Fizzy Thoughts

Archive for the ‘dewey’s books challenge’ Category

2009 Challenges – the wrap-up post

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This year I signed up for three challenges. Oh wait, no…I signed up for four, but after a few pages of Sookie, I backed out of the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge. But the other three…those I finished.

Way back in January I signed up for Eva’s World Citizen Challenge. I stated I was going for my major (read five books in three categories). At first, I thought I had totally blown it on this one, but looking back over the books I read this year, I discovered some that actually worked for the challenge (although I might be stretching it a bit). However, my final list looks vastly different from the original list.

What I said I would read:

Making War to Keep Peace: Trials and Errors in American Foreign Policy from Kuwait to Baghdad, Jeanne Kirkpatrick

Queen Isabella, Alison Weir
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Alison Weir

Memoir (travel writing):
Shadow of the Silk Road, Colin Thubron
Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown, Paul Theroux

What I really read:

Eleanor of Aquitaine
The Widow Clicquot


True Pleasures

A London Child of the 1870s
Lipstick Jihad

I also committed to Dewey’s Books Challenge, which I plowed right through:

And finally, I participated in Carl’s R.I.P. Challenge, which was so much fun that I ended up reading six books.

In 2010 (yegads, I can’t believe it’s the end of a decade!) I’m looking forward to the Women Unbound Reading Challenge (actually, I’ve already read a few for this one…I love this challenge!) and the South Asian Author Challenge. Two or three challenges is about my limit, so I might join another one at some point, but unlike some of you all, I’m not going challenge crazy. 😀

Written by softdrink

December 30, 2009 at 9:42 am

and the party continues…

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Best cake ever…

I had a marvelous birthday…thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. You all are the best!

So let’s continue the celebration by picking another winner in the Party Like It’s Your Birthday mini-challenge/giveaway. Remember, this giveaway continues throught the end of this month, so it’s not too late to join!

This week our lucky winner is…


Yippee!! Congratulations Care! Will you email me with your address please?

If you lot are at all curious about what the presents are, well, you’ll just have to wait until the recipients have opened said presents. Because I’m in charge, and there will be no peeking! 😀

**Formatting issues compliments of blogger.

Written by softdrink

April 22, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Days of Remembrance and The Book Thief

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“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
— Elie Wiesel

Today marks the beginning of the Days of Remembrance, when the US commemorates the victims of the Holocaust. This year’s theme is Never Again: What You Do Matters.

Did you know that the word genocide did not exist before 1944? Raphael Lemkin formed the word to describe the Nazi policy of extermination of the Jews and other targeted groups. Genocide was formed by combining geno (Greek for race or tribe) and cide (from Latin for killing). For Lemkin, genocide meant “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide which made genocide an international crime. In the Convention, genocide is defined as:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

For more info on the Days of Remembrance and genocide, visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Although I finished the following book earlier in the month, I thought it appropriate for today’s post.

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
550 pages

“I am haunted by humans.” -Death

Why am I quoting Death? Because he is the narrator of The Book Thief. And I must say, he does a damn good job of narrating.

Liesel Meminger is being sent to foster care when Death first encounters her. In the course of her journey young Liesel steals a book. Later, as a foster child living with Rosa and Hans Hubermann, Liesel steals her second book from a pile of burning books (it’s Nazi Germany…do I need to say more?). From there, she moves on the library of the mayor’s house. Liesel is subtly abetted by her beloved foster father Hans, her best friend Rudy, and even the mayor’s wife. Since life in Molching Germany in the early 1940’s is harsh and scary, books provide Liesel with an escape and a purpose. As the war escalates, Liesel reads to others in bomb shelters, kitchens and basements.

The story of the book thief is told alongside the story of WWII and the Holocaust. However, the book does assume some knowledge of both events, as Death provides more biting asides than he does historical lessons.

At 550 pages, I did find the book a bit long. I think the book could have stood a bit of a heavier hand with the red pencil. Especially since Death is not shy about telling you what’s coming. And it’s also a bit odd that Death never divulges what happened to Liesel’s mom. Yeah, it’s pretty obvious, but still, you’d think he could fill in a few blanks. After all, he has to know.

Still, this is a book worth reading.

Written by softdrink

April 19, 2009 at 7:00 am

More presents

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I should be writing up some reviews to post. Or thanking all of the bloggers who have given me some lovely awards over the past few weeks. Instead, I’m going to opt for a short post and choose another winner from the virtual birthday party


Yay!! Eva is another April birthday baby (we’re everywhere), so obviously knows what’s going on out there in the real world.

There’s still plenty of time to join in the fun (and the possibility of winning a birthday present), so head over to the original post to check out the details and sign up.

And congratulations to Eva…please email me your address!

Written by softdrink

April 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Did someone say presents?

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Since 6 people have joined the birthday party, I thought it was time to hand out a present. I consulted with my guru, who had this to say:

There were 6 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

betty and boo’s mommy

Timestamp: 2009-04-08 03:30:09 UTC

That means Betty and Boo’s Mommy is the winner of the first present. Which is just perfect, because she turns 40 this month, too! You can read about her lovely birthday here. Congratulations!! Please email me with your address and I’ll pop your gift in the mail.

As for the rest of you, there’s still plenty of time to join the party, and I still have plenty of presents. Rumor has it there might even be a Poppet in someone’s future.

Written by softdrink

April 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Party like it's your birthday

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Because it’s April I’m hosting another mini-challenge for the Dewey’s Books Reading Challenge. What’s so special about April, you ask? Well, it’s my birthday later in the month, and since I’m going to be 40, I decided to drown my sorrows by inviting you all to take part in a birthday party. Yes, there will be presents. And there could be cake, but I’m afraid you’ll have to supply that part on your own. Unless you can figure out how to slice a virtual cake….I made it nice and big so there should be plenty to go around.

Please, no comments on the fact that I’m short 39 candles.

So how are we going to hold this communal birthday party? You all are responsible for the entertainment. All you have to do is write a birthday post. It can be a story about a favorite birthday memory, or some good birthday advice, a poem, that picture we all seem to have of our face smeared with our first birthday cake, heck…use your imagination! Just make it festive, because I need all the help I can get with distracting myself from the thought of turning 40. After you’ve posted your celebratory post, come back and sign Mr. Linky. In return, I’ll randomly pick winners on various days throughout the month, and the winner will receive a present. But no peeking…the presents are a surprise (and no, they aren’t all books, although I’m sure the book closet will make a few appearances). Oh, and party crashers (in other words, those of you not participating in the Dewey’s Books Challenge (although you should think about jumping in….the books are fine!) are welcome.

Written by softdrink

April 2, 2009 at 7:00 am

No joke

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As promised, today I (okay, the random orgainizer) chose a winner from the list-makers.

Congratulations to raidergirl3, who just won a (hopefully soon to be signed!) copy of Thirteen Reasons Why! Here’s some celebratory confetti…

Stay tuned, because tomorrow there will be a new mini-challenge. This time anyone can play…and there will be lots of presents.

Written by softdrink

April 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm