Thursday, March 22, 2012

How do you shelf?

I have my three Billy Bookcases in a row. It saves room and it actually creates the illusion that I have more space than I do. This is great for small rooms, like my library. Also, it makes a nice background for my videos and makes me feel very scholarly, which motivates me to do work.

I also make sure to use the space on top of the bookcases. If you get stackable totes and organizers, you can make the most out of the space that you have. You can also put pictures on top, which adds a nice ambiance to your room.

I hope that my shelves provided some inspiration for you! There are great resources out there for how to organize your shelves and StumbleUpon and Pinterest are good places to go to for bookish inspiration. Happy shelving!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Book Nook Presents: The Book Haul

Until recently, I have been on a very strict book buying ban. Weddings are expensive and so are books when you buy as many as I do. Alas, I knew it would not last and I am proud of myself for making it this long. On a routine trip to the book store on campus (it's called book buying ban not book looking ban, to those of you who raise your eyebrows at the word routine), I spotted some of my most anticipateds and one of them was signed! So, needless to say, I made a purchase.

Below are the books that I now call mine:
  1.  Fever- Lauren DeStefano
  2. Pandemonium- Lauren Oliver
In addition to that, I also have three items that my future MIL gifted to me:

     3. An Innocent Traitor- Alison Weir
     4. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen- Syrie James
     5. Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy (Audiotape)

I am very excited to read them and will be starting the first of them as soon as I finish the Fault in Our Stars so stayed tuned.

Happy reading!
The Book Nook

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Nook Reviews: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Summary: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Note: This is the first written review that will incorporate my newly developed review formula. I’m sure that it will be less than spectacular as I try to work out the kinks in my process. With time, my reviews will become stronger. I appreciate your continued support and hope my review is helpful to you.
This is a novel about self-discovery, first love, and friendship. It is beautifully written in a distinct prose that is unique to Julie Kagawa. For me, it took a few chapters to become comfortable reading it without being distracted by the diction and sentence structure. But, much like Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, after a short time it flowed nicely. After becoming more akin to the writing style, I was able to focus on the plot, which was very enjoyable. The build of the plot was thorough and I felt like it developed nicely. The story line didn’t feel rushed but I also didn’t feel like I was waiting for something to happen. Each plot development occurred in what seemed like a natural pace. I liked the presentation of exposition and found it very interesting to learn about the characters, setting, and the general theme of fey. I will say that other than the Artemis Fowl novels, I’ve never encountered a novel or series that was set in the world of fey so I was totally new to it. Personally, I feel like this a great series to read if you’re new to the idea because the Meghan is also new to the fey world so you’re able to learn the intricacies along with her.
In addition to the great plot, I also really enjoyed the characters. Meghan is a very likeable main character. She is written very realistically and I felt like she could be an actual person (except for the whole her being a fairy princess and all). Her character development progresses nicely throughout the novel and I look forward to seeing her grow more in the remaining novels. The two male leads, Puck and Ash, have me conflicted. I won’t go into too much detail so as not to spoil the novel for anyone but there is a bit of a love triangle that has developed. As to their characterization, I can’t give a final determination yet because I’m still reading the series but at first glance, I thought that Ash’s character was pretty well-developed but inconsistent (which actually fits the story because he himself isn’t sure of who he is or how he should feel). I would have liked to see more of Puck but I have a feeling that his place is better served in further novels and that we will definitely be seeing more of him.
Overall, I thought this was a great first novel and I am definitely going to read the rest of the series. In fact, I can’t wait to read the sequel.
 The Book Nook

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Books Nook Reviews: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication: September 29, 2011
Summary:The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

In a word, this book is awesome. It contains all the elements of a great book: mystery, instrigue, and well-developed characters. To describe the plot in detail would spoil it, but know that one of the best portions of the story is experiencing the details along with Rory. The mystery surrounding what's happening really makes the story come alive. Maureen Johnson is a master at crafting a story that will keep readers guessing and the Name of the Star is definitely one of those stories. From the first page to the last sentence, this story is full of suspense. What's better is the characterization is well-developed and each character feels like they have a purpose in the story. Rory, the main character, is one of my favorite MJ leads. She is spunky, interesting, and developed. I definitely recommend it for fans of MJ and those who like a little mystery.

March 2012 TBR List

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Nook Reviews: Five Fierce Females of Ancient Egypt

5. Tetisheri
Tetisheri statue (from the British Museum). 
Credited with being the "Mother of the New Kingdom," Tetisheri was the grandmother of Ahmose, the 18th Dynasty pharaoh who expelled the foreign enemies, the Hyksos, and founded the New Kingdom. Ahmose took great pride in being Tetisheri's grandson and built a mortuary temple in her honor at the site of Abydos. She cared greatly for the Egyptian people and initiated many projects in their favor during her long life.

4. Cleopatra VII         
Cleopatra VII on the wall at the Temple of Denderah
Cleopatra VII ruled over Egypt during the Ptolomaic Period. Although many queens were named Cleopatra, she is the one who is most famous. She was at the center of a nasty love triangle and is said to have committed suicide using an Egyptian Asp. She is popularly depicted in Western culture as a beautiful woman, but not much is known of the real Cleopatra least of all what she looked like.

3. Nefertiti
The bust of Nefertiti.
Nefertiti, who name means the "Beautiful One Has Come," was the Great Royal Wife of the pharaoh Akhenaten. She is known best from her bust, a statue that was most likely used to teach sculptors. She disappeared from the historical record about fourteen years after her husband took the throne and yet she still has managed to captivate audiences for centuries.

2. Hatshepsut
Statue of Hatshepsut from Djser Djser
Hatshepsut was the first female pharaoh of the early 18th Dynasty. She declared herself king and initiated many temple building projects. During her reign, she was responsible for the proliferation of the cult of Amun. She built her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri in a terraced format and commemorated her divine birth and the expedition to Punt. In ancient and modern times, there has been speculation that she was consorting with her chief advisor, Senmut. After her death, the Egyptians attempted to erase her memory through the process of proscription.

1. Sekmet
Statue of Sekmet.
While not technically a woman, Sekmet is the fiercest of the fierce females in Egypt. The feline goddess of protection and pestilence was in charge of keeping Egypt save from disease and also for causing it. She has developed a very popular cult in the modern year, as evidence by the fact that it was impossible to find a normal picture of her.

That, Book Nooks, is the list of the top five fierce females of ancient Egypt. Please check the side bar lists for some great books on the ladies above. The book on Hatshepsut, Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh, is particularly delightful.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Nook Reviews: Kane Chronicles Trilogy

Graffiti in the Seti I Temple in Abydos.
Egypt Month is underway!                         
I just uploaded the first video of the series! It includes a discussion of the Kane Chronicles Triology--a series focusing on two siblings who suddenly find out that the Egyptian myths they learned are real. Check out my video for more information about the series and check back tomorrow for more of Egypt Month!


Thanks for watching!
xoxo The Book Nook

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Nook Reviews: Egypt Month

Ahlan Book Nooks (that's Egyptian Arabic for Welcome)!

This month at the Book Nook we are going to be exploring the wonderful world of Egyptian (themed) literature. For the next month, I will be reading academic, general, young adult, and middle grade novels that have Ancient Egypt as a theme, setting, or focus point. Ancient Egypt has been the center of books since the twentieth century because of the many facets of the culture. I've chosen four books that I think best represent the fields of literature in which I am reading. In addition to book reviews, I'll also be doing some really fun crafts, discussions, lessons, and topic videos that deal with Ancient Egypt.