Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Woah. I loved this book. I think I enjoyed it even more so than The Goose Girl. I couldn't put it down, and my poor children got to enjoy playing together and making the house as messy as they could as I sat and read!
I don't want to give everything away, but Enna is able to speak the language of fire - I think that isn't giving too much away since the title is Enna Burning. Bayern is at war and she is convinced that she can save her country. The book has so many twists and turns I was devouring every bit of it!
I must say the last few chapters I was really hooked. I really thought something else was going to happen and I was going to be very very sad and disappointed! I was so sad that I almost threw the book across the room, then - twist - again, and I was happy and so satisfied with the ending.
I loved the whole book and can't get enough of Shannon Hale.
Laurie Viera Rigler
I was really looking forward to this book, and since I had finished Goose Girl and was waiting a day to run to the library to get Enna Burning, I thought I would give a try. I started it, didn't really like the first 50 pages, and I should have set it down and not finished it, but I have a really hard time not finishing a book...good or bad.
The story is about Courtney Stone, who wakes up in England, in 1813. I have a hard time with some of the language and crude subjects and maybe I should over look it for the plot and good story line -but I didn't really think either of those were there either. It was not my favorite and I don't recommend it. I don't think that Jane Austen would have liked it either. The only reason I finished it is I felt really bad not doing so, and I skimmed most of it and finished it in one day.
I have to admit too, and perhaps I am sensitive to the subject, but I believe women, then, now and forever can write wonderful beautiful novels and fulfill their roles as mothers. Motherhood is one of the most rewarding jobs ever. I think Jane Austen is a witty and intelligent enough woman that if she were to have wed and bore children she too could have been the author she became. Maybe I took it wrong, but here is her dedication:
"I dedicate this book to Austen addicts past, present and future; and most of all to Jane Austen, who bit of ivory is an endless source of wisdom and joy for this humble admirer. If there is any justice in the world, Miss Austen, then there is a parallel reality in which that lovely young man from the seaside didn't die young, you lived to write at least six more novels, and the two of you grew happily old together, preferably without children."
Friday, December 14, 2007
I think that Shannon Hale is becoming one of my top authors of all time! She retells a classic Grimm's Fairy tale in this story and it is amazing! I read it so fast I was sad when I finally had to put it down. I can't wait to get my hands on one of the other novels that accompany it, Enna Burning, or River Secrets.
Asi, for short, is a princess that is promised to marry a prince she has never met of a neighboring land. On the way to her new kingdom her lady in waiting over takes her company and Asi becomes a goose girl while hiding out and waiting to return home or take back her title. The Grimm's fairy tale version is very short (one or two pages) and gives a very good synopsis if you want to figure out what the book is about - but if you know Grimm's version, or read it first, be warned that you will have the ending given away!
Hale created such a fun enchanting fantasy world for the story to take place in. There is love, suspense, lessons and friendships. There were points I was literally hanging on word for word! I love it! I recommend any girl from 10-18 read it!
My other favorites of Shannon Hale, A Princess Academy and AustenLand. She has an awesome website you can see by clicking here. She also graduated from my alma mater, the University of Utah - you can't can't go wrong with a Ute!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Another Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery. I read the last one around Halloween and loved it. I have decided that I am a pansy when it comes to real life mysteries, they scare me too much. These are so easy to read and right up my ally.
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have just settled in and are expecting their first baby during this book. The advice that Elizabeth endures during these months had me laughing so hard! If you have ever been pregnant, you will relate to some of her feelings. What a cleaver book!
Carrie Bebris has one more mystery novel out that I have on my list - I know they are easy and predicable, but I really enjoy them and think they are so much fun!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Me & Mr. Darcy
The Education of Little Tree
Bess Streeter Aldrich
4 1/2 stars
I started this book about a year ago for a book club at my church and although all the members of the club were raving about it, I couldn't get myself to finish it. I finally picked it up this past weekend and was able to finish it in 3 days - and the only thing I can think of is I must have been reading a very fast pace exciting novel before this when I first attempted to read it.
Needless to say I loved it this time around. (I must be in a better mood as well!) The story follows the life of Abbie Mackenzie Deal. She marries the love of her life, Will Deal and they move to settle "out west" in Nebraska. While Abbie has dreams, she is also a mother. After reading this book I couldn't help but appreciate my own mother more. I am also inspired to become a better mother to my little family.
I found myself wanting to highlight or dog-ear some passages in the book. Here are some of my favorite parts:
Abbie has just recovered from losing her infant son. She comes to terms with it and looks around and sees her little family. She has so many dreams for her little children,
"You shall wear them, darling. Some day you shall. We're going to make it come true. We've got to make it come true." She caught Margaret to her. "It takes faith and courage and love and prayer and work and little singing to keep up your spirits, but we're going to do it."
Abbie is speaking to her daughter, who has just informed her that she will forgo motherhood to pursue a singing career,
"But, Isabelle, if people waited to be rich to have children. If we!...Oh, Isabelle! You'd make me laugh if I didn't feel so like crying. Can't afford it? How can you afford to miss it....little children...their soft warm bodies and their little clinging hands...their cunning ways..miss motherhood?"
After her daughter Grace has just told her she is narrow for not having traveled, Abbie answers her,
"You know, Grace, it's queer, but I don't feel narrow. I feel broad. How can I explain it t you, so you would understand? I've sen everything...and I've hardly been away from this yard. I've seen cathedrals in the snow on the Lombardy poplars. I've seen the sun set behind the Alps over there when the clouds have been piled up on the edge of the prairie. I've seen the ocean billows in the rise and fall of the prairie grass. I've seen history in the making...three ugly wars flair up and die down. I've sent a lover and two brothers to one, a son and son-in-law to another, and two grandsons to the other. I've seen feeble beginnings of a raw state and the civilization that developed there, and I've been part of the beginning and part of the growth. I've married...and borne children and looked into the face of death. Is childbirth narrow, Grace? Or marriage? Or death? When you've experience all those things, Grace, the spirit has traveled although the body has been confined. I think travel is a rare privilege and I'm glad you can have it. But not every one who stays at home is narrow and not every one who travels is broad. I think if you can understand humanity...can sympathize with every creature..can put yourself into the personality of every one...you're not narrow...you're broad."
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Bess Streeter Aldrich
If we could only have more people in this world like Miss Bishop. The story begins with Ella Bishop's first days at Midwestern College. Ella is a lively, spunky girl and the book is her journey through life. She cares for her mother, is a devoted friend and a constant. She is a teacher, and therefore a mother to so many.
Ella Bishop's life is not an easy one, but she never complains. She never takes the easy way out and she always does the right thing. The book has ups and downs. At some points I was so sad I was brought to tears for Miss Ella Bishop and at other points I was literally laughing out loud.
I started Bess Streeter Aldrich's more famous book, A Lantern in Her Hand, for a book club last year and I never could finish it. Miss Bishop was such a touching book that A Lantern in Her Hand is up next on my list.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
I only scrapbook my boys first year and include everything else in a separate family album so this shouldn't be a hard tasks, but it has significantly decreased my reading time. The holidays are also approaching. There are so many books I want to finish and ideas I want to post. My goal is to be more consistent, so perhaps a weekly post for now might be a goal I can accomplish.
Today is Monday. Here is to weekly (or more) posting.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Here is the low down:
Send me an email to sign up - wadeanddebbi - at - gmail - .com
Send me your shipping address, type of books you enjoy, any other information you might find useful about yourself and if you would mind receiving children(s) books
Deadline to sign up is one week - MONDAY, OCTOBER 15
I'll send you your special swap someone on -TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16
Packages must be postmarked one week from that day - TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23
Abraham Lincoln once said, "This Great Book...is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong."
For the past few months I have been reading and studying the New Testament. It has been fascinating to me. This is not the first time I have read or studied it, but each time you find and see different things as a reader. I have been reading the writings of Paul and I love the inspiration in this scripture I found just this past week:
"For God hat not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timonthy 1:7.
I am a creature of habit. I have made it a habit to read from my scriptures every day as my children fall asleep for their nap. I have to do this every day now. This gives me a nice quiet time to read and ponder. It also gives me a refueling time since our afternoons are sometimes harder than our mornings. I have to read straight through a book, so I use a chart so I can mark off what chapters I have read. My husband on the other hand is a subject scripture reader. He loves to be asked questions so he can research them and find answers through his study.
What kind of religious reader are you? Do you have habits? Do you read by subject or straight through? How has this type of reading helped you?
Thursday, October 4, 2007
1. On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the arrival of the three-mastered Pharaon, from Smyrrna, Trieste, and Naples.
2. Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane.
3. A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments, and gray, steeple- crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and other bareheaded, was assembled in the front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.
4. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
5. I ran my fingers across the page, feeling the dents where he a had pressed the pen to the paper so hard that it had nearly broken through.
6. A cold December wind was blowing, and Theresa Osborne crossed her arms ans she stared out over the water.
7. The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few years apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.
8. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl in possession of her right mind must be in want of a decent man.
9. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
10. Imagine a ruin so strange it must never have happened.
a. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
b. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
c. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
d. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowlings
e. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
f. Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer
g. Inkheart, Corelia Funke
h. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
i. Me and Mr. Darcy, Alexandra Potter
j. Message in a Bottle, Nicholas Sparks
What are you answers? Some are sooo easy! What is your favorite fiction to read? Please share!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I loved Twilight. I think Twilight is a great love story, and argue with me if you must, but 7 books would be overkill and I think Stephenie Meyer knows that so she is ending with 4. Four books will be perfect. I know many of you can't believe that I'm a Jacob Black fan, but what would the books be without him? Every good love story has to have a twist.
If you loved Twilight, I will say it again - read A Great and Terrible Beauty. There are only two in this series now and a 3rd one coming out later this year. Libba Bray is a witty author. She says in her biography that she loves Target. You can't argue with a girl who loves Target!
Now I must admit, most of the series I love have been LDS Fiction. If you aren't LDS you would still enjoy them, don't' let that scare you off. My top LDS Fiction series would have to be Work and the Glory. This nine book series I read last year. It took me a little over nine months and these are ones I could read and reread. I loved seeing the stories come to life and I was able to visit a lot of the sites where these saints lived. Church history had always been boring to me until I read these books.
Also top on my list of LDS fiction: Dean Hughes. The Hearts of the Children and The Children of the Promise were fun series to read. Each book follows the Thomas family of Salt Lake City. The Children of the Promise is set during WWII and The Hearts of the Children follows the next generation of children through the 1960's. My favorite out of the two had to be The Hearts of the Children, the 60's were fascinating times for me.
What is your favorite series? Do you love the time it takes to read one or find you want to move on to other books and other stories? What about children book series? I loved Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew, American Girls. Did you read series as a child?
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Nonfiction sounds boring to most people. Not to me. I love cook books, decorating books, parenting books, self help books, exercise books, health books, craft books, computer books, church, world and American history books, and organization books. Books that teach me how to take pictures, sell things on eBay, create an awesome blog, write well, be a patient mom, be a better wife, scrapbook, teach my kid to read.
I’ve also noticed a pattern that my nonfiction loves change over time. They are always evolving and changing to suite the needs of my life. We went on a vacation to Washington DC last summer. You can bet that I was a frequent visitor to the travel and American history section in the library. Since becoming a parent I have always loved reading new parenting books. I love reading different theories and strategies. I’ve recently started doing many at home school projects with my preschool child. I have never searched the education section of the library until the past month. Why have I lot looked there before?
For this post I have attempted to narrow it down to 5 of my current favorite nonfiction titles and a short quote from inside.
Raising Your Spirited Child
"Spirited – it feels good, sounds good, communicates the exciting potential of these children, and yet honestly captures the challenges faced by their parents. When we choose to see our children as spirited we give them and ourselves hope."
The Read Aloud/How to get your child to love reading
“Neither books nor people have Velcro sides –we don’t’ naturally attach to each other. In the beginning there must be a bonding agent – parent, relative, neighbor, teacher, or librarian – someone who attaches child to book.”
The Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking
Rise to the Divinity Within You, talks from the 2006 BYU Women’s Conference
“May we take time to build our testimonies and our faith, to love and serve, to learn something new, to build family relationships, and to find contentment and joy in who we are and our circumstances. When we spend our time well each day, the sun will shine, we will cast the gospel light into the dark places of this world, and we will make a difference.”
The Writer’s Idea Workshop
“Prompt: You’ve probably had many ideas for writing that you’ve never written down. Here’s your chance to do it. Brainstorm as many as you can recall. You might even want to write “Ideas” in a circle and create a “web” or “cluster” of thoughts around it”
So do you share my love for nonfiction or do you prefer fiction? What subjects are interesting to you? Do your interests change over time or stay the same?
Up tomorrow: Series
Monday, October 1, 2007
This week I thought I would feature my thoughts on different genera of books each day. I’m not an expert, and I hope each day will be something different to read. I hope you will enjoy. I chose to start the week with one of my favorites, children’s books.
We all know and I hope would agree, that reading should be an essential in any child’s life. I want to teach my children to love reading. I mean really love. I want them to grow up to be adults that know that reading completes them and makes them a round fulfilled person. Someday I want them to look back at their life and say, “My mom loved reading, and I do too!”
We all know that teaching is best set by example. I read every day in front of my children. Books, magazines, newspapers. But I also read to them. Here are a three of my favorite ideas that have helped me help them learn this love for reading.
Reading Caterpillar. I remember a similar thing like this being used like this during my school years. I started this with Gage during our preschool time each morning. We took old scrapbook paper and I cut a lot of circles. Gage helped me glue together a head and I explained the rules. For each book we read (or chapter, or part of a magazine) I would write it down on a circle and then it would help his reading caterpillar grow. He loves this and now he would rather read books so he can see his caterpillar grow than watch television. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be caterpillars. It could be trains, race cars, crowns for a princess, stars for the sky, balloons, flowers in a pot, get creative - you get the idea.
Books with themes. I got this idea from story time. Since we attend two different story times each week I thought it would be fun if I could find a way to bring the idea home. It’s easy. We read Sammy and his Robots, and then we make a robot. We read How to make an Apple Pie, and see the world, and then we make an apple pie. (We’ve been reading it all week and will be making the pie tonight for Family Home Evening!) We read Leaf Man and then collect fall leaves. I know this idea seems simple, and it is, but it works and it works with almost any book you pull off the shelf.
Chapter books. I didn’t think that my 3 year old was old enough for a chapter book. I’m not sure why, but I just didn’t think he would pay attention if we read one to him. Then I read The Read Aloud Handbook and my mind was changed. This book claims you can read chapter books to preschool age children and it will benefit their attention span and vocabulary. I decided to give it a try. We started with a very easy book, The Boxcar Children. It’s a series and it has to do with 4 orphaned children living in a train box car. This is Gage’s dream come true (not the orphaned part, but the living in a train!) We have seen Gage’s attention span lengthen in just the short time since we have started reading this book to him. We read a chapter or two each night, and then add it to his caterpillar. He curls up on our chest and listens and stares at the book as if it has pictures. He talks about it the next day; he remembers the story and loves this special time. Next on our list, Stewart Little, after which we will get a special movie night.
Books that help that I love:
The Read Aloud Handbook. This is one of most recent finds. I found so many good ideas and inspiring thoughts in this. Ideas about television, does and don’ts, lessons learned from Oprah and Harry Potter, and a surplus of books categorically listed.
How to get your child to love reading. Similar to the Read Aloud Handbook this has many helpful ideas and a treasury of books listed by subjects and reading level. This book also has great ideas for older children.
Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Sounds
Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes
Both of these are fun books I found at our local library that have crafts for each letter shape or sound. I am hooked. Learning the alphabet is just one small step to this great big world of reading.
In the end we all are in different situations with different children. We try new things and we stick with the things that work. We each have different approaches to what works and what doesn’t. Since I love to share ideas – please share yours! What do children’s books mean to you?
Up tomorrow: Nonfiction
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
What book are you currently reading?
I feel like I am currently between books. I just finished the Uglies series. I have started Inkspell and still have the desire to finish it. I am also reading The Read Aloud Handbook, I love it. Each Sunday night I try to read a talk from a book my mother sent me for Mothers day- Rise to the Divinity Within You, Talks from the 2006 BYU Women's Conference. I also am trucking along in the New Testament. I just finished 1 Thessalonians today.
How do you decide what book to read next?
I have a piles of books around my house. I sometimes I pick something from there. I have a lot of books I've acquired from Book Swaps. (I'll be doing another one in October.) I have a list saved in my computer and also carry it with me in my purse. I also am a huge fan of browsing the library.
Do you always finish books, or do you give up on them? If you give up on them, how many pages does it usually take?
I don't always finish a book. I give it a chapter or two but I will put it down if the language is offensive to me. I have a hard time with this because sometimes I am very drawn into the story but see the language as offensive and/or not necessary so I put it down. It's just a rule I have.
Do you ever re-read books you love? If so, how often? Give examples, if possible.
You betcha! Harry Potter, Twlight, Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird, just to name a few.
Can you read books in noisy places (e.g. trains, buses, crowded rooms)?
I have two kids. I can turn on a movie and read. I believe that this qualifies for a yes answer. Sometimes this can be a very bad habit.
Where do you acquire most of your books? If you are a library user or borrower, how many books do you borrow at once? If a buyer, how many books do you usually buy at once?
I am a stay at home mom and my husband is a full time student - therefore I am a library user. I would love to be a buyer, but I can't at this point in my life. I borrow probably between 5-10 books each visit and I visit 2 different city libraries twice a week. That number is including children books so it might seem high.
Do you have any unusual tendencies while you read?
I love to eat milk chocolate chips and drink a cold coke while I read. I love to have a blanket to curl up with and will actually turn on the air container just so I can be comfortable with a blanket.
Do you read through pages at top speed, or do you stop to savor the sentences along the way?
It depends on the book. Most of the time I read through pages top speed. My husband always jokes that I don't read, but skim everything I pick up. Some special circumstances have me savor the sentences - when I read the final Harry Potter I savored it.
We know most of us can read just about anywhere, but specifically where and when do you do your best reading?
I do my best reading during my children's nap time. I sit on the love seat by our front window - with my coke and chocolate chips and read away. On days that I don't read I feel very grumpy by 5pm. I love this break in my day to relax, escape into a book and recharge.
Alrighty - I showed you mine, now show me yours. I am not going to tag anyone, but this survey was fun and I hope you enjoyed it and will take the time to take it as well!
Monday, September 24, 2007
So this series is recommended by Amazon readers if you like the Twilight series. Since I have first seen it it has intrigued me. Here is the scoop:
This is set in a city on the earth long after our world, as we know it, has been destroyed. Here in Uglyville, we find Tally, the main character, who is a few months away from her 16th birthday. When you turn 16 you undergo an operation and you become Pretty. You then get to move across the river to Prettytown. Uglies stay in ugly town waiting for this day and play tricks. It is during a trick that Tally meets her new friend Shay. Shay doesn't want to become a Pretty and thus a plot is developed. What happens to you if you don't want to become a Pretty? What happens if Uglies run away?
So, what did I think of this book? I loved this book and couldn't wait to get my hands on the other books in the series. I thought it had interesting deeper points that many young adult readers should be thinking about. There were actually a few points during my reading I wanted to grab a pencil and underline a sentence or two. On the flip side, there were points that I wanted to say "Enough with it already, I understand our world right now is corrupt and we have things we need to work on."
I loved Tally, and thought she was a good main character that many female young adults could relate well with. I wanted to be her friend and as soon as I put it down I had to read the next book in the series. I give this book 4 stars because I would read it again. As for the rest of the series, I'm not sure. I will do separate posts.
2 1/2 Stars
Well, I don't think that it is a spoiler to say that Tally becomes a Pretty, because it is the title of the book.
Tally is now a Pretty and I find her really annoying. She gets a message from her ugly past and all the pretty fun she is having starts spiraling downhill. With her boyfriend Zane she starts finding more and more about her past and the plot thickens. Is there more to life then being a Pretty?
I did not like this book. I wasn't sure after reading this that I even wanted to continue the series, but darn Scott Westerfeld knows how to write cliff hangers. If it weren't for that I would have stopped reading this series. Why did I dislike it so much? There were a few major reasons.
One. This is a young adult book. I know it is set in the future, but as soon as the characters turn Pretty, they are allowed to drink and party as much as they like. Hangovers are mentioned a few times, but their Pretty bodies are not allowed to get sick - therefore there are no serious consequences for all this binge drinking. I really had a hard time with that. Only a mature young adult reader would know that binge drinking - like portrayed in this book - is very bad for a persons health. I only hope that mature young readers read this. Uglies I would recommend, but I'm not sold on the idea of telling any of the youth at my church about this book quite yet.
Two. Cutting. This gets worse in the third book, but this is a serious problem with many people today and I wish that Scott Westerfeld could have found a different solution. I don't have much to say about it - just that I wish he would have used some other form.
Three. I think Tally was horribly mean to David when she met him again. I know this is a small reason to not like the book and it had all to do with her being a Pretty, but I just was sad for him. I like David.
Four. I think Pretty town reminded me of a lot of Biblical cities that were destroyed. If you are LDS it reminded me of the great and spacious tower refered to in the Book of Mormon. It was not a good place to live.
Tally made it and is now a Special. Shay is as well and they are together doing Special tricks. I liked this book a tad big more than I liked Pretty, but only because I really enjoyed the ending. There were also some fun twists that I did not see coming that I enjoyed.
Shay was rather annoying throughout the series to me, and I was really not happy that she was the boss over Tally. I was glad in the end that Tally and Shay were able to reconcile their differences and become better friends. I was also glad that Tally was able to stand up on her own two feet and go a different way.
I know that there is a fourth edition of this series coming out, I do not believe I will be reading it. Since this book was summed up nicely I believe I will leave it at that.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Jonathon Scott Fugua
While sitting at the library this week and watching my children play I looked up to see this book on the shelf. I have seen it there before, but I have never picked it up. Since it had an Iowa Children's Choice Award sticker on it I finally decided to pick it up and give it a chance. It's a children book and about 250 pages. I believe every child - probably around 10 years old - should read it and know the history that battled our southern states.
Darby Carmichael is a girl after my own heart. She wants to grow up to be a news paper girl. Her best friend, Evette, and her write a column for the Bennettsville Times in Marlboro County, South Carolina. While writing is great and she loves receiving all the compliments, it doesn't take long for her to realize that while a good newspaper girl only tries to tell the truth some people don't always want to hear it.
Set in 1926 this book examines the black/white issues that small southern towns faced. I personally spent many years growing up in the south and love small southern town stories such as this one. Darby, and her family, amazed me with her courage.
This was a very good story based on real interviews. It is very easy to read so there are no excuses!
Melba Pattillo Beals
While reading Darby, my mind kept referring back to the book Warriors Don't Cry, a book a read about a year ago. This non-fiction book is based on the "Little Rock 9" students who segregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
While living in Arkansas my mom picked this book up and read it. My husband then picked up the book at their home a few years later and brought it home to read himself. He never was able to read it and I tried a few times to read it without success. Finally last year I sat down and read the account told by Melba herself, who was one of the courageous students. It is an awesome story and very inspiring.
If you are light hearted book this is not the one to pick. She tells it how it was during that awful year and most of which is very hard to swallow. The fact that she stood through it all and graduated was amazing to me. I am not sure I would have the faith or endurance to do what she did. Thank goodness that someone did and that she shared her story with us. We are all better people because of it.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I must be in a little big of a Jane Austen spin off rut because I saw this book and I had to read it after reading AustenLand. This tells the whole story of P & P from Mr. Darcy's point of view. It's very well done and I liked it well enough for 4 stars.
One thing that totally put me over the edge from 3 to 4 stars is in the last chapter or two of the book we get to see glimpses into the marriage of Mr and Mrs. Darcy. It's great. I love seeing how he softens up to her and knowing more of the story.
It didn't always read like a diary and that sometimes quirked me a little funny. If you are going to write something as a diary, then write it as a diary, but there were major points in this book that I felt it didn't come that way. Just name it Mr. Darcy's point of view and write it that way. I know this is a small thing, but for some reason it really bothered me.
It was cute though and if you love P & P then you will love this. I think it would make a great reading for a book club or any group of Austen fans.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I should be reading now, my children are asleep in bed for the night, instead I am blogging. I typically read in bed for 30 minutes before turning out the light. I also read each day during the boys hour and a half nap time. My favorite place for this is the love seat in my living room. It is right by my front window - has great lighting and fits my legs perfectly! If a book is interesting sometimes I cheat and turn on movies for them and I read sitting on the floor. I am a nut. Where is your favorite place to read? When do you read?
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I saw this article - Where do you fall in the poll of U.S. reading habits - on a fellow book lovers blog and I cannot believe some of the numbers.
One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year!!
I'm not sure where I would be today if I didn't know how to read - but I know I would be a very dull, bored, perhaps even lazy person. I cannot even imagine!
3 1/2 Stars
This book was perfect for it's ideal audience. It's a young adult fiction about a village, Mount Eskel. Here the girls are informed that one will be chosen to marry the prince so they all must attend a Princess Academy where they will be educated on how a princess should act and be prepared to meet the prince.
Miri, the main character is a cute 14 year old girl who finds herself wrapped up in the competition to be top of her class. She is torn between her home at Mount Eskel and the chance for a new home in the lowlands. She makes new discoveries while at the academy that can change her life and the way of all her village.
The book was quite a nice surprise and very refreshing. It was fun to cheer for the triumphs of Miri, and each of the girls. If I would have picked this book up as a teenager, around 13 - to 16 I would have adored this book!
This cute-under-200-page-book was just the right pick me up for me. I was had read Harry Potter but was still waiting for Eclipse to come out when I saw it calling my name on the shelf at the library.
I have seen many other bloggers mention Shannon Hale and heard her name mentioned at several book club meetings too. She has a fun website - here. She's a local SLC girl and such a fun writer.
If you love Pride and Prejudice - particularly the BBC version then this book is a must. The main character - Jane - is a 32 year old closet P&P fanatic and cannot find a man who measures up to Mr. Darcy. When her Aunt leaves her with a all expensive paid trip to Austenland she believes this is the time in her life to finally get Mr. Darcy out of her system for good. She finds love there, but not exactly where she expected it. The end has a twist I was not expecting. It was such a cute read! My only complaint was that some parts were very predictable and I wished it could have been a bit longer.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I read this one for my book club, and I really enjoyed it. The author comes right out and says that she doesn't want to give the reader any more lists of things to do, she knows we are already busy enough. Instead she wants us to focus on "softening our hearts" so that we can feel the love of the Lord in our lives. If we do that one thing, we will automatically change how we act in certain situations. I really liked how practical and down to earth the author is. She never acts like she has everything figured out, in fact, she calls the act of softening our hearts and "experiment, " meaning that it could work, or not. She also repeatedly says she doesn't want us to make this assignment into extra visits, or casseroles. She seems to understand how full our lives are already are. I'm not sure if this book has changed my life, but it has stuck with me, and given me some things to think about and work on.
3 1/2 stars
This story follows a young Afghan boy and his friendship with the son of his father's servant. As a youth, the boy fails to stop a brutal attack on his friend, and his guilt over this incident consumes him for 2o some years, as he leaves Afghanistan due to political turmoil, comes to America, and gets married. Ultimately, he finds redemption and peace as he returns to Afghanistan while it is under the rule of the Taliban, and rescues the orphan son of his old friend. A few parts of this book are very violent and brutal, mostly showing how horrible the Taliban was. There are also many tender parts, including his relationship with his wife, and his relationship with his father. This book was an interesting look into Afghanistan's recent history, and its people and culture.n I liked this book overall, but I'm not sure if I'd read it again, as the violence was a little hard to stomach.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
3 1/2 stars
I cannot tell you what I think of this book without spoiling it; that being said, if you have not started it, finished it, or want to sometime read this book in the near future – then stop reading now.
This is what I thought:
I agree with Kathy that there are a lot of irritating parts in this book. Since I am a Jacob fan, Edwards behavior was very irritating and made me love Jacob that much more. Bella was a big push over in this book. She needed to do what she wanted and let Edward deal with it. Everyone is so worried about making everyone else happy. I was surprised that it took so long for the pack and the Cullens to finally figure out there were both on the same side. I really enjoyed the conversation that Edward and Jacob had the night in the tent.
One thing I especially loved about this book is we got to know the history of some more of the Cullens – Jasper and Rosalie. Their stories were fascinating to me and I’m so glad that they were included. I secretly hope that Rosalie will have more influence over Bella in the forth book.
As far as the Jacob versus Edward issue, of course I am truly sad that she picked Edward, but I still am hanging on to hope that Jacob will be back in the fourth book. Bella hasn’t become a vampire yet – which I’m sure will not happen (if it ever does) until the end of the final book of this series. So there is still way more time for Jacob to make a good run for his money. At least she knows she loves him now. Some say that Jacob is too immature for Bella. Well, Bella herself is only 18 and Jacob is younger than her. I think teenagers are allowed to be immature. Edward can seem much too old to me at times. Marriage at her age? That is pretty young - but that does bring me to another point I wanted to make:
I must insert here that I am very impressed with Stephanie Meyer’s ability to write such an intriguing love story and keep it clean. There are parts that are so intense but the characters keep their morals. So many other young adult authors do not do this. One kiss between Jacob and Bella took up four pages – four amazingly morally clean pages!!!
I did not like the epilogue. I don’t like reading in Jacob Blacks perspective, I am used to Bella. I had a sick feeling that Jacob was going to imprint with Leah and then I would have to throw the book across the room and never look back at the series. I’m glad that didn’t happen.
I guess I will have to wait and see how the fourth book turns out. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath for Jacob, but I am still hoping that there is a tiny chance. I think it would be so sad for Bella to leave behind her family and friends. She saw a future with Jacob and I think she, in the end, might miss that. I know deep down that she will always end up with Edward. That is how these stories always go. But give me a break here,
At least a girl can hope.
Monday, August 13, 2007
What is with the creepy guy behavior, and Bella's lack of a backbone? I was really frustrated with Edward's whole "I will not let you visit Jacob" deal. It was not chivalrous, it was borderline abusive. People in a healthy relationship do not try to control the other person. I really wish that Bella would have stood up to him a bit more and say something like "I will not allow you to treat me this way." Instead, after she gets so angry about that "kidnapping" by Alice, she forgives Edward after some making-out. Ugh! Of course there is also Jacob's "I will kill myself in battle unless you kiss me." Again, not a sign of a healthy relationship. And Bella goes right ahead and allows Jacob's manipulation to happen. I think Bella's behavior is especially troubling considering the teenage audience of this book. I don't want them to think that this obsessive and manipulative behavior equals true love.
The other thing that bothered me is Bella's whole "I cannot live without Edward" attitude. I think this has been building in me since the first book, but I really just want to shake her and say , "Buck Up! Yes you can!" I know she had a hard time in book 2, but that was only 6 months, and I believe she was getting better towards the end, and would continue to improve. And I admit that I would be more inclined to Bella's way of thinking when I was her age, but now it just seems immature and melodramatic. People, even young people, lose spouses everyday, but they continue on, and find happiness, maybe even love again. Is the idea suppose to be that Bella loves Edward more than anyone else loves their spouse? That they have some super true romance that everyone else doesn't have? Because if so, that idea is pretty insulting. And again, I wouldn't want the teenage audience going around thinking "I cannot live without (insert boyfriends name here)!" If my daughter were old enough to read this book, I would definitely want to discuss this idea with her.
So that is my frustration with Eclipse. I still find it an intriguing idea, and I will definitely read the next book, if only with the hope that Bella can grow up a bit and stand up for herself.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
So I (Kathy) finished Harry Potter last night for the second time. After reading it in two days the first time, I decided that I needed to read it a little slower so I could take it all in a little better. Overall, I'm very impressed and happy with how it all turned out. Here are some of the things I particularly liked:
- Ron and Hermione. I've been a big shipper of those two for the last 4 books, so I was glad they finally got together.
- Mrs. Weasly taking out Bellatrix; awesome display of mom power.
- Neville showing his bravery and leadership, and his grandmother being so proud of him.
- Percy returning to the Weasly family.
- Everyone, from old girlfriends, to old quidditch teammates showing up at the end for the battle of Hogwarts. I liked "seeing" everyone one more time, and thought it was a fitting tribute to Harry.
- The whole battle of Hogwarts. I loved how this was done, and was glad to see so many people and other creatures stand up to Voldemort.
- The intricate plotting by J.K. Rowling. I cannot imagine having something so big as this series so well planned out from the very beginning.
- The Epilogue. I liked knowing that Voldemort was really dead, and that Harry had the happy family that he had not had before. But what's with the names for their kids? Albus? Hugo? Poor kids.
Of course, I only gave it 4 stars, so there were a few things I didn't like about it:
- Killing Fred; I figured one of the Weaslys wouldn't make it, but killing Fred made me so sad for George. They had such a close bond. In one of her "What Happens After Harry Potter" interviews, J.K. Rowling said that George never really got over the loss of his brother. Why couldn't she have killed Charlie instead?
- All the different wands changing hands so many times. Even in my second time through, I had to reread parts to see where all the different wands came from and how they got there. I think it could have been simplified a little bit.
- All the different side trips that Harry, Ron, and Hermione take. It seems like they take one trip from which they barely escape, and then another, and another, and another. It seems like she could have taken one out, like the trip to the Ministry of Magic. I think the only point was to show how horrible the Ministry had become. Umbridge having one of the horcruxes was kind of far-fetched I think.
All in all, a really good ending to the series. It was great fun to read, and I'll be anxious to see what J.K. Rowling does next.
Monday, August 6, 2007
I've had such a hard time getting over Harry being over, so this will be a great way to take my mind off him and submerge myself into another good book. It's so hot and muggy outside that at this point nothing can come close to cranking on the AC and curling up on the couch with Edward and Bella! Meyer's descriptions of his cool composition always gives me the chills, but their romance - that heats things up, right? (OK, that was super cheesy!!)
The looming question is will Bella become a vampire? Most everyone that I recommend this book too loves Edward and can't wait for this to happen. I know people aren't happy with me for this, but I on the other hand have a huge fascination with Jacob. Meyers promises that Bella will have to make some important decisions about this in the third book. I hope that she chooses Jacob, but deep down I believe that she will ultimately have to choose Edward.
I hate to be a spoil sport, but I don't think that Bella will become a vampire in this book either. Meyers is releasing a fourth book this spring. What would that book entail if Bella and Edward were together forever? Maybe she will be keeping Jacob around...a girl can only hope!
Sunday, August 5, 2007
I hope all the readers out there enjoy her comments. She was an English major at BYU and always has the best ideas about books and literature. She has recommended numerous books to me that I have enjoyed!
I recomended this book to a daughter of a friend who is 13 and a smart, take charge kind of girl, and she really liked it. There are two follow up books to this one, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith. They are also very good. Terry Pratchet is one of my husbands favorite authors. And this is my favorite of his books that I've read.
Monday, July 30, 2007
I just started Inkheart today. I got it from a friend of mine during the book swap and I've been so excited to read it, but now I'm just thinking of Harry.
I told my husband the night I finished it I felt a little like I did back in 2002. We lived in SLC during the winter Olympics and it was such a rush to be in the middle of the hype, but after they were over, well it was over. I know Harry Potter is not the same as the Olympics, but really I do feel so sad that they are over. Does anyone else feel the same way?
I suppose for now I will give Inkheart a few more days.
Friday, July 27, 2007
If I had to narrow it down to a top 5 today, my favorites would be:
I'm glad I don't have to narrow it to 5. I read way more than these. What are your favorites?
This book was originally sent to my husband for Father's Day from my parents. It's been on my lists since then and I finally had a chance to pick it up for the past few days. It's a fast read and very inspirational. I could have spent one day reading it - or a week. I actually might re-read it now with a notebook in hand, taking notes.
Not only is John Bytheway such a great story teller and motivational writer, but he keeps doctrine interesting to read.
The book is comprised of 5 chapters, each a part of one's life and each chapter has 5 scriptures that will help you through that part of your life.
- Five scriptures that will get you through almost anything
- Five scriptures that will strengthen you marriage
- Five scriptures that will improve your family relationships
- Five scriptures that will strengthen your faith
- Five scriptures that will motivate you to action
One suggestion from the book that I can't wait to start is to create a Hope Page. This is a page of all your favorite quotes, scriptures, hymns or whatnot that give you hope. After you create this store it someplace that can be easily accessed and read it often. It is such an easy suggestion and such a good idea.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Where do I begin!!?? I have been skeptical on how this series would end. Could JK Rowling make it as good as the series. Could this last book live up to all the hype?
I am not going to write a spoiler, but I'll just say it did live up to everything that I expected it too. I laughed at parts, I couldn't put it down at parts, and at parts I would have cried (if my husband would not have made fun of me for the rest of my life!). Did some of the characters have predicable outcomes? Yes, but let's remember that is this a children's series.
As I finished it last night I couldn't go to sleep. I laid in bed so excited for the characters. I usually experience a let down after finishing such a good series, but with Harry Potter I was so excited I wanted to start all over and read them again!
To those of you readers of this blog out there that haven't read these books, or only watch the movies, I beg you to read the books. They will give you SO much more satisfaction! (Besides you will get to know the outcome 2 years in advance!)
I give the entire HP series 5 stars. It was worth the time I spent reading and I will be re-reading them over and over to my kids and throughout my life.
Monday, July 23, 2007
I tend to get attached to characters in book. Just like many avid readers the characters become real to me. I start to think of them as real people and I actually spend time thinking and worrying for them and their scenarios they must face. Of course I know Harry Potter, Ron and Hermonie aren't real, but for an hour and half each afternoon and each night after 8pm they become real to me as I read.
I am about 200 pages into the book. I am not going to spoil anything and I hope that no one else does the same. All I will say is that as I get to the ending pages of a chapter and tell myself I will fall asleep after I finish it, JK Rowlings finds a way to not let that happen. I have a very hard time putting this book down. But I'm a mother and a wife, so at times I must, and then the battle rages on inside me - finish it fast, or take my time.
I think for now I will take my time and savor each page of my friendship with HP.
This book is the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty. I admit, it took me a few weeks to read this book - but only because of visitors and a vacation, because each time I sat down to read it I had such a hard time putting it down. I actually enjoyed this one much more than the first one.
If you loved the Twilight series, and Harry Potter then give this author a try. It's got other worlds, magic and romance too. Gemma's character is so fun to watch develop and grow.
I still can't get over how witty Libba Bray is. I love it. I wish I were that smart and witty - but if I were that fun I would probably have a couple novels written and not have just a book blog about them!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Just Forgot, by Mercer Mayer
The Ballad of Frankie Silver
The Wee Free Men
Speak, by Laurie Anderson
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, by Ann B. Ross.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Eric Carle
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton
At First Site, by Nicholas Sparks
Simple Scrapbooks Magazine
The Secret Life of Bees
Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Christ Commision, by OG Mandino
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke
The Five People you Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom
Take me out of the bathtub, by Alan Katz
Monday, July 2, 2007
A good clean read. Interesting storyline and a plot that pulls the reader in. The first book of a trilogy, the story revolves around Gemma, a 16 year old. After she sees her mother’s murder in a vision she is sent to a boarding school in England. She fights against understanding the continuing visions, finding friends and girl cliques. I usually don’t enjoy mystical books, but this one fascinated me. The first half of the book wasn’t as interesting to me as the second half, but during the last 200 pages I couldn’t put the book down.
It was reccomended to me by one of my sisters, whom I had convinved to read Twilight, which she read in one day. It's part of a trilogy, so if you aren't ready to get sucked in then you might want to wait a while on this one. You will get sucked right in once you pick this up!
You can read more on the authors website. She is such a witty woman. She begins the acknowledgements in her second book with this: "Books do not write themselves. If they did, I'd have have a lot more time to spend at Target."
In a nutshell the book is: A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.