family and his past.  He also faces many challenges as he "You-Know-Who" takes steps to gain power once more.

I've read this one before, so there weren't many surprises.  However, I did catch some foreshadowing I'd never caught how Harry's father's wand was good for transfiguration.  Overall, it's an okay read, but it's not my favorite in the series.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg

400 pages

Every day, we do thousands of things out of habit, even without realizing it. Without habits, our minds would be overwhelmed with mundane decision making. Still, habits can be a disadvantage when we get into a routine that is bad for us, whether it's personally, physically, or professionally. Duhigg argues that in order to change our habits, we have to understand how they work. He does a good job of explaining that, with plenty of examples from all kinds of situations. He makes it all easy to understand. I do wish there were more practical suggestions for changing habits, though. The focus is definitely on how our brains work when it comes to habits, not on what to do about it. Duhigg is right; it's useful knowledge, and sometimes just being aware of what your brain is doing can help you get out of a bad routine. For more entrenched habits, however, a little more is needed. Still, this is an interesting and useful book that make me more conscious of the things I do without thinking.

Monday, August 6, 2012

July 2012 Winners

Hi everyone, 

Here's how the Missouri Book Challenge went this month:

Most Books
Jenny: 26
Heather: 16
Meggan: 9

Most Pages
Jenny: 5553
Heather: 4966
Meggan: 2561

Participation Points
Jenny: 26
Heather: 16
Meggan: 15

Participants: 4
Books: 52
Pages: 13,434

As you can see, our number of participants is tapering off...feel free to join back in if you haven't posted for a while! I know it's hard to review every book you read so don't feel like you have to do that; just do however many you can. Also, please pass the book blog info along to anyone who might be interested. Thanks to all of you who have posted!