Saturday, October 29, 2011

Harry Potter Series: BBC Top 200 List # 4 in 2010

I think it is safe to say, that everyone nowadays has heard of Harry Potter and his story. If you haven't read the books, you may have seen one of the eight movies.

I started reading the series when I was in the fourth grade. I finally finished them all in my freshman year of high school.

Does the series belong on the BBC Top 200 list?

Yes. The books themselves are great reads. They are adventurous, full of suspense, friendship, and beneath the top layer, the story of a kid finding himself.

I think the books are great for all ages. The books in my opinion, are instant classics. They will be read by children and adults for generations to come.

Does the series deserve its spot on the BBC Top 200 list?

No.  When I saw how high the series was on the list, it reminded me of Alice and Wonderland. All of the books are great, but I really do not think they deserve the # 4 spot. I would place the series probably in the 75-80 range. I do however, recommend them to everyone.


If you live in Caldwell, I would like to inform you that the only used bookstore in town- The Rubaiyat - has moved to a new location. The address is 720 Arthur St. They are across the street from where King's used to be.  I recommend that everyone should go down and check them out. They have reasonable prices, great service, and they even have a great selection of Idaho Authors!

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wrong Side of the River: A Memoir by Cliff Johnson

For a couple months now, I have been meaning to read this book. I heard nothing but great feedback from the local community, and of course I am always interested in Idaho authors.  Finally yesterday I was able to get my hands on a copy of the book, AND I also had the honor of  meeting  the author.

As a young kid, I always complained about something. If my parents wouldn't let me have something, I would get frustrated and complain about how awful my childhood is. Looking back now, I  realize that I had a great childhood. Cliff Johnson's book demonstrates the exact 180 of my childhood.

From an uncle who tries to kill him, to grandparents drunk 24/7, to a mother who is constantly in and out of jail for writing hot checks, Cliff's childhood has been filled with poverty, despair and traveling from place to place, and  family member to family member. The book revolves around Cliffs child hood and his pursuit to find happiness, a home, and more importantly, ultimate acceptance and love from anybody.

From a critics aspect, the book is practically flawless. It is written extremely well, has no errors in the text, and is constructed soundly.

But more importantly, from a readers aspect the book has a fantastic story. The reader throughout the whole book feels like he/she is actually watching the life of Cliff Johnson instead of reading it. You will find yourself crying out to the young Cliff, and cheering for him. This book really puts life into perspective. Once you pick this book up, you will not want to put it down...ever. Cliff, I give you kudos for this book and your success!

I give Wrong Side of the River 4.5 stars out of 5.  If you ever get a chance to read this book, you will not be sorry.


I hope you all enjoyed the post for today, please don't forget to follow my blog if you do not already. I have a Poll located on the right hand side of the blog, you all should express your opinion on it. Feel free to leave comments, and I hope you have a great day. Tell your friends about me!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

George Orwell's 1984: BBC Top 200 List # 8 (2003 and 2010). Also we have a Top Five from the New York Times Bestseller List!!

About the book
     I had the opportunity to read this 1984 last year, and I automatically took a liking to it. The book was written by Eric Blair (more commonly known as George Orwell) in 1948 giving a view on what the world might be like in the future. The picture he painted was a communist world in constant war and a control on the people that seemed impossible to break.
    The book is told from the perspective of a man who tries to overrun the government. Whether or not he succeeds is for you to discover.

Does it deserve to be on the list?
     OF COURSE IT DOES! This book is fantastic. I absolutely think that it deserves the reward of being on the Top 200. The novel makes you think just what the government does and doesn't tell the people.  I seriously recommend that everyone read this book.

Does it deserve its ranking?
     Yes: This book is written perfectly, has an utterly fantastic plot, appeals to romantics and conspiracy theorists, and even if you aren't a theorist, the book still leaves some questions(What if the government is hiding things? How much freedom do I really have?).

As good as 1984 is, I also really enjoy seeing and reading what new books are coming out, and a great way to find them is The New York Times Bestseller's List. They have several categories, and each one has a Top 15. Here is the top five from one of them.


1. The Help, Kathryn Stockett

2. The Sixth Man, David Baldacci

3. Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosnay

4. Don't Blink,  James Patterson and Howard Roughan

5. Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese 

For more books on the list and reviews, please follow the link you will not regret it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. BBC Rank: In 2003, #30. In 2010, #29

About The Book:
   Probably one of the most popular children's stories ( thanks to Disney), Alice in Wonderland has survived through the ages as one of the most honorable classics in our age. The story reminds you of how magical and mysterious everything seemed as a child. From smoking caterpillars to furious queen's with short tempers, Lewis Carrolls Alice's Adventure in Wonderland keeps you entertained through out the whole book. In my opinion, the novel is a great story to tell your children before they themselves are able to read.

Does It Deserve to be on the BBC List?
   Absolutely it does: The book may not be a challenging read, but it goes without saying that the story is influential in current American society. I feel that the book gives everyone a chance to really reminisce their childhood, and children that do read it are without doubt given imagination that is important as they develop.

Does It Deserve the Rank it Has on the BBC List? 
  No: The book is very entertaining, well written, and all around has everything a good book needs. The only problem I have with it being ranked 29-30 is that it is a little childish. It definitely deserves to be on the list, and it deserves to be in the Top 100, but I would place more around the 50-75 mark. I think there are several other books out there that deserve the 30 mark more that Alice in Wonderland. I do however, still recommend that everyone reads it. I did really enjoy the book, and it's a quick, easy read.

What's Next?
   Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, George Orwell's 1984, and the Harry Potter Series (not in that order)
Stay tuned!