Thursday, August 18, 2011

Soulless --Gail Carriger

  • Soulless 
  • Gail Carriger

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Original edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316056634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316056632

Synopsis from GoodReads

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as "a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking." At the center ofSoulless's "parasol protectorate" is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. A charming mass market original.

Truthfully I went into this book not sure if I was going to like it.  I am not big on romance-y style novels. Carriger created a world of Victorian steampunk elegance that sucks you in.  Alexia Tarabotti is likable and a wonderful strong female character.   Her Werewolf and Vampire companions are just as witty and well developed.  The first book in the Tarabotti series is definitely something that lures you in to the point of wanting to pick up the next book.  As I only listened to the audible version I really don't feel I can comment on the writing style as much but I think that regardless of any imperfections in writing style the novel is definitely a too read piece.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

005--The Whole Five Feet--Christopher Beha

  •                        The Whole Five Feet
  • Christopher Beha

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (May 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802118844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802118844

Synopsis Via Goodreads:

In The Whole Five Feet, Christopher Beha turns to the great books for answers after undergoing a series of personal and family crises and learning that his grandmother had used the Harvard Classics to educate herself during the Great Depression. Inspired by her example, Beha vows to read the entire Five-Foot Shelf, one volume a week, over the course of the next year. As he passes from St. Augustine's Confessions to Don Quixote, from Richard Henry Dana's Two Years Before the Mast to essays by Cicero, Emerson, and Thoreau, he takes solace in the realization that many of the authors are grappling with the same questions he faces: What is the purpose of life? How do we live a good life? What can the wisdom of the past teach us about our own challenges? Beha's chronicle is a smart, big-hearted, and inspirational mix of memoir and intellectual excursion-and a powerful testament to what great books can teach us about how to live our own lives.

     I came across this book via Lifetime Reading Plan , I read her blog post regarding this book and found myself intrigued enough to want to read it.  I had always made promised  myself at some point I too would read the Harvard Classics Five Foot Bookshelf, to this day I have been unable to fulfill that promise.   I think this desire is what also lead to me wanting to read this book.  Christopher Beha wrote an intriguing memoir that deals with his decision to read the Harvard Classics and the trials and joys he faces in his life.  His book does not serve as a reading guide for the classics but document his journey as he reads through the 52 volumes.  The reader is given insight as to how the novels effect him and relate to his own personal life.  What the reader takes away from this novel  is what all lover of books will take away.. How books influence and affect our daily lives and impact us in a way we may not fully understand.  The changes are subtle and enriching and Beha's readers become part of his transcendental experience with the classics .

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Quick Update.

Dear readers please forgive my lack of posting... I have been very busy with work and trying to get things.. organized..I have also been struggling with migraines and some personal issues.  As of late reading has fallen by the wayside, not because of a lack of desire to read, but when one works 4/10 hour days and adds an additional 10-15 hours of overtime a week, it becomes hard to focus on anything else other than sleep.  I am still working on finishing The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Drood has unfortunately fallen to the bottom of my cavernous backpack, not seeing the light of day for a while. .. I just wanted to keep you readers abreast of the situation with bookgeekism.  I promise soon to write up an offering for your perusal for now I just ask your forgiveness dear reader for the lack of anything promising these last few weeks.



Friday, July 15, 2011

The Next Two Selections.

Dear Reader, I have been thinking about my bookgeekism blog a lot as of late.  I have had some issues go on in my personal life that caused a delay in updating.  I had also at the same time begun work on an alternate blog for my adventures in Self Education.  As I thought more and more about it I realized that I did not have the time to maintain 3 blogs: a personal one and an additional 2 related to books.  So Dear reader I have come to the decision that I am going to combine the self education blog and this blog together.

Ultimately I had planned to read The Girl In The Steel Corset  as my next book selection, but due to a recent...err restructuring of my bookshelves its currently been...for lack of better wording, misplaced.  This dear reader is an unfortunate habit of mine and could possibly explain why I own 2-3 copies of some books (the major reason for the book restructuring is so that I can used Hooked In Motions book cataloging app on my iPhone to keep track of those books that I do own.)

For now I intend to read The Epic of Gilgamesh  as it is the first book off the Lifetime Reading Plan.  I had also been reading Don Quixote, but that book has also been misplaced for the time being.  I will endeavor to finish the Epic by the end of this weekend or hopefully by the end of this week at least.  Drood, was a gift from my mother who came across it upon one of her trips to the used book store (we believe in recycling books, we give books to the used book store and pick up new ones along the way sometimes).  I've read the first few paged of Drood and will have to say that I am very interested.  Drood centers around Charles Dickens, who I will openly admit is one of my least favorite authors.  I personally have never cared for the writings we were forced to read in school and can only say the one I really enjoyed was A Tale of Two Cities.  

I've been very ...very lax in my reading, I used to read as much as possible and now it feels like I am hardly reading anymore.. I used to try and read as much as possible at work, but it's been so busy at work and I am unable to read as much as I would like. I am going to try and find ..  or at least work on putting more effort into giving myself adequate time to read and work on my self studies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

004-Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

    • Abraham Lincoln  Vampire Hunter
    • Seth Grahame-Smith

    • Audible Audio Edition
    • Listening  Length: 10 hour(s) and 14 min.
    • Program Type: Audiobook
    • Version: Unabridged
    • Publisher: Hachette Audio (March 2, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003AOVPN4

    I have always been hesitant when it came to audiobooks.  I've always considered myself a purist in the sense that I loved the tactile feel of books, the feel of the paper, the smell of old books etc.  The first Audiobook that I recently experienced was The Sherlockian, a few months back.  The narration was amazing and made me want to listen to another audiobook. This was my second pick.  

    Synopsis: (Taken from
    When Abraham Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died from an ailment called the "milk sickness." Only later did he learn that his mother's deadly affliction was actually the work of a local vampire, seeking to collect on Abe's father's unfortunate debts.

    When the truth became known to the young Abraham Lincoln, he wrote in his journal: henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become learned in all things—a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose."

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for reuniting the North with the South and abolishing slavery from our country, no one has ever understood his valiant fight for what it really was. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time—all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War, and uncovering the massive role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

    This was a great story and I really wish I had read the book instead of listening to it.  Although the narration was a bit flat, the story line was enough to keep me listening.  If you liked the authors first novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you will definitely like this.   If you're willing to try it as an audiobook.. I definitely recommend it.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    0003-Matched By Ally Condie


    • Author: Ally Condie
    • Hardcover: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; First Edition edition (November 30, 2010)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 9780525423645
    • ISBN-13: 978-0525423645
    Synopsis: (from

    Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
    The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

    Can  a society statistically engineered to be perfect be fallible?  That is ultimately the underlying tone of a novel that is engrossing and for lack of better wording completely devour-able.  I cannot begin to discuss how much I loved this book, the simple writing style, the subtle G-rated romance and the dystopian society that is ever oppressive.   Ally Condie constructs for her readers a world so reminiscent of Orwell's 1984 and Zamyatin's We that even older readers will enjoy this novel.  Although other YA reviewers will say this owes quite a bit to The Giver, I noticed far more of these two classics intertwined throughout the narrative, especially in the heavily regimented society.

    Condie created characters that are memorable and that can be related to.  Cassia is, in her own way, a strong female who comes into her own as the novel progresses. Xander and Ky are the men in Cassia's life who are dedicated and amazing in their own right.   Even Cassie's younger brother Bram who's appearances are fleeting is memorable.  The storyline itself will leave you eager for the second part of this series due to be released November 1st of this year.   I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys the dystopian genre.


    So because I loved this book so much I am giving away 1  copy to a random follower or subscriber.  This giveaway will run from today till June 14th.    To Enter Leave a comment, Subscribe via the feed or through the google connect  

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    0002-The Girl In The Steel Corset

    Kady Cross
    Hardcover: 480 pages
    Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (May 24, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0373210337
    ISBN-13: 978-0373210336

    Synopsis (From

    In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.
    When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….
    Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
    Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
    But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

    So I have anxiously pre-ordered this novel.  I had come across in  amongst one of the posts of a steampunk page on Facebook.  I decided to look it up on good reads and proceeded to order it almost immediately.   Now I am awaiting that brown UPS truck to arrive at my door with that lovely cardboard box from so that I may devour this dear reader and offer up a review for you within a few days.  So now dear reader we must otherwise find another book to occupy my time until this arrives on the 25th.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    0001-The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had

    So where will Bookgeekism begin this new journey at?  It begins with a book by Susan Wise Bauer.

    This text is actually comprised of 2 real parts.  The first part discusses the 4 basic parts of Bauer's technique for attaining the classical education.  The second part discusses the different genres of text she has choses, Fiction ( Literature), History, Autobiographies, Poetry and Verse.  Bauer makes interesting points and her steps are pretty basic really.  My only real issue with her approach is that she recommends for beginning that one only reads the books she recommends for 30 minutes a day, four days a week.  I did not agree as a reader this was a sufficient amount of time to delve into a book.  maybe if you are not a reader by nature and are more casual in your approach to reading that may be of more use to really help one focus on the text.  This is also more true if you have never really been exposed to critical analysis of books.   The only other fault I find with the  book, is Bauer synopsizes each of the text she recommends and gives away essential plot points.  It would be best if you only really look at the book title and author, and then which edition Bauer recommends.   She also tends to refer back to Mortimer Adler's text, How to Read a Book. ( Which I will admit I also now have sitting on my to be read pile. )  I did like this text a great deal and actually have passed it along to my mother to read and given a copy of the text to a friend to read.  I do highly recommend this book.

    This book was a game changer for me in the sense that it really helped me realize that in the absence of completing college (for now)  I really needed to focus on classically educating myself so as to keep my mind acute and not let it fall into atrophy.  I (and my mother who I have also recruited in this path of self education --for she desires to better her understanding of literature)   have even begun reading the first text Bauer recommends under fiction which is Don Quixote, which I will admit has always been an intimidating book due to its sheer size, that I now find myself looking forward to reading. 

    A change in direction for

    I have taken a lengthy sabbatical from blogging due to some unforeseen issues that occurred in my personal life.  If you will excuse me I would prefer not to go into detail in these matters at this time and only apologize for the lack of any substantial update.  Now on to what I really intend to say at this juncture in time.  I have spent the last week really thinking about this blog which I have neglected for far too long mainly because as I sat and looked at the plethora of books that lay stacked and unread on my bookshelves I discovered a sorrow that even now I cannot articulate.  This 3 week vacation I have taken from work due to a medical issue has left me with the ultimate question, why had I abandoned this blog for so long?   Why had I cast my love of books as reading by the wayside?   Why did I allow myself to become entrenched in trite dilemmas that had left me feeling academically and socially hollow?  After a lengthy period of self examination i found  I had the desire rekindled in me to refocus on my reading, my own effort in self education and the betterment of the mind.

    During this introspective period I had a discussion with a close friend of mine that allowed me to really think about the idea of self education.  My friend and I came from the same educational background which I will elaborate on.  (Note: Dear reader, if what I am about to explain changes your opinion of me and the validity of my reviews and criticism of literature I do apologize, but as we learn in literary theory...we must always question  "what is literature?" .  Please do not let my explanation lead you to believe that I am unqualified to offer a layperson's review of books.)

    My educational background along with my friends is mostly a high school diploma and a smattering of college classes interspersed through these last 13 years of adulthood. Most of my education has been self taught, through literature and textbooks I have purchased, along with magazines and journals in topics that I have always had an interest in.    In these past few months, as my friend and I were discussing, I found that I had almost totally abandoned my pursuit of self education and allowed those things which had always been of keen interest in me to fall along the side of the road, cast aside by more vain pursuits that left me feeling sort of hollow and empty. (Note:  One should not try to change their identity to conform to what someone else whats of them or what others expect of them. Society and Media have always dictated that we should look and behave a certain way.  Falling prey to this leads one to lose sight of themselves.)  So after this rather deep discussion with my friend I found myself reoriented, directing myself back to the original path that I had always followed but due to a lapse in judgement I allowed myself to deviate from.   So here I am book geek girl renewing myself .. my original self so to speak..

    And in this rambling I guess I should ultimately explain what I intend to do here, and in sincerest hopes to make it manifest. is in for a change.  the 1001 books idea has kind of been discarded but not entirely.  This book blog will still focus on reviews but it is going to take on a new sort of direction. I still will review books, classics and newly published or more current novels, but I will also be blogging about my journey through the path of self education.

    Certain Books have lead me along this newly navigable path of academic enlightenment.  I will no longer approach books as some obstreperous child choosing books and devouring them without gleaning any real education from them.  Dear reader please do not thing I intend to force my own intellectual observations on books on you, I will continue to review them and if anyone is interested in discussing them I am considering creating a forum to discuss said books if anyone has read them or after one reads them.