WWW Wednesdays (October 31)

To play along with this weekly book event, hosted by Should Be Reading, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I didn’t get this done last week, so here are my answers for the past couple of weeks:

What are you currently reading? I am just starting on a galley of Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Resources for Christian Meditation by Susan J. Stabile. It looks like it will be an interesting and helpful read.

What did you recently finish reading? I finished a couple of books since my last WWW post – Clockwork or All Wound Up by Philip Pullman and Sasha Plotkin’s Deceit by Vaughn Sherman. The first one was a fun little book to read in the lead up to Halloween, and the second one was review copy of a cold war spy thriller for Partners in Crime Tours. I host it here next week.

What do you think you’ll read next? I haven’t really decided what to read next. My TBR pile keeps on growing, so I’ll need to check there first. I also have a number of books I’ve started, but not finished, which may be where I start first!

Top Ten Tuesday – Kick-Ass Heroines (October 30)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This weeks’ topic is ‘Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines’. So, I’ll see if I can come up with ten:

1. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) – she is probably near the top of many of the top ten lists today. Not only is she deadly with a bow and arrow, but she is strongly protective of those she loves and cares for. This comes out in many ways in the books, especially in the fact that she is willing to sacrifice her own life in place of that of her young sister.

2 Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – her strength is her intelligence, but she also stands up for those who are marginalized or deemed weak. She never walks away and regularly saves her best friends.

3.Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings) – she is one of the strongest female characters in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. She disguised herself as a man so that she could go into battle with the Riders of Rohan. During the Battle of Pelennor Fields she slew the Witch-king of Angmar, who according to prophecy would not fall ‘by the hand of man’. Eowyn’s reply to him when he reminded her of this was: ‘But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.’ It’s a definite kick-ass heroine moment!

4. Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief) – initially in the book she is a scared and timid little girl, but as the book develops she evolves into one of the bravest and strongest female characters of recent books. In spite of the war and the Nazi regime, she is able to show strength in the things she chooses to do and believe, and in the friendships she develops, especially with Max, the Jew who is hidden in the basement of her house.

5. Deryn Sharp (Leviathan trilogy) – she doesn’t let the fact that she is a girl prevent her from joining the male-only domain of the British Air Service. Going under the name of Dylan, she puts herself in many situations that her male counterparts are fearful of being in. Her main characteristics are her bravery and her loyalty to those closest to her.

6. Coraline Jones (Coraline) – her character is a lot different and stronger in the book than in the movie. Although she is only a young girl, she overcomes much fear to rescue her parents. Another character who puts herself on the line for those closest to her.

7. Lucy Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia) – although she is the youngest of the Pevensie siblings, she is also the strongest in character. She never loses her faith in Aslan, even when the rest of her family try to put doubts in her mind. She is very caring and feels much empathy with those around her. She is very loving and often willing to forgive those who have wronged her.

8. Seraphina (Seraphina) – a recent heroine, whom we haven’t seen the last of. She is very intelligent and has to overcome prejudices, as well as a potentially deadly secret, in order to become the heroine she is destined to be. She is also very trustworthy and loyal to those closest to her.

9. Maya Brown (The Maya Brown Missions) – a headstrong teen heroine, who often finds herself in very dangerous situations as she endeavours to fight for what is right and just. Her strength comes from the support of her family and also from the difficult past that she has had to overcome.

10. Lina Mayfleet (Ember books) – a caring, adventurous and brave heroine, who overcomes the hardship of being an orphan and plays a large part in saving the people of her community. She is trustworthy and loyal, with much ingenuity, along with the willingness to stand up for what is right.

I know that I have probably excluded many more worthy heroines, but I only included ones from books that I have read.

Teaser Tuesdays – Clockwork (October 30)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

Well, as soon as the sentries came close, they saw who it was. It was none other than Prince Otto himself, stark dead, as cold as ice, with his eyes wide and staring ahead of him, his left hand gripping the reins so tight they had to be cut loose and (this was the strangest part) his right hand still moving, lashing the whip up and down, up and down, up and down.

From page 18-19 of Clockwork by Philip Pullman. I read this short book last week and it is a good little book for older children for Halloween.

Bookmark Monday – Football (October 29)

Bookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a link to your post.

I’m a day late in getting this posted, but I’m continuing the sports theme from my last Bookmark Monday:

Friday Finds (October 26)

FRIDAY FINDS… is where you share the book titles you discovered or heard about during the past week. These can be books you were told about, books you discovered while browsing blogs/bookstores online, or books that you actually purchased. This event is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

As usual MizB asks the question:

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

I think I found a few books too many this week. Our local library has been closed since June, due to the mall where it was located having a roof collapse. A new temporary location is currently being prepared and will be open in either December or January. The library has been overwhelmed by the amount of book donations it has received and decided to hold a book sale to clear up some of the surplus and to raise some money for future book purchases. So, this is one of the main reasons that I say I found a few books too many this week! Here are my finds (most of which cost in the range of $0.25 to $1.00):

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Growing in Love & Wisdom (October 26)

It has been one of those weeks when not everything has gone according to plan. I had to go on a trip south for a couple of days of meetings with my work. Near the end of my journey to my hotel another driver decided that her red light was optional, with the end result that my car ended up needing about $5,600.00 of repairs. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and the insurance company has arranged for another set of wheels for me to use in the meantime. However, it means that I have to make another long trip next week to get my car back.

When I got back and checked my e-mails last night I was happy to find that I had been approved for a galley of Growing in Love & Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation. I think it may well be a book that I need to read just now, so I’m looking forward to doing so very soon. I have decided that it will also make a good choice this week for my Friday meme combo. The following description comes from Oxford University Press, the publishers of this book, which was just published in the last few weeks:

Although raised Roman Catholic, Susan Stabile was ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun and devoted 20 years of her life to practicing Buddhism before returning to Catholicism in 2001. In Growing in Love and Wisdom, she draws on this unique dual perspective to explore the value of interreligious dialogue, the spiritual dynamics that operate across faith traditions, and how Buddhist meditation practices can deepen Christian prayer. She begins by examining the values and principles shared by the two faiths and shows that both traditions seek to effect a fundamental transformation in the lives of believers. Both stress the need for experiences with deep emotional resonance that goes beyond the level of concepts to touch the heart. The center of the book offers 15 Tibetan Buddhist contemplative practices, adapted for Christian use. Stabile provides clear instructions on how to do these meditations and helpful commentary on each, explaining its purpose and the relation between the Buddhist original and her Christian adaptation of it. Throughout, she highlights the many remarkably close parallels between the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. The meditations offered in this unusual book will be extremely useful to thoughtful Christians, to those responsible for giving spiritual direction, and also to Buddhist sympathizers who will be intrigued and pleased to see familiar contemplations handled so skillfully by a former Buddhist practitioner who has gratefully learned so much from her former religion and now introduces the riches of that tradition to her fellow Christians.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning(s) of Growing in Love & Wisdom:

From the introduction:

Some Christians may find it strange, and possibly even heretical, to adapt Buddhist prayer forms and techniques for Christian prayer. I don’t.

From the beginning of Part 1:

People who know that I spent many years as a Buddhist before returning to Christianity often ask whether I consider myself a “Buddhist Christian” or a “Christian Buddhist.” The question is understandable. Many people give themselves one or the other of those labels, just as many others self-identify as “Jewish Buddhist” or “Hindu Christian” or even as “Christian Hindu Buddhist.”

I think I’m going to both enjoy and be challenged by this book. I’m looking forward to reading it!

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Growing in Love & Wisdom:

Why is prayer so important? Why is prayer essential if we are to grow spiritually?

A couple of good questions to reflect upon. That’s it for this week and I hope to have a review of this book up soon, once I’ve got it read, of course!

Booking Through Thursday – Cover Story Part 2 (October 25)

This week Booking Through Thursday asks the following question:

The flip side of last week’s …

Are there any good books that you read IN SPITE OF the cover and ended up wondering what on earth the artist and publisher were thinking to pair up a cover that so badly represented a perfectly good book?

And … if you didn’t like the cover, what made you pick up the book? The author? Assigned reading from school? A recommendation from a friend?

This is a harder question to answer than I thought it would be. I had to read a lot books for college that had dull covers, but this is often the case with textbooks anyway. I also have a lot of older books that I have enjoyed that have very plain covers, but I read them either because they were written by an author I had read before or were recommended by someone who I knew I could trust.

The only book I can think of from recently is the new J.K. Rowling book, The Casual Vacancy. It’s a book I wanted to read anyway, regardless of the cover. I enjoyed it as well, but not as much as her Harry Potter books. In all probability the author or the publishers deliberately chose a fairly plain cover. They knew it would be a good seller going on the author’s name alone and all the curiosity surrounding the fact that it wasn’t a Harry Potter book.