I spotted 100 Cupboards as I was trolling for available ebooks on my library's website, and while I don't read a great deal of YA or Juvenile Fiction (or fantasy, for that matter)  the summary grabbed my attention:

(taken from goodreads)
Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds.

I work with many families through teaching, tutoring, and my duties as a nanny/babysitter and am always looking for books to recommend as read-alouds before bedtime. I still have about one hundred pages to go in this fun story, but I think the tale of Henry and the doors in his bedroom will soon be on that list. I was disappointed to see that it IS part of a series (can't any author for children and young adults write stand-alone books anymore?) BUT I can't say I am going to continue when I finish the first.

I am also a little behind in my book group's reading of Anna Karenina, so I need to catch up on that. However, with all of the family festivities this weekend and How I Met Your Mother season 3 out from the library, this could pose a bit of a problem.

Have a great holiday weekend!

If you haven't noticed yet, on the Read This, Read That homepage you can view the books I am currently reading. This updates itself as I add and remove books on my goodreads account. As you can see, I am currently in the middle of six COMPLETELY different books right now so I think I am having a bit of an identity crisis that is revealing itself through my reading choices. It started with needing a "side-book" to accompany my reading schedule for Anna Karenina and blossomed into something somewhat out of my control. This weekend, I will be focusing on The Black Echo by Michael Connelly, an author that many of my reading friends adore. He writes a good mystery/crime thriller at a literary level superior to many other books I have read in this genre, although I did cringe last night when he used the old "caterpillar eyebrows" in his description of a detective. WHY DO ALL MYSTERIES AND CRIME THRILLERS DESCRIBE PEOPLE IN THIS LINE OF WORK AS HAVING CATERPILLAR EYEBROWS?!?!? I swear, I have seen this in just about every mystery I have read. Perhaps an unspoken rule among authors? An inside joke? I'm on to you!  If I ever write a mystery (doubtful) I will make a conscious effort to describe the thin, over-plucked eyebrows of my police chief. Consider it my promise to you.

Enjoy your weekend!
My neurotic, type-A personality propelled me to prepare for my impending surgery back on February 18th in a variety of ways. I went to the grocery store to stock up on food my husband could cook for himself without me drugged up in the bedroom worrying about the possibility of a house fire. I cleaned the house until it was so spotless Danny Tanner of Full House would have eaten off of my floors. Lastly, and most importantly, I visited the library to stock up on materials to keep myself entertained as I healed in the privacy of my freakishly clean home. I think I checked out somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen books along with some movies and television shows on DVD. However, I later realized that all of this time would NOT be spent catching up on my to-read list because my post-op days would instead be divided into three distinct periods:
1.) The Sleep and Stare Period (approx. one week)
2.) The Sit and Stare Period (approx. one week)
3.) The Sit and Watch Embarrassing Television Period (approx. three weeks)
I looked much like the girl pictured, except I had bandages all over my face and usually had an ice pack balancing precariously on my forehead (and yes, it did slip a couple of times, sliding down my face and causing shooting pain to rocket up and down the length of my head). I couldn't concentrate. My head hurt. I couldn't read. COULDN'T READ!?! Instead, I sat and stared and thought about many things, none of which were too deep, philosophical, or really all that interesting. One thing I did think about was the idea of comfort reads when you're not feeling well. What do you pick up? Do your reading habits change?

Mine certainly do. I find myself reading books I wouldn't normally read that are generally geared towards young adults or older children, or sometimes even revisiting beloved books from my childhood. For example, the only book I read during this month was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and if we're being honest, I was so far gone on meds that it might as well have been War and Peace. (Do NOT send me mail telling me you can't believe I haven't read this series yet! Have you SEEN my to-read shelf???) I might also be inclined to pick up the Narnia series (yes, still working on that one too) or some of my all-time favorite books from the Little House on the Prairie series. If I am feeling really crazy, I'll grab some of the old V.C. Andrews books (the ones she wrote before passing) and read away with embarrassment. Don't say you didn't read and love these! I won't believe you! That woman tells a crazy tale!

I hope that none of you are imprisoned in your home with a to-read list 2,000 books long and a level of concentration so low you can only squeak out one measly juvenile series book about a wizard. What a huge letdown for the Book Addict. However, if you DO find yourself in this position of rehabilitating and "taking it easy" (which to me translated to "being in lots of pain and alone for hours with nothing to do"), make sure you plan ahead with your comfort reads.

Hello literary scholars!

Yes, it has been awhile since I have graced your presence with my witty book banter, but I have a good reason. I became pretty ill at the end of last year and required surgery in February. Due to some other events at this time, I was unable to post prior to going under. I am nearly recovered after six weeks on the mend and back in action on goodreads and Book Addict. This six-week extravaganza has inspired my upcoming blog post: Literary Chicken Soup. Stay tuned!
This is a guilty pleasure reading weekend. Even though I am still winding my brain through both The Invisible Bridge and The Name of the Wind, I am taking a break to read the co-authored book of love by husband and wife team Guiliana and Bill Rancic.During an extended illness that is also being billed as a time of an embarrassing line-up of shows on the DVR, I fell in love with this couple's reality program on the Style Network. I couldn't even help myself. Seriously.

If you're afraid to diversify your to-read shelf, don't be. Embrace the books you would otherwise read in the privacy of your home. Take them to the coffee shop. Haul them to the doctor's waiting room. Read them on public transportation. Sometimes, a guilty pleasure read is JUST what the doctor ordered.

Many of my reading friends have devoured The Invisible Bridge and awarded it the highest ratings and best reviews on Goodreads, so it has been on my "virtual to-read stack" (meaning, hold at the library) for quite some time. I guess everyone else has been waiting anxiously for it as well, since my holding period was almost over one month. This book has heft, and I was concerned about reading two chunksters at once (also still working on The Name of the Wind); however, once I got about twenty pages into this story while waiting for the husband's car to get an oil change, I was hooked. HOOKED. This book is already worth all of the attention it received in 2010 and I can't wait to continue reading. The story is so fantastic and the writing is really good. Here's hoping I can wind up the remaining 450 pages before I must turn it back over to the library for the next patron playing the waiting game. Here's a summary of the plot, taken from www.goodreads.com:

Julie Orringer’s astonishing first novel—eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-storycollection, How to Breathe Underwater (“Fiercely beautiful”--The New York Times)—is a grand love story and an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war.

Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he becomes involved with the letter’s recipient, his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena, their younger brother leaves school for the stage—and Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras’s garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love, of a marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family’s struggle against annihilation, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.

Finally Friday is the new feature on Book Addict that will provide you with a glimpse into my reading weekend. Whether I am about to start a new book, continue, or finish one, I will tell you all about it. In the comments section, please share what you plan on reading during the weekend.

If I were not a moderator of a book group, I probably never would have come across The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) because I do not generally read much from the fantasy genre. Our current theme, "Start a Series", has introduced me to a variety of books I hope to read very soon, including A Game of Thrones which is being adapted into a highly anticipating miniseries on HBO. This chunkster of a story was nominated and eventually selected because of its high ratings and positive reviews on goodreads.

While it took me about 100 pages to get into the story, I immediately loved Rothfuss's writing style and admired his creativity in developing a setting unlike anywhere I have ever "visited" in a book. He has already been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien, and after finally reading and loving The Fellowship of the Ring at the end of last year, I knew I needed to keep reading. I am just over halfway through the book and hope to read a couple hundred more pages before Sunday night arrives.

If you like fantasy, this should definitely go on your to-read shelf. If you're hesitant to read fantasy like I was, this should definitely go on your to-read shelf. This is great storytelling for anyone who truly wants transported through reading.

From goodreads:
The story revolves around Kvothe, an enigmatic red-haired innkeeper who, as he shares his incredible life story with a renowned scribe, turns out to be much more than he appears. Born into a family of nomadic court performers, Kvothe's unconventional education was broadened by spending time with fellow travelers like Abenthy, an elderly arcanist whose knowledge included, among other things, knowing the name of the wind. After his parents are brutally murdered by mythical beings known as the Chandrian, Kvothe vows to learn more about the godlike group, and after suffering through years of homelessness, he finally gets his chance when he is admitted into the prestigious University. But the pursuit of arcane knowledge brings with it unforeseen dangers, as the young student quickly learns.

What might hold up my progress in the epic fantasy described above? The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a fantastic non-fiction debut from Rebecca Skloot that made several "Best of 2010" lists and is extremely difficult to put down. I have teared up a few times reading this fascinating glimpse into science and the woman who unknowingly contributed to some incredible medical breakthroughs, but the story of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cells is one I would recommend to anyone.

Also currently on the nook on loan from the local library: Bloodroot by Amy Greene, a family saga woven with secrets and magic in Greene's native Appalachian Mountains.

In a previous posting, I further admitted my book illness by revealing my stats in 2009 and thus far in 2010. (Thank you goodreads for making us reading nerds track our books at a new level of embarrassment.) As you can see by the numbers below, I exceeded my 2009 record by just seven books, although I think the page count is more telling. To see EVERY SINGLE one of these 179 titles, click on "Quick Peeks" in the menu - the books are available for your viewing pleasure as a colorful and nerdy montage. (No, I did NOT take the time to do this...goodreads has a great little HTML widget that updates it for me!) You can also check out where I stand so far in 2011.

For full reviews of these books and everything else I read, follow me on goodreads or click on the new feature in the menu called "2011 in Books," which gives you even easier access to my thoughts on what I read. I know. Your year is already off to a great start with the book addict.

Number of Books Read in 2009 - 172
Number of Pages Read in 2009 - 51,452

Number of Books Read in 2010 - 179
Number of Pages Read in 2010 - 53,923
Did you know that you can cause yourself physical harm while reading? The paper cut is the obvious injury that might come to mind, but I experienced a new low as a reader two nights ago that I had to share with you all.

I have been reading The Fellowship of the Ring at night when I go to bed, and my version happens to be part of a MASSIVE 1100+ page book that includes all three books of the trilogy and an outrageous appendix unlike anything I have ever seen. While reading this "chunkster squared", I actually PULLED A MUSCLE in the first finger on my hand trying to keep the book upright. You probably don't think that would be so painful, but let me tell you, it was NOT pleasant.

Let this be a lesson to all of you who plan on reading multiple chunksters in 2011. You either need to conduct some online research for finger stretching activities and start warming up now, or be cautious while reading big books in bed. My fingers are in great shape. They have turned over 50,000 pages this year. I work them out everyday.

Is reading a sport? Now, my answer might be, yes.