Monday, May 30, 2011

Garage Sale Book Haul

It's that time of the year! People are out washing their cars, mowing the lawn, and having garage sales. My husband and I are notorious for finding garage sales on Craigslist every Saturday. My favorite part? You guessed it -books. I got some great finds this weekend.

Catch-22, Cat's Cradle, The Dante Club, Armageddon in Retrospect, The Road, Slaughterhouse-Five

Total cost? $3.00! Have you read any of these? My to-read list is very long, so it may be a while before I get to them. Which one should I start first?

Love and (a book) light,


Click here to enter my giveaway!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow Friday -A Week's Worth

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee. It's a great way to discover other book bloggers and learn about them.

This week's question is:

Q. How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

I typically read one to two books a week. I would love to read more than that, but with a full time job and part time grad school, that's all I can manage. I'm currently reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I am absolutely loving it so far, but it is 600+ pages, so it's going to take me longer than a week. 

I usually go back and forth between Kindle books and paperbacks. It just depends on which copy happens to be cheaper. If I find a copy at a used book store that's cheaper than the Kindle version, I'll go with the paperback. I also stock up on books during the spring library book sale, which you saw here and here. I've recently tried audiobooks and I listened to an old favorite, James and the Giant Peach. It's harder for me to enjoy an audiobook, though. I tend to miss a lot and I'd rather read the book anyway. 

So for all of you out there that read 4-5 books a week, how do you do it?

If you'd like to follow my blog and you cannot click the button on the right column, scroll to the top of the page and click FOLLOW there. Blogger is having some issues, but hopefully it will be up and running soon.

Love and (a book) light,


While you're here, go ahead and enter my giveaway to win a SIGNED copy of Finny by Justin Kramon! See more details here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Throwback Thursday -Aesop for Children

It's time for another installment of Throwback Thursday! This is a weekly feature I created here on my blog in which I share pieces of my bookish childhood.

This week's feature is Aesop for Children. I was hit by a wave of nostalgia when I found the exact edition I had growing up. I remember my parents teaching me the meaning of the words "fable" and "moral of the story" through this book. I loved reading these fables, and even though I didn't always understand the story, I relished the pictures; they are forever etched in my mind.

One of my favorite fables and the one I remember most is The Crow and the Pitcher. I marveled at how clever the crow was, dropping rocks into the pitcher one by one so the water at the bottom could rise and he could drink. I took the moral here to be ingenuity, though I didn't call it that at the time. Different versions stress persistence or the power of necessity. I much prefer my interpretation, giving credit to a bird that is otherwise despised or feared, nondescript at best.

Did you have this edition of Aesop for children? What was your favorite fable?

Love and (a book) light,


While you're here, there's still time to enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Finny by Justin Kramon! See here for more details.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body

I read this book for a Science Book Club in my area that I meet with once a month. It was a nice break from our previous book, which was much more technical with its discussions of physics and chemistry. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream was an easy read, illustrating how your circadian rhythms affect your daily life.

I found myself having to adapt to her style of writing when it comes to a scientific topic because of my background in research, but I really liked it after I let myself enjoy it for what it is. It reads much like a collection of news articles, highlighting the most interesting results while glossing over the details and methods of the research study. This is where I struggled most, since the researcher in me wanted to know about the control groups used and the statistical methods applied to the study, but I realize this text is not the place for those discussions.

 Here are some fun facts from this book:

  • The bacteria in your mouth easily outnumber the world's population
  • Trace amounts of skatole, the substance that gives feces its foul odor, are used in vanilla flavoring
  • 17 hours of sleep deprivation makes you perform as if you had a .05% Blood Alcohol Content
  • You put as much as 128 pounds of pressure on your teeth when you chew
Overall, this book is engaging and is something that any one with a high school knowledge of biology can enjoy. If you are more scientifically inclined, know not to expect much scientific detail -just sit back and relax. 

Love and (a book) light,


Friday, May 20, 2011

The Twilight Zone -Time Enough at Last

In my opinion, any self-respecting book lover has seen the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith playing Mr. Henry Bemis, a bank teller so obsessed with reading that his nose is in a book throughout the day. (If you haven't seen this episode, go to Netflix at watch it NOW!) This obviously does not go over well with his boss, whose irate customers are short-changed by a distracted Mr. Bemis rambling on about David Copperfield. Mr. Bemis explains that he must read at work because his cruel and insane wife (my words, not his) won't let him read at all at home. (We hate her!)

One day, he locks himself in the bank vault so he can read in peace. He emerges to a world destroyed by a hydrogen bomb, and finds himself all alone. (Exactly who set this bomb off and why is of absolutely no consequence; just go with it.) After hours and hours of wandering among ruins, he stumbles upon the public library. The ending is one you must see for yourself, so I won't spoil it for you.

I can tell you that it's an ending that only happens... in  The Twilight Zone  (cue eerie music).

Love and (a book) light,


While you're here, submit your entry to win a SIGNED copy of Finny by Justin Kramon! Click here for more details.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Throwback Thursday -Animorphs

It's time for another Throwback Thursday! This is a weekly feature that I created so I can share pieces of my bookish childhood with you. This week I'm featuring Animorphs. Remember?

It was a series about a group of kids that could transform into different animals to battle aliens trying to infiltrate the Earth. This series was published by Scholastic, and I loved seeing it in the catalogue when the Scholastic book sale came to our school. I remember the boys in my class hand-copying the books into their notebooks before they had to return their library copy.

Did you ever read Animorphs? Who else loved the Scholastic book sales in elementary school?

Love and (a book) light,


While you're here, go ahead and enter my giveaway to win a SIGNED copy of Finny!

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Monday -What Are You Reading?

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. I don't participate in this meme every week since it takes me a little longer to get through books. I won't get any faster than this, especially since this Monday marks the start of the online grad class I'm taking.

Ony my last What Are You Reading post, you saw that I was reading Finny and Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body. I've finished both books and discussed them during two of the three book clubs I attended this weekend (busy, I know!). I was able to meet the author of Finny, Justin Kramon, at the one of the book club meetings. He was kind enough to sign a copy of Finny, which I am giving away here on this blog! Click here to enter.

My thoughts on Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream will be posted soon.

Last time, I asked your opinion on which book I should start next. The selections were very different, but most of you suggested The Glass Castle, though The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie did not go unnoticed. I really appreciate all your input. I was set on starting The Glass Castle; alas, I did not realize the next book club read was 667 pages long, so I'm tacking that first!

This week, I've started Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Here's hoping I can finish it in time for the book club meeting. My Kindle tells me I am 4% of the way through, so it may be too early to form an opinion just yet. I will say I am enjoying it so far and it has captured my interest.

I also plan on starting The World Without Us by Alan Weisman for the Science Book Club that I'm attending. This book is different from the other popular science books I've read, since it is more or less a thought experiment.

What are you all reading? Have you read any of my picks?

Happy Monday! While you're here, don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Finny!

Love and (a book) light,


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Win a Signed Copy of Finny by Justin Kramon!

I had an awesome meeting with my local book club today, especially since Justin Kramon, author of Finny, was kind enough to join us! It's great to have the opportunity to discuss the book with the author and ask questions about the book that only they could answer. It adds a certain dimension to the reading experience.

Finny was very charming and humorous; the tone of writing and Dickensian characters added whimsy to a coming-of-age story that is relatable on many different levels. While the characters definitely have their distinct and sometimes outrageous quirks, they have a tendency to remind us of someone we know in our own lives. No spoilers here, but I fell in love with Finny's character during a scene very early in the book in which she says, "Aristotle." Read it; you'll see why. The book is driven by Finny's relationships with the people around her, which made me think of my own relationships and how they affect the course of my life, some more than others. I enjoyed the book very much, and I am already looking forward to Kramon's next novel.

On to the giveaway...

I started this blog a little over a month ago, and it has been a learning experience in so many ways. I recently hit 50 followers, which is not much compared to many blogs out there, but an exciting milestone nonetheless. To thank all of you for your support, I am thrilled to announce this very exciting giveaway!

I think giveaways should be fun and not about getting more followers; at the same time, this giveaway is for my followers that have inspired me to post when I would have otherwise quit. So here's what I came up with, and it seems pretty fair.

There are 2 prizes:

1. The first is a brand new, signed copy of Finny by Justin Kramon. To win this copy, you MUST be a follower of The Kindled Scholar (through Blogger or Twitter).

2. The next prize is a brand new copy of Finny. You do not have to be a follower to win this prize.

To enter, fill out the form below.

This contest is open to US/Canada and UK only. (Sorry, I don't think I could afford the shipping anywhere else!) You will have until Friday, June 3rd at 9:00 PM EST to submit your entries. The winners will be announced on Saturday, June 4th. 
Have fun and good luck!

Love and (a book) light,


Friday, May 13, 2011

Follow Friday -Start the Waterworks!

Finally, Blogger is back up and we can get on with Follow Friday! This is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.

This week's question is:

Q. The Blogger Apocalypse made me a little emotional. What is the most emotional scene in a book that you have read lately?

The end of The Art of Racing in the Rain had me bawling. (Read my reflection of it here.) It was very touching, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Enter confused husband that doesn't know what to do while I'm sobbing into my Kindle, rocking back and forth, repeatedly saying, "this is so sad; sooo sad." I confess, I am a cryer and cry at many books I read, but very rarely do I bawl as hard as I did for this one. Let's just say my eyes were twice their size for several hours.

So tell me, which books get your waterworks going? Or, for those of you in denial, which books did you happen to read while cutting onions?

Love and (a book) light,


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Throwback Thursday -The Borrowers

It's time for another installment of Throwback Thursday! But before we proceed with the nostalgia-inducing books, I want to apologize for leaving my blog a bit neglected for the past couple days. Things have been a bit hectic lately, but to make up for it there will be an awesome giveaway that will be announced this Saturday! I will be giving away 2 prizes. Both followers and non-followers can enter, but the followers will have a chance to win something extra special. So stay tuned!

Moving on...

Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature that I created here on The Kindled Scholar so that I can share pieces of my bookish childhood with you. This week's Throwback Thursday features The Borrowers by Mary Norton. It's a series about a family of tiny people that live under the floorboards and borrow things from the big "human beans." They use matchboxes for beds and get whatever else they can find to make their home. Ever wonder how you lose an entire pack of hair pins that you just bought a couple weeks ago? Well now you know. I knew this was a fantasy book, but there was always that creeping doubt in the back of my mind whenever I couldn't find my favorite eraser, wondering if I had a family of borrowers in my own home. This is such a charming series and I highly recommend it if you have kids, or if you want something easy and fun to read.

Love and (a book) light,


Friday, May 6, 2011

Follow Friday -Call Me Jane

It's time for Follow Friday, a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View.

This week's questions is:

What character in a book would you most like to be?
I recently read Jane Eyre, and it may very well be my favorite book of all time. I had such an admiration for Jane that I really wanted to become like her. One of my favorites parts was when she let out that whole tirade at Mrs. Reed right before she left for school.
I am glad you are no relation of mine. I will never call you aunt as long as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick.
I knew I could have never done that when I was her age (or now, for that matter). I also admired her decision to not marry Mr. Rochester after she found out the truth, which isn't to say that I agreed with it necessarily. I did agree with her justification, though:

Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour, stringent are they; inviolate they shall be...with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot!
I hope one day, when it truly matters, I could have the kind of strong resolve that Jane did.

How about you? Which character do you aspire to be like?

Love and (a book) light,


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Throwback Thursday -Little Miss Sunshine

Has it really been a week since the last Throwback Thursday? For my new followers, Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature I created to be able to share pieces of my bookish childhood.

This week, I'm featuring the Little Miss and Mr. Man Series by Roger Hargreaves. I absolutely loved this series! Each book was about a peculiar character named after their most interesting trait. One of my favorites was Little Miss Fickle, since I had never heard the work 'fickle' before.

Did you ever read this series? Which one was your favorite?

Love and (a book) light,


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Top Ten Books I'm So Happy Were Recommended to Me

It's time for another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's list is the top ten books that were recommended to me. Here goes!

1-3. The Hunger Games Trilogy - I don't normally read YA books, so when my friends told me about The Hunger Games, I was a bit skeptical. Finally, I had looked at it enough times at Barnes & Noble with some interest that when my friend Ashley said she was going to read it, I followed suit. We had bonded over Harry Potter, so I definitely trusted her judgement. I'm so glad I did! I absolutely loved this trilogy and have recommended it to others since.

4. A Time to Kill by John Grisham -Way back before I had a job and could afford to buy books, everything I read was borrowed from the library or from a fellow bookworm. One of my friends let me borrow her copy of A Time to Kill, and I have been a Grisham fan ever since. I've read every single one of his novels up to The Appeal. I've since been trying to read other books on my TR list, but Grisham definitely has a special place on my bookshelf. In fact, one of my favorite memories is my mom calling me from some thrift shop or garage sale asking, "Do you already have 'The Client'? How about 'The Broker'?"

5. Special Topics in Calamity Physics  by Marisha Pessl -Believe it or not, this *is* a novel, and a spectacular one, too. It was recommended by my former boss, also a bookworm. I found it very interesting; the chapters are titled as sections of a syllabus. It's quite long, but well worth it.

6. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin -Here's another example of something I would have never picked up on my own. Chick lit is definitely not my thing, but sometimes you just need a quick, entertaining read. Something Borrowed exceeded my expectations of books of its kind. So much so that I ended up reading Something Blue as well. This was recommended by one of my work friends and seconded by Ashley (see a trend here?). :)

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry - This wasn't recommended to me so much as forced upon me in my Adolescent Literature class. I am so glad the professor included this in the syllabus, because this is one of my favorite books. I even got my mathematician husband to read it, and he loved it just as much.

8. Agatha Christie - I'm cheating a little bit here, because I can't remember the book that started it all. All I remember is that my grandmother, also a huge bookworm, loved mysteries, especially by Agatha Christie. One day I picked up one of her mysteries and I fell in love. The plots are always brilliant and are predictably unpredictable -if you think you know what's going to happen, you can go ahead and scratch the ending you have in mind. Christie never fails to deliver, which is why she's the bestselling author of all time.

9. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks -This book made its debut on my blog on this post. I can't seem to stop talking about it. This was recommend to me by the same boss that recommended Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I really want to re-read this someday. One of my many faults is that I don't remember a lot about the books I've read (thus this blog was born), but I do remember this novel being beautiful.

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson -Again, this was recommended by my former boss. I guess I owe her much thanks! I really enjoyed this novel, but they could have taken the violence down a couple notches. I really did like the plot, and the mystery aspect is really what attracted me to this book.

One of the best parts of reading is recommending books to people and finding out they loved it. So tell me, what are your recommendations?

Love and (a book) light,


Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Monday -What Are You Reading?

It's my first time joining this weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.

What I read last week:

I finished Water for Elephants last Friday, bringing the total of books read in 2011 to 19. I'm still trying to figure out how I felt about it overall, but I definitely recommend it. The animal cruelty is a little hard to read, though. I'm planning on seeing the movie this week, so I'm excited to see how it compares with the book.

this weeks, I'm reading two books. I usually have one novel and one non-fiction book going. Both of these are for two different book clubs.

The novel I'm reading is Finny by Justin Kramon (exciting update on that coming later). I'm really enjoying the book so far. It's a coming of age story about a girl named Finny and her peculiar family.

I'm also reading Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body by Jennifer Ackerman. I'm reading this for a science book club that I joined. I'm enjoying this so far, though the books is less technical and less scientific than I'm used to; this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it's a nice break from the last book we read, which involved quantum physics. (My mind is still reeling, by the way.) It just takes a little getting used to coming from a research background. That being said, anyone can read this book. The verbiage is very friendly and requires almost no scientific background save from a few high school biology classes.

Up next:

I can't decide if I want to read The Glass Castle or The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie next.

What do you think? Which one should I read first?

Love and (a book) light,