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Oxford Commas

The Oxford Comma is my friend. I can't live without it. But now I find out even Oxford has gotten rid of it. Nooooo! I completely agree with what everyone was saying on twitter.

Here is the University of Oxford's style guide web page with the entry for commas.

I'm not an insanely staunch believer in the series comma. At least not to the point that I can't do without it when the situation calls for it. Say Sally wants coleslaw, eggs and ham for breakfast. The eggs and the ham go together but the coleslaw doesn't match at all, hence no second comma. But what if she wants toast, eggs, and ham for breakfast. That sentence NEEDS the second comma!

I'm worried I won't be able to break this habit. I've already broken the 'only one space before sentences instead of two,' that one was actually easy. But this one, I'm stuck on it. I'm not ok with skipping out on something that is necessary to break up three (or more) separate ideas!


If I Stay by Gayle Forman - Book Review

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a young adult novel about a seventeen-year-old girl, Mia, who is having an out-of-body experience. She is in a car crash with her family and ends up in a coma but is observing everything as if she is a ghost alongside her body. The book follows her through the trauma of listening to her bereaved friends and family, and jumping back into memories. There are spoilers, so stop here if you don't want to find out.

I finished this book in about 3 hours. It simply sucked me in and held me there. I couldn't stop. It's a roller coaster from complete nervous breakdown when she sees her family smeared across the road; to hearing her Grandpa say it's ok if she doesn't fight anymore, she can let go; to laughing with her when she remembers how hopped up on marshmallows her little brother was the night they had a big labor day picnic.

The characters are vivid. They are people that I can't stand not knowing. I want to immerse myself in their lives and just swim around for hours.

Mia's boyfriend, Adam, says at one point, "I'll let you go. If you stay." It seems like a seriously overused idea, but it really gave me the chills. I was so invested in the story that I didn't care if it was something I might have seen before.

What a way to end a book. It was like death in reverse. They always say life flashes before your eyes before you die, but hers flashes before she wakes from her coma. She's a very dedicated cellist and it's the sound of a cello (Adam brought her a song to listen to) that immediately changes her mind about dying and wakes her up. I don't think a book has ever truly made me cry before.


Giveaway Winner and Books Read in 2010

Congratulations to Andrea for winning the Amazon gift certificate to celebrate 200 followers! Thanks to those who entered.

Another installment of books I read in 2010. We're getting down to the bottom of the pile. But still quite a few to go! I rate on a scale of 1-5.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides - 4
Definitely a book that will go down as literature to be read by future high school kids.

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell - 3
She's very witty. The movie was wonderfully done as well.

Letters from Africa Isak Dinesen
Heard of the movie Out of Africa? These were the actual letters written between Baroness Karen von Blixen-Fineke and her family. Sometimes a little boring (as normal life is) but enlightening.

The Help by Karen Stockett - 3
The story was nice, the dialect was horribly difficult to get into. I don't enjoy stories written in dialect, I try to correct the grammar as I read.

So You Don't Want to go to Church Anymore by Jake Colsen
Gave me some fresh ideas.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith - 2
I found it a bit trite. It was fun and all, but basically taking most of someone else's work word for word and adding in your own element...I don't know. It just didn't hit me right.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - 4
Very engaging writing and characters. Lovely stories. (Even if there is a lot of kissing :))

Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman - 3
I watched the movie first and was intrigued. The story was wonderful. I liked the movie as well, even though it ended differently.

The Vampire Diaries 1 by LJ Smith - 2
Fun and quick read. A little silly though. I like young adult, just needs to be believable and have some depth to it.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - 3
I couldn't put it down...because I was scared half to death. The writing was good, but the story was gripping! The movie is awesome (the Swedish one). I'm worried the English remake will horribly ruin it.

Selected Stories by Alice Munro - 3
Every once in a while it's nice to read short stories. Hers are all a bit confusing, but good.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - 3
I didn't know where she would go with this second book, but I liked it!

Reckless by Cornelia Funke - 3
A little high fantasy. It's like a breath of mountain air when high fantasy doesn't seem silly.

Grimms Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm - 4
I had to read these, I do live in Germany!

Night Probe by Clive Cussler - 3
I'm not much for adventures, but ever since I was given a stack of books with one of his, I like to read them here and there. Funky, fast, and definitely alluring.