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.