Sunday, January 18, 2009

TSS: Looking Ahead - Resolutions for 2009

For the past few years, I haven't made any New Year's resolutions, but I made an exception last year and made one: Read more books than I did in 2007. Since I only read 17 books in 2007, this was a fairly easy resolution to keep. (I surpassed my 2007 total in early February 2008.)

This year I've decided to expand on my reading resolutions just a little bit, with goals that will last a little longer than the first two months of the year. 2008 was a great year for me reading-wise, and I want to continue growing as a reader in 2009. With that in mind, here are my reading goals for 2009:

  1. Read more than 100 books in 2009. If possible, surpass my 2008 total of 125 books.
  2. Branch out into more non-fiction reading. I think non-fiction books accounted for roughly ten percent of my reading last year, and I would like to see that percentage rise in 2009.
  3. Finish at least three book series. I love reading books that are part of a series, but right now I have at least five series -- probably more -- that I need to complete (or get caught up to the latest installment, in the case of series that are still being written).
  4. Review most, if not all, of the books that I read. I started blogging in June 2008, and it's amazing to me how well I can remember books that I reviewed. It's also very disheartening how quickly the books that I read early last year (pre-blog) have begun to fade from my memory.
  5. Continue to expand my reading horizons. I stepped out of my comfort zone (classics and mysteries) a lot in 2008, and I'm a much better reader for it. I want to continue to try different genres and new authors throughout 2009.
What about you, do you have any specific goals for your reading in 2009?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2009 100+ Reading Challenge

Since I surpassed my goal of 100 books in 2008, I've decided to aim for the same goal again in 2009. I'll be keeping track of my progress here.

January - 20 Books; 2,442 Pages
1. Doctor Who: Martha in the Mirror by Justin Richards
2. Bella Baxter and the Lighthouse Mystery by Jane B. Mason & Sarah Hines Stephens
3. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
4. Doctor Who: The Last Dodo by Jacqueline Rayner
5. Lily Quench and the Lighthouse of Skellig Mor by Natalie Jane Prior
6. The Boxcar Children: The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
7. The Baby-Sitter's Club: Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost by Ann M. Martin
8. Manning the Light by Terry Webb
9. The Lighthouse Keeper's Tea by Ronda and David Armitage
10. The Lighthouse and the Three Little Pigs by Katherine Von Ahnen
11. Florida Lighthouses for Kids by Elinor DeWire
12. Lighthouses for Kids by Katherine L. House
13. Lighthouse Ghosts and Legends by Nin Costopoulos
14. The Keeper of Lime Rock by Lenore Skomal
15. The Lighthouse Activity Book by Elinor DeWire
16. The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift
17. Sammy the Boston Lighthouse Dog by Sally R. Snowman
18. The Lighthouse Family: The Whale by Cynthia Rylant
19. The Lighthouse Family: The Turtle by Cynthia Rylant
20. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

February - 11 Books; 2,341 Pages
21. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King
22. The Kerry Hill Casecrackers: The Case of the Lighthouse Ghost by John F. Warner and Peggy Nicholson
23. The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Katherine's Story by Erika Tamar
24. The Berenstain Bears: The Haunted Lighthouse by Jan Berenstain
25. Drood by Dan Simmons
26. The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer
27. Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan by Tony O'Brien and Mike Sullivan
28. A Letter of Mary by Laurie King
29. The Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse by Laura E. Williams
30. Three Cousins Detective Club: The Mystery of the Haunted Lighthouse by Elspeth Campbell Murphy
31. Dear America: A Light in the Storm by Karen Hesse

March - 13 Books; 1,537 Pages
32. Fearless by Elvira Woodruff
33. The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Rose's Story by Erika Tamar
34. The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Lizabeth's Story by Erika Tamar
35. Doctor Who Darksmith Legacy: The Dust of Ages by Justin Richards
36. Doctor Who Darksmith Legacy: The Graves of Mordane by Colin Brake
37. The Lighthouse Cat by Sue Stainton
38. Abbie Against the Storm by Marcia Vaughan
39. The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Arielle North Olson
40. Who Sees the Lighthouse? by Ann Fearrington
41. The Sea Chest by Toni Buzzeo
42. The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer
43. The Moor by Laurie R. King
44. Lighthouse by Megan O'Hara

April - 8 Books; 2,880 Pages
45. O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King
46. Justice Hall by Laurie R. King
47. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
48. The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer
49. The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
50. Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
51. The Game by Laurie R. King
52. Locked Rooms Laurie R. King

May - 5 Books; 1,211 Pages
53. The Mysterious World of Sherlock Holmes by Bruce Wexler
54. The Science of Sherlock Holmes by E. J. Wagner
55. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
56. Classic Starts: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Chris Sasaki
57. The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
58. The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
59. Jillian Dare by Melanie M. Jeschke
60. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
61. Angel's Advocate by Mary Burton

62. The Sherlock Files: The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett
63. The Lady Grace Mysteries: Assassin by Patricia Finney
64. They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
65. Doctor Who: Made of Steel by Terrance Dicks
66. Doctor Who: Revenge of the Judoon by Terrance Dicks
67. Doctor Who: The Sontaran Games by Jacqueline Rayner
68. Doctor Who: Wooden Heart by Martin Day
69. Doctor Who: The Many Hands by Dale Smith
70. Doctor Who: Peacemaker by James Swallow
71. Doctor Who Darksmith Legacy: The Colour of Darkness by Richard Dungworth
72. Doctor Who Darksmith Legacy: The Depths of Despair by Justin Richards
73. Doctor Who Darksmith Legacy: The Vampire of Paris by Stephen Cole
74. Doctor Who Darksmith Legacy: The Game of Death by Trevor Baxendale

No books! I moved in July and all of my books were in storage for most of the month.

75. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
76. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Again, no books as we finally got unpacked and started doing some major work on the house.

77. The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
78. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
79. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
80. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
81. Torchwood: Almost Perfect by James Goss

82. Blankets by Craig Thompson

83. Murder on the Cliffs by Joanna Challis
84. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
85. Torchwood: Into the Silence by Sarah Pinborough

Fell a bit short of 100 this year, but I'll give it another go in 2010.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Winnie the Pooh Book for 2009

And now, a spot of good book news among the bleak: 2009 will see the return of Winnie the Pooh. The estate of A.A. Milne has authorized a sequel to the original Pooh books and A.P. Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, will publish “Return to the Hundred Acre Wood” on Oct. 5.

Read the full article from The Christian Science Monitor here.

I'm incredibly happy to see this -- Winnie-the-Pooh and The House and Pooh Corner were childhood favorites, and have remained cherished books well into adulthood. There's something timelessly endearing about that silly old bear. I can't wait to see what author David Benedictus and illustrator Mark Burgess bring to the project.

What Kind of Reader Are You? Quiz

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

That's probably a fair assessment, although I've read more classics since school than I did during.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bookish Ruth: About Me

If I had to choose a Disney character to sum up my life, Belle from Beauty and the Beast would fit the bill quite nicely: A free spirit with endless curiosity and a voracious appetite for books. (The fact that she ended up with a library bigger than my house has absolutely nothing to do with it. Okay, maybe a little bit...)

I've been an avid reader since early childhood. I was fortunate in that I had three remarkable women -- my mother, my aunt, and my second grade teacher -- who encouraged me as a young reader. With their guidance, my early interest in reading became a lifelong love affair with books.

My taste in books varies widely. My favorite genres are classics, mysteries, historical fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction, but I will read anything that piques my interest. Some of my favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, Laurie R. King, Michael Crichton, J.K. Rowling, Patrick Carman, Nancy Springer and R.L. LaFevers. You can view my entire library, including my favorite books (which are too numerous to list here) on LibraryThing.

In addition to reading, I enjoy gardening, knitting, and photography. I love animals and work in coordination with a local cat rescue to care for abandoned and neglected cats.

I don't watch a lot of television, but what I watch, I love. Some of my favorite shows include Doctor Who, Torchwood, The X-Files, Jeopardy!, and The Daily Show. I love learning new things and enjoy documentaries on channels like The History Channel, Discovery and PBS.

I've been blogging on various sites since 2000, and decided to start blogging about books in early 2008. Bookish Ruth was launched on June 14, 2008 and quickly became my primary blog. I also host The Baker Street Challenge, an annual Sherlock Holmes reading challenge.

Want to learn more about me, or contact me about possibly reviewing a book? Please use the Contact Form or e-mail me at the following address: ruth at bookishruth dot com.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

CFBA: Kiss by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy

I've been under the weather for the last few days, so I haven't had the opportunity to read Kiss yet.

I hope to be caught up on some reading, reviewing and commenting on other blogs by the end of the week. I still have several best of 2008 posts to publish as well and we're already almost two weeks into 2009! (I'm still accidentally dating checks for 2008, though, so it still counts, right?) -- Ruth

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


Thomas Nelson (January 6, 2009)


Ted Dekker
Erin Healy


Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work encompassing seven mysteries, three thrillers and ten fantasies includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White), Obsessed, Renegade, and Chaos.


Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Gilbert Morris, Frank Peretti, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.

She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding storiesbefore their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on "the other side of the desk."

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a Colorado-based consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She and her husband, Tim, are the proud parents of two children


Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.
I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend-how could I have forgotten him?-my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true-can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

And even worse, I think they want to kill me.

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?

Sometimes dying with the truth is better than living with a lie.

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion.

Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged. Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it.

In this blind game of cat and mouse that stares even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

If you would like to read the first chapter of KISS, go HERE

Watch the Video Trailer

What people are saying about KISS:
“The human brain could actually be the real final frontier—we know so little about it and yet it drives the world as we know it. So when authors like Erin and Ted bravely explore these mysterious regions, going into complex places like memory and soul and relationships, I become hooked. The creativity of this suspenseful story is sure to hook other readers as well. Very memorable!”
~Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice and The Other Side of Darkness

“Dekker and Healy prove a winning team in this intriguing, imaginative thriller.”
~James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Try Darkness

“Kiss by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker is a superb thriller that hooked me from the first sentence. The original plot kept me guessing, and I may never look at a kiss the same way again. I’ll be watching for the next book!”
~Colleen Coble, author of Cry in the Night

“The writing team of Erin Healy and Ted Dekker has taken me through a page-turner with Kiss. It’s one of those books that you think about when you’re not reading it. I highly recommend it, especially if you don’t mind staying up late because you can’t put the book down!”
~Rene Gutteridge, author of Skid and My Life As a Doormat

Friday, January 2, 2009

Victorian Challenge

The Victorian Challenge

The Victorian Era is probably my favorite literary time period, so this challenge will be a lot of fun.

I'll be reading six books:
1. Drood by Dan Simmons
2. Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
3. Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn
4. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer
5. The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
6. The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Shadow in the North by Phillip Pullman
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
A Dangerous Affair by Caro Peacock