Thursday, September 29, 2011

Books on the Banned Book List from 2000-2009

I nabbed this list of more recent books on the Banned List from Lisa's World of Books I will highlight in blue the books that I have read and those I still want to read in red. The one book in green I am currently reading

100. America by E. R. Frank  
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume 
98. I Saw Esau by Iona Opte  
97. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende  
96. Grendel by John Gardner  
95. Shade’s Children by Garth Nix 
94. Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
93. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
91. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Graighead George
90. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
89. Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissenger
88. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
87. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

86. Cut by Patricia McCormick
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
84. So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Watkins
83. Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds
82. Deal With It! by Esther Drill
81. Black Boy by Richard Wright
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

79. The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss
78. The Joy of Gay Sex by Dr. Charles Silverstein
77. Crazy by Benjamin Lebert
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
75. Anastasia (series) by Lois Lowry
74. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
73. What’s Happening to My Body by Lynda Madaras
72. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
71. Junie B. Jones (series) by Barbara Park

70. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
69. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
68. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
67. A Time To Kill by John Grisham
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

65. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
64. Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park
63. The Terrorist by Caroline B. Cooney
62. The Stupids (series) by Harry Allard

61. Draw Me A Star by Eric Carle
60. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

59. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
58. Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going
57. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
56. When Dad Killed Mom by Julius Lester
55. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves by Brock Cole
53. You Hear Me? by Betsy Franco
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
51. Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan
50. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

48. Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by George Beard
46. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

45. Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly
44. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
43. Blubber by Judy Blume
42. The Fighting Ground by Avi
41. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
40. Life is Funny by E. R. Frank
39. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
38. Arming America by Michael Bellasiles
37. It’s So Amazing by Robie Harris
36. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
35. Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
34. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
33. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
32. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
30. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
29. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
28. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

27. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
26. Beloved by Toni Morrison
25. Killing Mr. Griffen by Lois Duncan

24. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
23. The Giver by Lois Lowry
22. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
21. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
20. King and King by Linda de Haan
19. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
18. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
17. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
16. Forever by Judy Blume
15. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
13. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey

12. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
11. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Meyers
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
9. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series) by Lauren Myracle
8. His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman
7. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwart
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
5. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
3. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
2. Alice (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling

Please leave your thoughts on this important discussion.

Review of The Darkness - Crystal Connor

The Darkness

The Darkness by Crystal Connor
Paperback266 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Bennett & Hastings Publishing

The review is my personal opinion of the book. I received no monetary compensation for the book review. A copy of this book was provided to me for free for review purposes.

The first thing I read when I received this book was :

I have removed essential steps and crucial ingredients from the spells and rituals performed in this story. This is not a textbook. The Darkness was written for entertainment purposes only. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to cast spells or reenact ceremonies performed by these fictional characters.
And that was before I even started the book. Whoa! A book with a warning? I knew this was going to be an interesting book. I was not even close. The Darkness is a mix of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror with Christian beliefs and witchcraft thrown in. It is a fast paced book that should be read slowly so you have time to savor it. I am adding the book trailer here. It is a bit longer than most but well worth watching. I was blown away by it.

This book takes what we know is happening with scientific experiments and mixes it  with what we think may be happening and what we fear to imagine happening , especially in the hands of the military - any military. It will hold you in its grip until its unexpected conclusion. I say unexpected because of all the ways I saw this ending I had not come to the one given.

Things I really enjoyed about this book were the respectful use of witchcraft. the very human people, the well developed characters, the fascinating story line, the mystery with which the author wrote.  
I had guessed the rituals and spells used would be somewhat realistic based on the warning but, having read other "magical" books, I was aware of what the reality could be. Happily the author stayed true and presented them as they are. Reading them I could feel the power and emotions in them. To be able to 'water them down' and have them mimic the actual ritual without losing the feel of them is an awesome talent. Kudos to Crystal Connor for mastering that. 
I really loved the way she let us into the hidden emotions. I do not want to give away too much of the book but there is a lot of realistic emotions put into her "villains". You really do not know whose side to be on. The author really does an excellent job at  bringing out the dilemma of Solomon and the two mothers.  
The story line I found to be somewhat fresh and unique.  The author took something familiar and added a twist that I have not read very often. And she did it very well. The mystifying air was maintained through out the book. This is a writer who truly knows her craft. She is someone to watch. 

A couple of quotes to whet your appetite a little more.

" The darkness. The calling me. I -I can't control these feelings. It's calling me. 'Primun non nocere,' remember Doctor? Do you even remember me? I used to call you Mommy."  Page 19

The child was only allowed to explore his world as far as he could see through the steel bars of his locked cage. Page 21

The child became upset and made something happen to Dr. Morgan. When Dr. Morgan was still, the bear resumed his flight with a hopeful prospect of reaching his destination.  Page 23

The other man (Point Man: Barret, J. 29), who had covered up the heap of decaying flesh that once was Dr. Morgan, was now also kneeling at the child's cage. Page 24

As you can see all that happens in the first 25 pages. This style of writing continues until the final page.

I hunted around the net for some info for you all because I know  some of you are interested. Here is what I have:

There is a sequel coming out to The Darkness! YAY! I knew there had to be.

On Amazon her book is available for the Kindle and in print.

She has a blog. It is at I stopped by there and joined it. It is an awesome site. Check it out.

*I would like to apologize to Crystal Connor for the late timing on the review. I had marked it on the calendar for tomorrow. When I realized the mix up Junior was melting down. I am sorry. *

So peeps if you like a good scary story that blurs the line of reality and fantasy this book is one you will regret if you do not read. Pick it up today. Really you won't be sorry. You'll be scared but not sorry.

Please leave  your comments. I love talking books with you!

Review of Daughters of Iraq & Thursday Hops

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme which likes to sculpts castles out of clouds!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

I am reading a few books at the same time. So here they are. The first I am at the end.

"My father's calling me," I said to my best friend, Naima. - Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz

When my father called me I was in trouble 9 times out of 10. I'm thinking she is in trouble. What did she do? Will she  get out of it? Will her friend help her? Or will she suddenly have to go home?

The Choice, Book One of The Walk the Right Road Series, a romantic mystical suspense

The sort of unusual quiet that happens right after a big storm rips through.-The Choice by Lorhainne Eckhart

And that is when I say I'm out of here. You know there is a problem. Time to go. Party over. Oh wait. This is from the book.  "Sorry, Honey looks like you should stop for Chinese tonight if you expect to eat. Yeah I'm kind of busy - you know the house and the kids." "What? We don't have any kids?" "How about a dog. We have a dog right?" 

This is my kid read:
The Chosen One (Grimsley Hollow Series)

His math teacher, Mr. Beasley, was actually a good teacher compared to most. - Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One - Nicole Storey

Compared to which other teachers? I want a recount. I never found math teachers to be all that good. I vote for the reading teacher.  What? Not only does my vote not count; they don't have reading teachers anymore? Wow! Did they do away with library time too?

My banned book choice:

The Facts Speak for Themselves

That was all. - The Facts Speak For Themselves - Brock Cole

What was all? What did I miss? And why are the police involved?

And the one I just started: 
Ghouls Night Out

I had to be different. - Ghouls Night Out (Larue Donavan) - Rose Pressey

Well, different can be a good thing. Okay with the title Ghouls Night Out maybe not. So then, different can be exciting? No? How about scary? Maybe. Hmm it is Rose Pressey. I got it! Different is snarky! Which means I was also right with all of the above. HA!

Hosted by  Readingbetweenpages this weeks theme is Sorry/Forgiveness.

From Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz:

For many years, my heart has been filled with piercing regret at how I behaved toward my father. My mother was the center of our household, the center of my world and the world of my siblings. My father was cast aside, and I never had a chance to tell him I loved him or ask his forgiveness.

From The Choice by Lorhainne Eckhart:

Not long ago, she’d rejoiced for being a major part in Dan’s life. And put all her love into growing these plants for him. However, that was before she was smacked upside the back of the head. That awakening made her face the truth of her role in this drug-related insanity. Now forgiveness for what she’d done is all she wanted, and to protect Sam. 

From Grimsley Hollow by Nicole Storey:

Gage had no idea what Ladon was talking about but Kateri did. She gave the young vampire a sad smile. “I’m sorry, Ladon. I know that it must be hard for you and your father, knowing that Inari has taken your mother hostage. But,” she gave Bram a disgusted look, “your father needs to remember that he is in Opa now and he will act respectfully to everyone, especially Gage.”

From The Facts Speak For Themselves by Brock Cole:

 I thought I would give him a chance to be sorry and beg for mercy, and then I’d say very calm, sorry, that’s not good enough. You got to go. And then Bang Bang, I’d shoot him in the heart. 

From Ghouls Night Out by Rose Pressey:

When she walked away, I said, “I’m sorry for turning our date into some kind of adventure out of a Scooby Doo cartoon.” 


Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz
Paperback288 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Horowitz Publishing 

When I was first approached to review this book I wasn't sure if I would be interested. I'm not from Iraq, I have no family from there and I am not Jewish. Then I went wait a minute. Jewish? In Iraq? Really? I could not fathom what it would have been like to be Jewish in Iraq.  Granted I have never been to Iraq and public school education when I was in school was sadly lacking on both Iraq and Jewish people. Mainly we were taught about the Holocaust and that was it for Jewish people. And Iraq. I think I heard more in geography which just focused on where it was located. So all I had to really go on was the Iraq that we have been hearing about in the media and the Iraq I heard about from Muslim friends. They never mentioned Jewish people lived there. So I was intrigued. 

The book was so much more than I expected. The story revolves around 3 women, two sisters, Farida and the deceased Violet, (we hear from her via her diary) and Violet's daughter,  Noa. It is a story of family, hurt, love, forgiveness and growing up. 

Violet passed away six years earlier from cancer. Noa was in the military at the time. When her mother was sick she could not handle seeing her that way and so she enlisted. Now she regrets doing that as she misses her mother so much. She is feeling guilty about that decision and also has many mixed feelings about life in general. She is at her Aunt's home telling Farida all this when Farida tells her that Violet had written a diary for Noa and her brother.  You can imagine how Noa must have felt; her aunt and her father kept her mother's diary from her for six years. She loves them and forgives them but I can imagine how hurt and angry she felt.

Through the diary and Farida's memories we come to know Violet and Farida as young girls, first in Iraq and then in Israel. We hear about how things were in Baghdad in the 40's and we hear what the exodus to Israel was like. Through Noa's eyes we see how things were in the 80's and we see her search for herself in the past and the present. It is a journey most women take I think. Wanting to know where we came from, what are roots are, how we came to be shaped and ultimately who we are as a result.  I felt that this book was about finding your roots, your home and being comfortable with it.  Farida and Violet were torn from their home in Iraq and forced to make a new one in Israel. While Noa in a sense ran away from home with her mother's illness and was now searching for her home. It is about enduring.  not only surviving but victory. No matter what was lost the family remained together. Love and food are major themes in this book. Yes there is romantic love. Remembered by Farida, written about by Violet and searched for by Noa; but also the love of a strong family. This is a heart-wrenching story at times. I cried in several places. But it is also a heartwarming story with warmth, laughter and hope. It is the story of 3 strong women who endure and find a way to what makes them happy. It is a fictional story written so well that you forget that. Then you see the haunting beauty of it. I believe there are aspects of this story that most women can relate to, whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim or other. We are all women and we all take the same journey; we just travel different paths. I found this book to be informative, emotional and most of all inspiring.  From the start of it I had a hard time putting it down. When I began it we had a wind storm that took out our power. I read by candlelight.  I give this book a solid 5 stars. It is one I would recommend.

There are some parts of the book that did not bother me but may cause some problems. However I feel the author did her best to address the issues. There are a lot of people and it can get confusing. This did not bother me but I think that is because I am always reading multiple books. My brain is trained for multiple people, I guess. The author has put a list of each person, chapter by chapter and how they relate at the end of the book. There is also a section which tells point of view for each section, some of these have dates and places listed. There is also a small section with word translations, which is also a part that may bother some readers. I had no problem with it and came away with knowing what a few words are so if I see them elsewhere I already know what they mean. 

I believe this book will especially appeal to women who like inspirational books, historically based books, those who like to learn more about other cultures and women of the Jewish faith. I must ask you not to pass it up because you feel that if you are not Jewish you will not have an interest in it. If you do you will be missing an excellent book that could enrich your own life regardless of your religion.

* I received this book from the author who requested an honest review. I was not compensated for the review. Opinions expressed are my feelings about the book.*

Revital Shiri-Horowitz was on the blog as a guest yesterday. She is giving away a copy of this awesome book to one winner. You only need to leave her a comment HERE to enter.  She is also selecting a winner for a cookbook, (I hope I win LOL), Mama Nazima's Jewish Iraqi Cuisine by Rivka Goldman. 

Please leave a comment. I love reading your thoughts about the books! Also if you are from the meme's, please let me know where to find yours.

Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...