Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I want to wish everyone a great 2007. That you may have a great time with family and friends.

As always, Happy Reading.

Sincerely, Books for thy Imagination

Friday, December 29, 2006

Should it be Read?? But I don't like it!

Many of us have encountered books that we dislike while still reading Chapter 1! But yet we read the entire book although we do not like it. We dread having to open it and continue where we left of. But Why, in the first place do we continue reading it? Do we feel a certain obligation to read the entire book? Do we feel we have to give the story or the author a chance? Of course, there are times when we have to read a certain text, be it for a college class or something of the sort. But when we read just for they joy of reading why do we make ourselves read something not to our liking? As the word implies we are to read for joy or pleasure. Have you ever asked yourself this? Maybe it's time you do.

I have asked several people to help me answer this question. Here are some of their comments. In the meanwhile Please consider this question next time you start reading a book you do not like. Should it be Read? Remember that there are a lot of books to be read and life is short.

"If you really don't like it, give it up - there's so many great books to read!" - Nicole

And I say a resounding no! There are too many good books to read for me to waste time on a one that I can't get into. I usually give it about 50 pages or so. Then I move on." - Susan

"No, you should not finish it. There are too many good books to read and the next one you choose may be great. I used to think I had to finish a book no matter what. However, since I have so many and there are so many coming out all the time, I give myself about 50 pages. After that I am tossing it." - Teresa R.

"I like more of what I read than I don't - and either I'm very good at selecting what I read -- or I am just not as discerning as some. I keep plugging along when a book has captured my attention at some level. I've come across several books that ended up being among my favorites that just got of to slow starts. I won't bother finishing books that have completely failed to suck me in and cannot hold my attention." - Wendy

"If I don't like a book, I won't finish it. Reading is supposed to be fun and what fun is reading a book you don't like? I say move on to a better book." - Devonna

"I am not inclined to keep reading a book that does not catch my interest. However, that being said... if I am participating in a book club read, I will slog through a book I don't like. The reason for this is that often during the course of a book club discussion, I have found myself appreciating a book that initially didn't interest me. Sometimes discussions open up interpretations which I may have missed. That happened to me several times over the course of the year." - Wendy

"There have been times that I have finished a book simply to say that I have read it. I find that if I do not like a book and it takes me a lot longer to read the book than if I really enjoyed it. Nonetheless by finishing the book I can say that I have read it, thus giving me something to talk about, and it also gives me something to think about. I find that when I read a book I always try to figure out the significance of the title and when there is a book that I don't particularly care for I find this job more of a challenge, so, in the end I find that reading a book I don't care for proves to be a benefit." - Jenn

I want to thank everyone who contributed their thoughts to this blog.

January Book Selections

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas : )


"Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."
-- Oren Arnold

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas : )

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Teen Read Favorites 2006

Best Loved books by teens in 2006 : )
This books were chosen as some of the favorites from Teens, but are of course to be read by teens and adults. Although, I have not read the books from this list, I assure you I have them on my To Read List.

1)BLIND FAITH by Ellen Wittlinger
After Liz Scattergood's grandmother, Bunny, dies, Liz's mother spirals into a deep depression. She starts attending a spiritualist church, where she believes she can communicate with Bunny through a medium. Liz thinks it's weird, though she agrees to go along. But for Liz's atheist dad, the spiritualist church has the opposite effect --- it drives him away from her mom and their family. Without anyone to talk to, Liz turns to her new neighbor, Nathan, who's dealing with his own mother's terminal cancer.

2) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, young Liesel Meminger, who lives outside of Munich, scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist --- books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

3)Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Ophelia is falling in love with a prince named Hamlet who cannot return her affections without arousing suspicion. And so they meet in secret. If you think you know this story, think again. Because when bloody deeds turn the court of Elsinore into a place of treachery and madness, Ophelia alone will find the means to escape, with nothing more than the clothes on her back...and one very dangerous secret.

4)Sold by Patricia McCormick
Lakshmi is a 13-year-old girl who lives in a small hut in the mountains of Nepal. Although her family is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. He introduces her to someone who tells her she will find her a job as a maid working for a wealthy woman in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi undertakes the long journey to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution.

5)The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas by John Boyne
Berlin, 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences

Eragon and Movie

If you are an Inheritance Trilogy Fan, a series written by Christopher Paolini don't miss out on the new film-adaptation. The movie has had mixed reviews but the best critic is always yourself. In anticipation of the film Random House has published two books. They are: 'MYTHIC VISION: The Making of the Movie Eragon', by Mark Cotta Vaz; and 'ERAGON: MOVIE TIE-IN' by Christopher Paolini. You may also be interested in 'The Ultimate Unauthorized Eragon Guide: The Hidden Facts Behind the World of Alagaesia' by Lois Gresh

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Harry Potter Update : )

This includes the title of the final book and other information. Enjoy!

Final 'Harry Potter' title announced
By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer
Thu Dec 21, 10:55 AM ET

We now have a title for Book VII: "Harry Potter and the Deathly

But if you want to find out for yourself, visit J.K. Rowling's Web site,, and play a little game of hangman.

Rowling's U.S. publisher, Scholastic, Inc., released a brief statement Thursday announcing the name of the world's most anticipated children's book, the finale to her phenomenally popular fantasy series.

No publication date or other details were offered. Rowling is still working on the book, she wrote on her Web site in an entry posted early Thursday.

"I'm now writing scenes that have been planned, in some cases, for a dozen years or even more," she wrote. "I don't think anyone who has not been in a similar situation can possibly know how this feels: I am alternately elated and overwrought. I both want, and don't want, to finish this book (don't worry, I will.)"

Meanwhile, she set up a little game for her Potter fans.

If you go to her home page, click on the eraser and you will be taken to a room — you'll see a window, a door and a mirror.

In the mirror, you'll see a hallway. Click on the farthest doorknob and look for the Christmas tree. They click on the center of the door next to the mirror and a reef appears. Then click on the top of the mirror and you'll see a garland.

Look for a cobweb next to the door. Click on it, and it will disappear. Now, look at the chimes in the window. Click on the second chime to the right, and hold it down. The chime will turn into the key, which opens the door. Click on the wrapped gift behind the door, then click on it again and figure out the title yourself by playing a game of hangman.

Or you can just take Scholastic's word for it.

This information was kindly provided by a member of BookCrazy : )

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Books that Made an Impression : )

Top books that have made an impression on me this year are: I am only able to choose two books this year

1)The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I loved how this book gave me a glimpse on the Afghanistan country and people. I thought the story was fascinating. This definitely is one of the must reads!

2)The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness and the Fair That Changed America (Illinois ) by Erik Larson
Although this book falls in the Historical Non-Fiction Genre it surely reads as a novel and is so interesting it is hard to put it down. I was surprised as how much of the things we have now come from that fair. I really couldn't believe I hadn't read this book before.

Other Books to Make a Note of: This books have been read by various different book groups and have mostly always toped the list as favorites. They are:

1)My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
I read this book in the beginning of the year and thought it was very moving. I loved that we were showed each person's point of view which made it far easier to understand the characters and more difficult to take sides. Plus the end totally surprised me!

2)Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
I saw the movie first and until I read the book did I realized how much I was missing. Although I was disappointed in the fact that this book was an art of fiction, nevertheless it lets us explore a world rarely seen or heard of and unlike the movie explains in detail how the life of a Geisha must have been.

3)The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
I think this was one of the most read books of the year mainly because of the controversy it stirred. I personally thought the book slow at times and so many cryptograms and puzzles did bore me somewhat but in the end it was a fairly good story.

4)The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I found this book extremely interesting because it is told by a young girl who has died and is in heaven. It was very touching and I enjoyed it very much. An Excellent read.

Top Acclaimed Books for Reading Groups and Individuals. I haven't read this ones yet but I do have them on the top of my To Read List

1)The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
2)The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
3)The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Friday, December 15, 2006

100 Notable Books of the Year 2006

Fiction & Poetry


ABSURDISTAN. By Gary Shteyngart. (Random House, $24.95.) A young American-educated Russian with an ill-gotten fortune waits to return to the United States in this darkly comic novel.

AFTER THIS. By Alice McDermott. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) In her effectively elliptical novel, McDermott continues to scrutinize the lives of Irish Catholics on Long Island.

AGAINST THE DAY. By Thomas Pynchon. (Penguin Press, $35.) In Pynchon's globe-trotting tale, set (mostly) on the eve of World War I, anarchic Americans collide with quasi-psychic European hedonists and a crew of boyish balloonists, anticipating the shocks to come.

ALENTEJO BLUE. By Monica Ali. (Scribner, $24.) Ali's second novel revolves around the inhabitants of a southern Portuguese village.

ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN. By Edward P. Jones. (Amistad/HarperCollins, $25.95.) Several characters from Jones's first story collection return in this one, set mostly in Washington, D.C.

APEX HIDES THE HURT. By Colson Whitehead. (Doubleday. $22.95.) In this parablelike novel, a commercial "nomenclature consultant" is hired to name a Midwestern town, and his task turns into an exploration of the corruption of language.

ARTHUR AND GEORGE. By Julian Barnes. (Knopf, $24.95.) A metaphysical mystery starring Arthur (Conan Doyle), spiritual detective.

AVERNO. By Louise Glück. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22.) Poems inspired by the underworld of myth confront our most intractable fears.

BEASTS OF NO NATION. By Uzodinma Iweala. (HarperCollins, $16.95.) A first novel set in an unidentified West African land; its hero finds himself corrupted by contagious violence.

BLACK SWAN GREEN. By David Mitchell. (Random House, $23.95.) The magic of being a 13-year-old boy and exploring the world intersects, eventually, with the trials of real life.

BROOKLAND. By Emily Barton. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) A tale of 18th-century sisters, one with a dream to bridge the East River.

COLLECTED POEMS, 1947-1997. By Allen Ginsberg. (HarperCollins, $39.95.) A hefty, brilliant volume that shows Ginsberg (1926-97) to be not only a legendary protest writer but also a lyric poet preoccupied with passion, place and fate.

THE COLLECTED STORIES OF AMY HEMPEL. (Scribner, $27.50.) The themes of Hempel's unsettling and blackly funny vignettes — mortality, desire and fear of human connection — are threaded with only the slenderest hopes of redemption.

THE DEAD FISH MUSEUM. By Charles D'Ambrosio. (Knopf, $22.) Stories of understated realism centered on the charged relations between fathers and sons, drifters or workers.

DIGGING TO AMERICA. By Anne Tyler. (Knopf, $24.95.) In Tyler's new novel, two families — one recently arrived Iranian-American, the other all-American — begin an unlikely friendship after both adopt Korean babies.

THE DISSIDENT. By Nell Freudenberger. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $25.95.) A Chinese artist is a guest of a dysfunctional Beverly Hills family in this debut novel of global misunderstanding.

THE DREAM LIFE OF SUKHANOV. By Olga Grushin. (Putnam, $24.95.) A Soviet artist sacrifices his talent for the party in this first novel.

EAT THE DOCUMENT. By Dana Spiotta. (Scribner, $24.) After years underground, '70s radicals who are haunted by the past and insecure in the present reunite and face their crime's consequences.

THE ECHO MAKER. By Richard Powers. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) This novel's heroine tries to help her brother after a mysterious truck crash leaves him with a rare form of amnesia.

THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN. By Claire Messud. (Knopf, $25.) The shocks of 9/11 disrupt the privileged lives of a group of young urban media types in this nimble, satirically chiding novel.

EVERYMAN. By Philip Roth. (Houghton Mifflin, $24.) A nameless protagonist grapples with aging, physical decline and impending death in this slender, elegant novel.

FORGETFULNESS. By Ward Just. (Houghton Mifflin, $25.) In this novel, one of Just's best, a small-time American spy uneasily revisits his earlier life after his French wife is murdered.

GALLATIN CANYON: Stories. By Thomas McGuane. (Knopf, $24.) McGuane's portraits of American manhood have the capacity to astonish.

GATE OF THE SUN. By Elias Khoury. Translated by Humphrey Davies. (Archipelago, $26.) A rich novel of the Arab experience, full of pain but tempered by hope.

GOLDEN COUNTRY. By Jennifer Gilmore. (Scribner, $25.) In this debut novel, two Jewish families seek material success and social acceptance across the decades of the 20th century.

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN. By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (Knopf, $24.95.) A novel about sisters caught in the horrors of the Biafran War.

HIGH LONESOME: New & Selected Stories, 1966-2006. By Joyce Carol Oates. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $34.95.) A coherent overview of Oates's work, mixing classic with new stories.

THE INHABITED WORLD. By David Long. (Houghton Mifflin, $23.) This novel's hero, a ghost, looks back ruefully on his suicide and longs to help a woman survive her own despair.

THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS. By Kiran Desai. (Atlantic Monthly, $24.) The poised story, set in northern India, of disparate characters united by the toxic legacy of colonialism.

INTUITION. By Allegra Goodman. (Dial, $25.) A cancer researcher's dubious finding sets off a tidal wave that carries many people away.

THE KEEP. By Jennifer Egan. (Knopf, $23.95.) Old grievances drive the plot of this novel, set in a castle and a prison. Egan deftly weaves threads of sordid realism and John Fowles-like magic.

LAST EVENINGS ON EARTH. By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Chris Andrews. (New Directions, $23.95.) The Pinochet years haunt these stories by a Chilean writer who died in 2003.

THE LAY OF THE LAND. By Richard Ford. (Knopf, $26.95.) Frank Bascombe, the mundane hero of Ford's earlier novels "The Sportswriter" and "Independence Day," finds himself afflicted with intimations of mortality.

LISEY'S STORY. By Stephen King. (Scribner, $28.) In this haunting love story, the widow of a celebrated writer takes up arms against a murderous stalker in this world and a blood-hungry beast in the world beyond.

NEW AND COLLECTED POEMS, 1964-2006. By Ishmael Reed. (Carroll & Graf, $25.95.) Poetry of politics and diversity, suffused with humor.

OLD FILTH. By Jane Gardam. (Europa, paper, $14.95.) The fictional tale of a Raj orphan whose acronymic nickname (from "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong") tells only part of the story.

ONE GOOD TURN. By Kate Atkinson. (Little, Brown, $24.99.) An Edinburgh road-rage incident sets off a string of murders in this deft thriller.

ONLY REVOLUTIONS. By Mark Z. Danielewski. (Pantheon, $26.) A structurally experimental road-trip novel with a road like a Möbius strip.

THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ISLAND. By Michel Houellebecq. Translated by Gavin Bowd. (Knopf, $24.95.) In this new novel from the French author, a radical libertine becomes the progenitor of a line of clones.

THE ROAD. By Cormac McCarthy. (Knopf, $24.) A man and his son travel across a post-apocalyptic landscape in this terrifying parable.

SKINNER'S DRIFT. By Lisa Fugard. (Scribner, $25.) A white farm family is the foreground of this novel; behind it, the sins of South Africa.

SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS. By Marisha Pessl. (Viking, $25.95.) A motherless waif whose life has been shaped by road trips with her father joins a circle of students around a charismatic teacher with a tragic secret.

THE STORIES OF MARY GORDON. By Mary Gordon. (Pantheon, $26.) Motifs from Gordon's life, particularly the pain of childhood grief, resurface throughout this collection

STRONG IS YOUR HOLD. By Galway Kinnell. (Houghton Mifflin, $25.) Kinnell's first collection of new poems in more than a decade revisits themes of marriage, friendship and death, with long, loose lines reminiscent of Whitman.

SUITE FRANÇAISE. By Irène Némirovsky. Translated by Sandra Smith. (Knopf, $25.) Before dying at Auschwitz in 1942, Némirovsky wrote these two exquisitely shaped novellas about France in defeat. But the manuscripts came to light only in the late '90s.

TERRORIST. By John Updike. (Knopf, $24.95.) Updike's latest novel knits together preoccupations that have been with him for some 50 years — sex, death, religion — as an American high school boy, half-Irish, half-Egyptian, is intoxicated by Islamic radicalism.

THE TRANSLATOR. By Leila Aboulela. (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic; paper, $12.) A Muslim widow's love for an agnostic Scottish Islamic scholar allows her to nourish a hope for happiness.

TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES. By Deborah Eisenberg. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $23.) A contemporary master of the short story leavens familial angst with mordant humor in her fifth collection in 20 years.

THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT. By Heidi Julavits. (Doubleday, $24.95.) A teenage girl is either a victim or a false accuser in this dark-humored novel of psychoanalysis and prep school angst.

A WOMAN IN JERUSALEM. By A. B. Yehoshua. Translated by Hillel Halkin. (Harcourt, $25.) This novel's hero journeys to return a woman's body to her family in a remote former Soviet Republic.


THE AFTERLIFE. By Donald Antrim. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $21.) Antrim's memoir reckons with his complicated grief at the death of his emotionally volatile, alcoholic mother.

AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. By Francis Fukuyama. (Yale University, $25.) Parting ways with fellow neocons, Fukuyama censures their blunders and those of the Bush administration, and offers advice for the future.

ANDREW CARNEGIE. By David Nasaw. (Penguin Press, $35.) Nasaw's colorful biography reveals a far from conventional capitalist.

AT CANAAN'S EDGE: America in the King Years, 1965-68. By Taylor Branch. (Simon & Schuster, $35.) The third volume, remarkable for its breadth and detail, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's history of the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.

AVA GARDNER: "Love Is Nothing." By Lee Server. (St. Martin's, $29.95.) A fond reckoning of her marriages, affairs, friendships and movies.

THE BLIND SIDE: Evolution of a Game. By Michael Lewis. (Norton, $24.95.) From the mean streets to salvation by football: a schoolboy's story.

BLOOD AND THUNDER: An Epic of the American West. By Hampton Sides. (Doubleday, $26.95.) A history of this country's brutal Westward expansion, with Kit Carson at its center.

BLUE ARABESQUE: A Search for the Sublime. By Patricia Hampl. (Harcourt, $22.) A memoir of Hampl's quest for art with transcendent power.

CLEMENTE: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero. By David Maraniss. (Simon & Schuster, $26.) A Pulitzer Prize winner whose previous subjects have included Vince Lombardi and Bill Clinton turns to baseball's first Latino superstar.

CONSIDER THE LOBSTER: And Other Essays. By David Foster Wallace. (Little, Brown, $25.95.) Magazine articles with a moral framework.

THE COURTIER AND THE HERETIC: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World. By Matthew Stewart. (Norton, $25.95.) An unlikely page-turner about a 17th-century metaphysical duel, fought in deceit and intrigue, that continues to this day.

THE DISCOMFORT ZONE: A Personal History. By Jonathan Franzen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $22.) Essays by the author of "The Corrections" focus on formative experiences of his youth.

EAT, PRAY, LOVE: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. By Elizabeth Gilbert. (Viking, $24.95.) A charismatic but troubled traveler seeks a balance of pleasure and devotion — and finds romance.

FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH: A Memoir. By Danielle Trussoni. (Holt, $23.) With affection, respect and humor, a daughter tries to make sense of the demons her father brought home from the Vietcong's subterranean labyrinth.

FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. By Thomas E. Ricks. (Penguin Press, $27.95.) A comprehensive account, by a veteran Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post, of how a bungled occupation fed a ballooning insurgency.

FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. By Elizabeth Kolbert. (Bloomsbury, $22.95.) A global tour of the evidence, with scientists the author meets along the way doing most of the talking.

FLAUBERT: A Biography. By Frederick Brown. (Little, Brown, $35.) The man behind "Madame Bovary" is brought to life as a romantic and a realist, a dreamer and a debunker.

FUN HOME: A Family Tragicomic. By Alison Bechdel. (Houghton Mifflin, $19.95.) A lesbian comes to terms with the life and death of her closeted gay father in this graphic memoir.

THE GHOST MAP: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. By Steven Johnson. (Riverhead, $26.95.) How John Snow answered the riddle of cholera in 1854.

THE GREAT DELUGE: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. By Douglas Brinkley. (Morrow/ HarperCollins, $29.95.) A historian's account of the horrors spawned by the infamous storm, many of them man-made.

THE GREATEST STORY EVER SOLD: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina. By Frank Rich. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) The Times columnist indicts the Bush administration's approach to message management.

HAPPINESS: A History. By Darrin M. McMahon. (Atlantic Monthly, $27.50.) A tour of Western philosophy and its efforts to understand that sought-after yet most elusive of states.

HEAT: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. By Bill Buford. (Knopf, $25.95.) The former New Yorker fiction editor's life-altering culinary apprenticeship at Babbo and beyond.

IRAN AWAKENING: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope. By Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni. (Random House, $24.95.) The Nobel laureate tells her life story, from growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran to taking on the authorities as a foremost defender of human rights.

JAMES TIPTREE, JR.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. By Julie Phillips. (St. Martin's, $27.95.) A biography of the complex woman who, as James Tiptree Jr., found in science fiction the perfect genre for telling her own story.

JANE GOODALL: The Woman Who Redefined Man. By Dale Peterson. (Houghton Mifflin, $35.) A meticulous portrait of the pioneering researcher whose years of observing chimpanzees changed the way we see our fellow primates.

KATE: The Woman Who Was Hepburn. By William J. Mann. (Holt, $30.) Mann's biography takes some complicated sexual algebra into account.

LEE MILLER: A Life. By Carolyn Burke. (Knopf, $35.) She was a muse to artists like Man Ray, and an artist herself, photographing the horror of war; that work, though, was ultimately her undoing.

THE LOOMING TOWER: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. By Lawrence Wright. (Knopf, $27.95.) How a few men mounted a catastrophic assault on America, even as another group of men and women tried desperately to stop it.

THE LOST: A Search for Six of Six Million. By Daniel Mendelsohn. (HarperCollins, $27.95.) Grappling with the Holocaust in both its personal and geopolitical dimensions, Mendelsohn reconstructs the story of his great-uncle's family.

MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. By Nathaniel Philbrick. (Viking, $29.95.) Philbrick's vivid account of the earnest band of English men and women known as America's founders offers perspectives of both the Pilgrims and the Indians.

THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. By Debby Applegate. (Doubleday, $27.95.) A rich portrait of the 19th-century Protestant reformer renowned for his preaching — and for an adultery scandal.

THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA: A Natural History of Four Meals. By Michael Pollan. (Penguin Press, $26.95.) Pollan embarks on four separate eating adventures, each of which begins at the very beginning — in the soil — and ends with a cooked, finished meal.

ORACLE BONES: A Journey Between China's Past and Present. By Peter Hessler. (HarperCollins, $26.95.) The New Yorker's Beijing correspondent describes a country in constant motion and reveals its historical underpinning.

THE PLACES IN BETWEEN. By Rory Stewart. (Harvest/Harcourt, paper, $14.) The author recounts his walk across Afghanistan, in the dead of winter.

PRISONERS: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide. By Jeffrey Goldberg. (Knopf, $25.) The one-sided friendship of a onetime Israeli immigrant and a onetime Palestinian prisoner.

PROGRAMMING THE UNIVERSE: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos. By Seth Lloyd. (Knopf, $25.95.) An M.I.T. professor seeks to explain the fundamental workings of the universe by equating it with a new device called a quantum computer.

QUEEN OF FASHION: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. By Caroline Weber. (Holt, $27.50.) Weber suggests that the queen miscalculated in dressing to project an image of power.

READING LIKE A WRITER: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. By Francine Prose. (HarperCollins, $23.95.) How to read with writerly sensitivity, with reference to the masters.

REDEMPTION: The Last Battle of the Civil War. By Nicholas Lemann. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) The story of the demise of Reconstruction in Mississippi, retold in all its terrible gore.

SELF-MADE MAN: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again. By Norah Vincent. (Viking, $24.95.) An artful journalist cross-dresses to learn otherwise unavailable truths.

STATE OF DENIAL. By Bob Woodward. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) Part 3 of the "Bush at War" cycle, by the longtime Washington Post reporter and editor, describes the inept conduct of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

STRANGE PIECE OF PARADISE. By Terri Jentz. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) Jentz's enraging account of her search for a maniac who viciously attacked her with an ax in 1977.

SWEET AND LOW: A Family Story. By Rich Cohen. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) A disinherited member of the Sweet'N Low clan digs up dirt.

TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond. By Pankaj Mishra. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) The struggle of ancient societies to define themselves as Western influences encroach.

THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW: A Memoir. By Robert Hughes. (Knopf, $27.95.) Writing after a near-fatal car crash, the Australian art critic describes his formative years and the evolution of his craft.

UNCOMMON CARRIERS. By John McPhee. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) On-the-job portraits of men who drive big transport machines.

THE UNITED STATES OF ARUGULA: How We Became a Gourmet Nation. By David Kamp. (Broadway, $26.) Personalities from Julia Child to Emeril Lagasse drive this lively history of the postwar revolution in American gastronomy.

THE WAR OF THE WORLD: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. By Niall Ferguson. (Penguin Press, $35.) A panoramic moral analysis of an age of military-industrial slaughter.

THE WORST HARD TIME: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. By Timothy Egan. (Houghton Mifflin, $28.) What happened to those who stayed put in the 1930s while the very earth itself blew away.

Source: The New York Times

10 Best Books of the Year 2006 by New York Times

By Gary Shteyngart. Random House, $24.95.
Shteyngart's scruffy, exuberant second novel, equal parts Gogol and Borat, is immodest on every level - it's long, crude, manic and has cheap vodka on its breath. It also happens to be smart, funny and, in the end, extraordinarily rich and moving. "Absurdistan" introduces Misha Vainberg, the rap-music-obsessed, grossly overweight son of the 1,238th richest man in Russia. After attending college in the United States, he is now stuck in St. Petersburg, scrambling for an American visa that may never arrive. Caught between worlds, and mired in his own prejudices and thwarted desires, Vainberg just may be an antihero for our times.

Scribner, $27.50.
A quietly powerful presence in American fiction during the past two decades, Hempel has demonstrated unusual discipline in assembling her urbane, pointillistic and wickedly funny short stories. Since the publication of her first collection, "Reasons to Live," in 1985, only three more slim volumes have appeared - a total of some 15,000 sentences, and nearly every one of them has a crisp, distinctive bite. These collected stories show the true scale of Hempel's achievement. Her compact fictions, populated by smart, neurotic, somewhat damaged narrators, speak grandly to the longings and insecurities in all of us, and in a voice that is bracingly direct and sneakily profound.

By Claire Messud. Alfred A. Knopf, $25.
This superbly intelligent, keenly observed comedy of manners, set amid the glitter of cultural Manhattan in 2001, also looks unsparingly, though sympathetically, at a privileged class unwittingly poised, in its insularity, for the catastrophe of 9/11. Messud gracefully intertwines the stories of three friends, attractive, entitled 30-ish Brown graduates "torn between Big Ideas and a party" but falling behind in the contest for public rewards and losing the struggle for personal contentment. The vibrant supporting cast includes a deliciously drawn literary seducer ("without question, a great man") and two ambitious interlopers, teeming with malign energy, whose arrival on the scene propels the action forward.

By Richard Ford. Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95.
The third installment, following "The Sportswriter" (1986) and "Independence Day" (1995), in the serial epic of Frank Bascombe - flawed husband, fuddled dad, writer turned real estate agent and voluble first-person narrator. Once again the action revolves around a holiday. This time it's Thanksgiving 2000: the Florida recount grinds toward its predictable outcome, and Bascombe, now 55, battles prostate cancer and copes with a strange turn in his second marriage. The story, which unfolds over three days, is filled with incidents, some of them violent, but as ever the drama is rooted in the interior world of its authentically life-size hero, as he logs long hours on the highways and back roads of New Jersey, taking expansive stock of middle-age defeats and registering the erosions of a brilliantly evoked landscape of suburbs, strip malls and ocean towns.

By Marisha Pessl. Viking, $25.95.
The antic ghost of Nabokov hovers over this buoyantly literate first novel, a murder mystery narrated by a teenager enamored of her own precocity but also in thrall to her father, an enigmatic itinerant professor, and to the charismatic female teacher whose death is announced on the first page. Each of the 36 chapters is titled for a classic (by authors ranging from Shakespeare to Carlo Emilio Gadda), and the plot snakes ingeniously toward a revelation capped by a clever "final exam." All this is beguiling, but the most solid pleasures of this book originate in the freshness of Pessl's voice and in the purity of her storytelling gift.


A Memoir.

By Danielle Trussoni. Henry Holt & Company, $23.
This intense, at times searing memoir revisits the author's rough-and-tumble Wisconsin girlhood, spent on the wrong side of the tracks in the company of her father, a Vietnam vet who began his tour as "a cocksure country boy" but returned "wild and haunted," unfit for family life and driven to extremes of philandering, alcoholism and violence. Trussoni mixes these memories with spellbinding versions of the war stories her father reluctantly dredged up and with reflections on her own journey to Vietnam, undertaken in an attempt to recapture, and come to terms with, her father's experiences as a "tunnel rat" who volunteered for the harrowing duty of scouring underground labyrinths in search of an elusive and deadly enemy.

Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.

By Lawrence Wright. Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95.
In the fullest account yet of the events that led to the fateful day, Wright unmasks the secret world of Osama bin Laden and his collaborators and also chronicles the efforts of a handful of American intelligence officers alert to the approaching danger but frustrated, time and again, in their efforts to stop it. Wright, a staff writer for The New Yorker, builds his heart-stopping narrative through the patient and meticulous accumulation of details and through vivid portraits of Al Qaeda's leaders. Most memorably, he tells the story of John O'Neill, the tormented F.B.I. agent who worked frantically to prevent the impending terrorist attack, only to die in the World Trade Center.

A Story of Courage, Community, and War.

By Nathaniel Philbrick. Viking, $29.95.
This absorbing history of the Plymouth Colony is a model of revisionism. Philbrick impressively recreates the pilgrims' dismal 1620 voyage, bringing to life passengers and crew, and then relates the events of the settlement and its first contacts with the native inhabitants of Massachusetts. Most striking are the parallels he subtly draws with the present, particularly in his account of how Plymouth's leaders, including Miles Standish, rejected diplomatic overtures toward the Indians, successful though they'd been, and instead pursued a "dehumanizing" policy of violent aggression that led to the needless bloodshed of King Philip's War.

A Natural History of Four Meals.

By Michael Pollan. The Penguin Press, $26.95.
"When you can eat just about anything nature has to offer, deciding what you should eat will inevitably stir anxiety," Pollan writes in this supple and probing book. He gracefully navigates within these anxieties as he traces the origins of four meals - from a fast-food dinner to a "hunter-gatherer" feast - and makes us see, with remarkable clarity, exactly how what we eat affects both our bodies and the planet. Pollan is the perfect tour guide: his prose is incisive and alive, and pointed without being tendentious. In an uncommonly good year for American food writing, this is a book that stands out.

By Rory Stewart. Harvest/Harcourt, Paper, $14.
"You are the first tourist in Afghanistan," Stewart, a young Scotsman, was warned by an Afghan official before commencing the journey recounted in this splendid book. "It is mid-winter - there are three meters of snow on the high passes, there are wolves, and this is a war. You will die, I can guarantee." Stewart, thankfully, did not die, and his report on his adventures - walking across Afghanistan in January of 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban - belongs with the masterpieces of the travel genre. Stewart may be foolhardy, but on the page he is a terrific companion: smart, compassionate and human. His book cracks open a fascinating, blasted world miles away from the newspaper headlines.

Source: New York Times

New Releases

*Loved Walked in by Marisa de los Santos
*Goodbye to the Mermaids by Karen Finell
*Dreaming the Mississippi by Katherine Fischer
*The Assigned Visit by Shelley Fraser Mick;e

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Special Note

Please remember that my goal has and is for all of us who are busy, are moms, or need some extra time off to get together either by reading a book, reading this blog, or other and have a great time, to renew our passion for reading, and give ourselves some very needed attention in a time when everything seems to be getting faster and our days shorter, when we strive to have the best for our families, friends, and even our pets and forgot about ourselves. Literature for me is a means of escape, of going somewhere I may never be, of knowing something I would otherwise not know and my goal is for all of us to have that same retreat :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I have encountered this letter from Mary Higgins Clark dedicated to Book Club Readers. The Letter's Headings is:
A Special Letter from Mary Higgins Clark to Book Clubs

Dear Book Club Reader,

The question I am most frequently asked is “where do you get your ideas?”
The answer is anywhere and everywhere. I was twenty-two years old when I
took my first writing class. The professor’s advice to his eager would-be-fiction
authors was this: “you tell me you know you can write, but you have a problem
beginning, a problem choosing a plot. Here’s how you do it: take a situation that
intrigues you, maybe it’s something you read in a magazine or a newspaper or
something you overheard in a restaurant. .. Ask yourself two questions:
‘SUPPOSE’ and ‘WHAT IF?’ and turn that situation into fiction.
That advice has been the cornerstone of everything I have ever written
but I have added one more question to the ones he suggested: ‘WHY?’ The
reason is that in a suspense tale, if four people had every reason to plan and
execute a major crime, only one would go over the line and actually commit
the crime. He or she had to have been so angry, so psychotic, so vicious, or
so hurt, that with or without realizing the consequences would have taken a
life or, in the case of Two Little Girls in Blue, have kidnapped two small
children. In a number of my books, The Anastasia Syndrome, Remember Me and
Before I Say Good-Bye, I have included an element of psychic phenomena. It has
always been an interest of mine. Then, over the years, I have read articles about the bonding between twins and have always been fascinated by the fact that even when separated at birth and raised in totally different environments, there were still remarkable similarities in the way they dressed, the colors they used in their homes, even in some cases the fact that the first name of their husbands and the names they chose for their children were the same.
I’m not sure when I decided to explore the idea of a plot line involving
identical twins. I had started to read books on the subject and was astonished at the countless incidents of both physical and mental telepathy that existed between many of them. One of the books quoted a twin who took part in an experiment on twin telepathy as saying, “when my twin goes out, I can imagine what he is doing and see the place, like right now, even if I’ve never been there or seen the place described.” Reading that quote made me realize that in some instances it was possible that identical twins are so entwined that even when they are separated by distance, they can see and hear what the other is doing. That was when I knew I had a potentially good story to tell and the plot began to take shape in my mind.

SUPPOSE identical twins are kidnapped on their third birthday?

WHAT IF after the ransom is paid, one twin is returned and everyone believes the other one is dead?

SUPPOSE the mother realizes that the two are communicating, but cannot
convince anyone else of that fact because people believe that in her grief she is
unable to accept the death of her little girl. There are a number of instances that turned up in my research in which, when one twin died, the connection was so strong that the other one died within hours. That added another element to the plot. SUPPOSE the missing twin is desperately ill and the other one starts to fail?

WHAT IF the race to save the missing one becomes a race to save both their lives? I thought it was a great starting place. And then I got into the WHY. Who
kidnapped them and what was his or her motive? Who were the others who might have committed the crime? About ten months later, the book was finished. The tale had been told. I’m so glad that the members of your Reading Club have chosen Two Little Girls in Blue as a book to discuss. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Warmest wishes,
Mary Higgins Clark

Source: Simon & Schuster / A CBS Company / A Reading Group Guide

Discussion Topics for "Two Little Girls in Blue"

Discussion Questions 1 - 3

1. Who did you think was the Pied Piper? Were you satisfied with
the answer? Were there any characters who escaped your
suspicion? If so, which ones?

2. "Staring with disdain at his fellow kidnapper, Lucas was
reminded once more that they could not have been more
different in both appearance and temperament" (page 4).
Compare and contrast the characters of Lucas and Clint. Is one
more of the "bad guy" than the other? If so, explain why.

3. "I've always been a just-in-case person…" (page 142). Examine
the character of Angie and piece together her history in the
book. Are her behaviors cunning and cautious? Or careless and

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Harry Potter Fans

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be in theaters on July 13, 2007
Here is a description of the movie. : )

As his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry approaches, 15-year-old Harry Potter is in full-blown adolescence, complete with regular outbursts of rage, a nearly debilitating crush, and the blooming of a powerful sense of rebellion. It's been yet another infuriating and boring summer with the despicable Dursleys, this time with minimal contact from our hero's non-Muggle friends from school. Harry is feeling especially edgy at the lack of news from the magic world, wondering when the freshly revived evil Lord Voldemort will strike. Returning to Hogwarts will be a relief--or will it?

Question of the Week

This fall we have seen a number of blockbuster authors release books, which has us wondering. Think about your own book buying habits compared to last year. Are you buying:
More books
The same number of books
Fewer books
Not sure what I am doing

Quote of the Week

A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it's a whisper.
— Barry Neil Kaufman

Sunday, December 3, 2006

BFTI Survey

Dear Group,

Please take a moment to answer a couple of questions from this survey this is very important for the growing of BFTI. It would be greatly appreciated if you vote on them or state your opinion, This will greatly help me build the group and my blog. They Are:

1)Would you like to have Online Book Club Meetings?

* Yes - Once a month
* Yes - Every two weeks
* Yes - Every Week
* Yes - Other
* Maybe in the future
* Not Interested
* It all Depends!

Extra Note: I am planning on conducting Book Club Meetings by chat at least once a month. This will let me know what your preferences are and therefore make the meetings available at the time they are more convenient for you.

2)What genre do you prefer to see featured here more often?

* General Fiction
* Non-Fiction
* History
* Self-Help
* Mystery
* Thriller
* Other - Please post which : )

Extra Note: This is very imporant because the books choosen for selections will always be recommendations from our group members, I will be customizing the selection process little by little and I would be really glad if I also received any tips or suggestions as to what would work best for you.

3)How interested are you in chat discussions with authors?

* Very Interested
* Interested
* Somewhat Interested
* Maybe in the Future
* Not Really Interested
* Not Interested

Extra Note: There are plans for having 'meet & greet' chat discussions with authors, Please let me know how interested you are in this kind of discussions. We currently have an offer from Mr. Steven Manchestor to have a 'meet & greet' with us if we choose to read his book "Pressed Pennies".

4)What would you like to see more often in this blog?

*Please state a comment.

5)Please state any other suggestions/comments. Tell me what you want to see of more in BFTI, what you like and what you don't like, etc.

Thank You,
BFTI Moderator, Rosario

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Hannibal Lector Fans - New Book! "Hannibal Rising"

If you are a Hannibal fan you may now get the new book named "Hannibal Rising". How did Hannibal Lector become what he is? In this book you will discover what made him who he is. From the time he's a toddler, to a boy, to a MONSTER. This is a must read if you have read the other books by Thomas Harris.

Publication Date: 12/5/06
# of Pages: 352

Friday, December 1, 2006

25 Books to Read Before You're 25

Recommended by our First Lady, Laura Bush for Seventeen Magazine - June 2004

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  • The Brothers Karamazvov by Fyodor Dosteoyevsky
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • Flannery O'Conner: The Comple Stories
  • The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
  • The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
  • I, Claudius by Roberth Graves
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
  • The Little Prince by Anoine de Saint-Exupery
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
  • Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote
  • The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • Sophie's Choce by William Styron
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
(First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian, hosts both the White House Salute to American Authors and The National Book Festival. This list contains her favorites from now and from when she was 17)

The Joy of Reading : )

I am glad you are visiting Books for thy Imagination's Blog. This blog was created with the intent of helping busy people like you and me to start reading again. There is nothing comparable with the joy of reading and therefore I would like to invite you to browse around. Find the perfect way to make reading a part of your life again, and if it already is, to enhance it. Share with others your passion for reading, by joining BFTI's Online Reading Group. If you love discussing, asking questions, and sharing with others your thoughts and comments about the books you read, want to read, or if you would like to make friends who enjoy reading as much as you do join our BFTI Online Reading Group by entering your email address in the box below. Make sure to visit our blog often for new updates, news, and much more. Have Fun and Happy Reading!