Back to School Challenge ~ Day 2

I've been a bad student; missed the first day, was late to class, but filling in for the second one. Hope I don't get too many marks off for this so soon! School started so soon it just...well, slipped by me. ;)

No more excuses, it's time to go "back to school..."

Parajunkee has hosted another fun-filled challenge for book bloggers everywhere, with the outline in an adorable chalkboard graphic on her page - great, isn't she??

Day 2's topic is: 
If you were/are an English teacher, share with us your dream lesson plan as for reading assignments.

Now, it's kind of funny, but I've thought of stuff like this before. I'm sure many admit that, as readers and book enthusiasts, you yourself have as well. It's even come up sometimes as a topic on forums like Goodreads. My answers change when the moment hits, but I do know I wouldn't teach Shakespeare since I can't seem to grasp it enough.

If I were a teacher, I'd like to be a college professor. Elementary kids are adorable, but I don't think my personality would complement theirs all day. Middle schools and awesome age, too, but still not quite where my head lies when it comes to reading. High school would be tempting, my I think my heart would like with those embracing their adulthood and venturing through the university doors.

 I could list books endlessly, but to be realistic, if I would to come  up with reading assignments and keep them school and classic appropriate, I'd grab the following classics --

Of Mice and Men
Catcher and the Rye
Animal Farm
Flowers for Algernon

These are all relatively short books that are completely different from each other. Of Mice and Men would discuss the unusual viewpoint of the American dream not always being possible and the stereotypes pressed on people. Also viewpoints on the ending. Catcher and the Rye would bring up the controversial history of the book and people's thoughts on that - I would guess half the class would dislike it, some enjoy it . Animal Farm would be a great short book to finish in a week on metaphors and control on society. Flowers for Algernon would be a serious angle on the science and if people can be improved, and how far  man should go. Dracula would be a different type of tale focusing on horror and building atmosphere, and how cultures change the same story to fit their themes. Vampires have changed such an astonishing degree.

If I were doing a class during the winter months, I would throw in the short but invaluable:

A Christmas Carol

I would mainly concentrate on reading fiction, but would discuss the greats and some poetry/short stories from:

Edgar Allan Poe
Robert Frost
Walt Whitman
John Keats
I'm sure these would be recycled out - so tempted to fit in more. Of course these all could never be covered - and that would be a shame!

Snark Week - Snark Visual

Day Five

Snark Visual – Snark isn’t the same without animated gifs – review a book, or post about a snarky topic with the use of animated gifs

I am the worst, most inconsistent reviewer EVER.

I keep telling myself to start reviewing books after I read them, at least during the same week. I keep telling myself it is harder to write reviews the longer I wait, or the more time and books pass.

I keep telling myself the reviews may miss small tidbits I'd otherwise remember if I'd just review them ON TIME.

Otherwise, it's an endless, repetitive, Frustrating Cycle like this would be - 


Do I do this? Do I keep reviewing on a dependable system that makes sense and keep up with my goals?

Well, apparently this shark thinks that is just too funny.

It's especially frustrating with series books when I read one in the series and should review it before reading the next. That way the enthusiasm for each book and details of what's in what book would be clear.


Reviewing books in a row after reading several in the series in a row just stinks.

I can only hope that one day I will get a routine going on that I stick to and review on a consistent basis.

Especially with series.

Because, to continue this visual exchange, that would just be happiness and rainbows.

I never use GIFs, I'm not a fan of them, but having the shark theme and being made to use them for this post actually turned out pretty fun.

Looks like Snark week is over - it was fun to do these posts. Hope you enjoyed reading them.

Snark Week: You Say Snarknado

Day Three

You Say Snarknado – I say STFU!  Cheesy Tropes, Eye-Roll Inspiring Actions, Words & Phrases that you just wish would stop being used in novels.

Eye-Rolling Inspiring Actions and Cheesy Tropes

Stop with the love triangles - one side of the readers will always lose
Stop with the exclamation points, it's juvenile
Stop with the rushed baby theme in romances, nothing wrong with some alone time first
Stop with the cliffhanger endings that mimic serial TV shows
Stop with the head hopping that begins when the book is almost over - if you decide at the end to suddenly make it third person POV, then be consistent from the beginning.
Stop with unrealistic lightning fizzle between heroine and hero (yuck)

Stop with the weird and just funny sex-organ words in books

 Words and Phrase Examples

Man pipe
Woman Hole
Love hole
And many more unappetizing, cheesy lines...

Snark Week - 10 Worst Books

See Here for Parajunkee's Themed Challenge


    Feeding Frenzy! The Top Ten List of Worst Books You’ve Ever Read 

Top Ten Books (Worst)

I really don't have a top ten of "worst" books. I'm going to randomly look at my Goodreads shelves for inspiration for this one. I'm also just going to do five, not ten, as I can't handle revisiting too many of these!

Most of these books were as terrifying as seeing a shark fin in the water. Let the ranting begin....

The first ten books of the Anita Blake series were some of the best I've ever read. A creatively structured, multi-layered fantasy world with intriguing, deep characters all playing their part. You got the small amounts of detective mystery with Anita and the police from investigating preternatural crime, but also the very cool and underused world of necromancy. You have a conflicted heroine who is finding out about her powers, recovering from a hard childhood, and maneuvering among powerful creatures who all want to use her for her gifts. The villains aren't always villains and there are some seriously yummy men in these stories. There's potent supernatural political infrastructures fighting amongst themselves and creating fascinating obstacles. In short? Let's just say brilliant. Unfortunately, at the 10th book, the writer did a bizarre turn and decided to flatten the characters worse and worse until they were eventually one-dimensional carbon copies of their original selves. The books became senseless sex drivel, over and over again, the repetition getting boring. Necromancy and mystery went out the door when the pants kept coming down. This was the book I finally nailed the nail on the coffin and, with some tears, said goodbye forever. This series genuinely irritated me with all its potential flushed down the toilet while the characters were too busy getting it on in the bedroom next door.

Savage Heaven by Kathleen Drymon was voted a rare one star for truly atrocious writing. Strange, as I read another book by her that was actually decent.

Besides the author's strange dependance and obsession with exclamation marks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <----- please make them leave!!!!, there was this annoying trait (copied from the review)

It was also impossible for the words to flow smoothly when, for some indeterminable reason, the two main characters insisted on using each others names in almost every sentence. Yes, an example is called for:

Pg. 193:

"What of Spring Lily, Wind Dancer?"
His reply the next paragraph: "What is it you wish to know of Spring Lilly, Silver Dove?"
She replies, blissfully not saying his name this time.
He says, not showing the reader the same courtesy, "You alone hold my heart, Silver Dove. More sentimental words follow"
Of course, she then says, " I'm glad, Wind Dancer."
Him: "I have often dreamt of this moment, Silver Dove."
She says something without saying his name.
He says, " The joining ceremony of our people is real, Silver Dove. More words."
She replies, "I didn't meant to ask if the ceremony was real for your people, Wind Dancer."

ARGH!! Every conversation in the book goes this route. For the love all that is holy, why? It grated on my nerves to the point I soon wasn't able to concentrate on anything else.

The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines is not necessarily the worst of it's kind, but it does embody something I hate about some natural medicine books - Books obviously made to try and attract the attention of the public in order to convince people to go to the doctors and use allopathic medicine instead. It comes across as a guise, a ruse to trick people, thinking sure, they're into natural medicine, we'll sell a natural medicine book and subtly insert scares, that they shouldn't use anything natural for anything, and send them to the doctor over everything instead. It's dishonest.

A section of my original review:

Sometimes wording is effective brain washing. The first herb mentioned, Aconite, is toxic. It has been used by people in the past to commit suicide, as has every other poisonous substance. Yet they did not word it that way. Instead, “In fact, this herb was once used as a poison in arrows and has been linked to many suicides.” Linked how, as in causing them? Is this a warning against the herb, as if the suicides are the herbs fault? Even in Aloe Vera, they say that studies indicate Aloe may be useful for healing, but are quick to point out in the same sentence that studies aren’t well documented. And of course the standard follow up with the FDA recognizing the herb as generally safe, but not recommending it for any condition. 

Rage of Angels was a book by a writer, Sidney Sheldon, who knows how to write. Unfortunately he also made me feel genuine rage on more than one occasion. At the end of this book, I was depressed for at least two days with a horrible, hopeless feeling. I hate misunderstandings, I hate betrayal, I hate the horrible romantic twist, I hate the child death, I hate everything that went wrong with this book. Yech.

Julia Roberts: America's Sweetheart  - I hate sensational tabloids, the paparazzi, and American's obsession with being vultures over celebrities. Enough said?

Review Section:

The end result is simply boring, with gathered quotes from a variety of sources, trying to paint a picture that doesn't have a proper enough sketching to come together for a realistic enough image. With no index and no solid storyline, this book is simply a waste of time. The only good thing about it is the writing style is so simple a child could read it easily, and there are pictures. Black and white pictures, but hey, still pictures. At least the O'Donnell book, while trashy, was interesting in some of the time span.