Friday, December 18, 2009

moving on?

Are we ready to pick our next book? Or do we have ladies who are reading our current one still? If I just finished way before anyone else, I'll remain patient until everyone else is ready for a new read. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009


I have a special place in my heart for great mystery and great fantasy. Thank you Shelli for giving me yet another amazing fantasy adventure to indulge in! I absolutely loved this novel and totally lost myself in Sorcha's adventure.

First off, I appreciated that the story line stoically continued through time. In so many fairy tales, the evil sorceress casts her spell upon our hero and we fast forward through seven years of living as a frog prince or oak tree until the spell can finally be broken-- like in the bible when Jacob agrees to work 7 years for his Rachel and is tricked into marrying Leah, afterwards giving another 7 years of service for his beloved. 14 years of toil for the one he loves and we get it in a matter of verses! I loved that we didn't skip a single moment of Sorcha's long journey to free her brothers.

I appreciated the questions Shelli put to us to aid us with our reading. One I thought about most particularly was in regards to the dependable characters and what makes them such. Sorcha was definitely dependable. Not only did she keep absolute silence for YEARS, she did so while being raped, one of the vilest and cruelest things that could possibly be done to a woman. And even after feeling abandoned by her brothers at this terrible time, she still kept her vow of silence to save their lives. THEN (as if all that wasn't enough to warrant a breach of silence), Sorcha's remains silent despite the rumors and unkindness that are spread in response to her mysterious actions. I would be dying to tell just one person "Hey look! This is why I'm weaving these crazy shirts out of thorns, okay? So back off!" But Sorcha takes it all. What a strong woman! Red was another dependable character. He was always there for Sorcha when she needed him, protecting her, providing for her, and loving her. At the very instant the fire beings to lick at Sorcha's feet, Red arrives home from his long journey, takes an arrow for her, and saves her from death. What a man!

I definitely think that dependable characters such as Red and Sorcha are possible today, but they are much harder to come by. Society tells us constantly that life is all about self-service-- it's hard to find dependability in a world that only looks out for number one. However, I am grateful to have one such dependable person in my life. My husband is always there when I need him- never once has he been absent during difficult circumstances. When I gave birth to my daughter, he was there holding my hand during every contraction. And when my father passed away just 3 months ago, all I had to do was send my husband a text message at work telling him that I needed him. He was already out the door, in the car, and on the way home before he even called to ask me what was wrong. I want to have that kind of never-failing character.

I appreciated so many other aspects of this book that provided deep thought as well as entertainment:
- the insight into the Atonement
-the bonds within families
-the danger of our prejudices
-forgiveness of others
-letting go of our fathers' opinions and creating our own
-gifts of the spirit (every sibling had a special and unique gift- it made me wonder what mine is!)

Bravo, Shelli! A fabulous novel and one that I MUST own!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Questions I ponder while reading this book:

  1. Conor is capable of seeing the true motives and reasonings behind others' actions. What does Conor's character teach us about judgments?
  2. How are Christianity and the kind of spirituality Sorcha's family practices similar?
  3. Sorcha's people are so close to the forest ... the trees, plants, and animals. What does respecting nature mean to you? Does nature bring you closer to God?
  4. Why are the traditions of the fathers so capable of fostering resentment and hatred? Who - if any of them - are right? Are they all wrong?
  5. Would you allow your sibling to make Sorcha's sacrifice for you? Does it change the way you view the Atonement?
  6. Marillier paints her characters' personalities exceptionally well, I think. Which character do you relate with most in the story and why?
  7. Doesn't it just kill you that Sorcha can't talk?? What would you most yearn to say if you were unable to speak? Do you think it would change the way you thought or listened when you knew you couldn't respond?
  8. What makes the dependable characters dependable? Is that kind of character possible now? Do you know others who are so trustworthy?
  9. What are the dangers in judging an entire race (or gender) solely by our experiences? Do we miss out on opportunities that way?
  10. What does this book make you think about?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a heads up ...

I've chosen my book for November, so I'll let you know so you can snag a copy. Don't worry, it's not non-fiction again. :) It could very well be my favorite fictional book I've ever read. A friend lent me her copy a few years back telling me it was her favorite book of all time, and I skeptically snuggled into a reading chair and opened to the first page. Oh my heart-throbbing, magical, take-me-to-another-world experience. I loved it. Love it. Will always love it. I hope you do too.

Here's the review:

As the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, Sorcha grows up protected and pampered by her six older brothers. When a sorceress's evil magic ensorcels Colum's sons, transforming them into swans, only Sorcha's efforts can break the curse. Marillier's first novel uses a familiar Celtic legend to tell the story of a young woman's sacrifice for the sake of those she loves and her own discovery of unexpected joy in the midst of sorrow. The author's keen understanding of Celtic paganism and early Irish Christianity adds texture to a rich and vibrant novel that belongs in most fantasy collections.

Also, what do you say to being a little more structured with this club thing? Can we agree to start discussing the book starting the Monday of the last full week of the month? Or is part of the appeal of this book club the laid back, do it whenever we get around to it vibe? I'm totally fine with either, I'm just throwing this idea out there. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

my take

Mystery is one of my favorite genres and I consider myself a mystery buff. So I have to admit that when I began reading "Lemon Tart", I quickly rolled my eyes a few times because it seemed so predictable. I had it all figured out. I knew who the bad guy was and why Anne had been murdered, blah blah blah.... And then I got thrown for a major loop and had to eat all my words. :) I didn't see the end twists and turns coming at all, and that's what a fantastic mystery is all about!

Along with Shelli, I also appreciated that Sadie wasn't MORMON and that half the book wasn't spent talking about the Holy Ghost or last week's Relief Society lesson. I read fiction to experience an out-of-body adventure, and keeping the LDS currents minor undertones allowed me to really throw myself into an alternate character with Sadie.

However, it absolutely drove me nuts that Sadie couldn't just let the police do their job. In the real world, she would have been thrown in jail in a heartbeat for breaking into a crime scene. Not to mention removing evidence. I guess in the context of the plot, the bad guy was only caught with the help of Sadie's interference, but I still would like to believe that had Sadie just minded her own business the bad guy would still have received his just rewards.

Speaking of minding one's business, that's the other thing about Sadie that drove me nuts. She's one of those busy-bodies that makes me want to draw my blinds and lock my doors. I felt like she spent more time trying to glean gossip-worthy information from her neighbors' personal lives than actually caring about her neighbors. And, I'm sorry, a pan of brownies (no matter how delicious) does not take the place of a heartfelt and honest apology. I once had my car egged in high school by one of the girls in my Laurel's class and when she got caught she tried to bake me lemon bars to smooth things over. :)

That being said, I think Sadie's character flaws (although extremely irritating) were also endearing and helped to make the mystery as charming as it was. I enjoyed it! And I know I'm not the only one who found my mouth watering every other chapter. By the time the book was over, I had an overwhelming urge to bake something... Anyone else bake a lemon tart? :)It was delicious! And I totally want to track down the other books, both for the mysteries and the recipes. :)

P.S. Sorry Shelli, I only wrote down the Lemon Tart recipe... Anyone else have the other ones?
Oh, and I know exactly what part you're talking about with the romance novel and I laughed out loud because it's so true! Wish I'd written it down....

Why I loved it:

Kilpack is a riot. I loved Sadie more than some women I know in real life. I want her to be my neighbor, so I can catch her spying on me and then hope she'll bring me some kind of goodie as recompence. Usually I'm a do-whatever-the-boss-tells-me-to-do type of person, so initially it was hard for me not to get frustrated with her for breaking the rules and interfering too much. I about had a heart attack every time she and I would break into the house together or "steal" papers from the library or weasel information out of a former co-worker. But by the end I was right there. She didn't have to drag me along anymore. In fact, I'm pretty sure I would have driven off with Detective Madsen's hand still stuck in the door. What have I become?

On a lighter note, I loved how Sadie wasn't MORMON. I mean, she could have been, but I so appreciated the fact that Sadie didn't talk about Relief Society or Enrichment Night or something. That's where LDS fiction gets lame really fast for me. Sadie was just a good, wholesome woman with lofty principles and a giant heart. Can I just say, though, that when she noticed that Detective Cunningham filled the kitchen "the way a man should" (or something like that) I knew they would get together. So okay, there was a little predictibility. But I was floored that her brother was the one whose mistake had caused this whole fiasco. I definitely didn't see that coming.

Did anyone copy down the recipes from the book? I dropped my copy through the slot at the library just as I remembered that I'd forgotten to do that. Oh, and there was a quote somewhere toward the latter half of the book where Sadie describes the romance book she read. I laughed out loud. It was something about the liberal use of adverbs and I loved how she said it. Does anyone remember what I'm talking about? I'd love to have that direct quote as well. I should have kept the book longer ... The wait list was just so long, I was racked with guilt for keeping it long enough to get around to copying those recipes.

What did you ladies think??

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm ready!

Hey, are any of you girls ready to talk about the book yet? I didn't think I'd even like it because I'm not much of a mystery buff, but I LOVED it! Kilpack has a fun style.  I'm anxious to hear what you ladies think!

Monday, September 14, 2009


If you're wondering who that strange person is that requested to connect with you on goodreads, it's me. :) No worries.

I'd love to see what you all are reading!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lemon Tart: A Culinary Mystery

So I don't know if it my turn or not but thought I would get the ball rolling. So I choose an "easy, light" read. I read this book earlier this summer for a different book club and was not able to attend the discussion night on it. So thought maybe this would be a good book to get us back in the swing of things.

Lemon Tart: A Culinary Mystery
By: Josi S. Kilpack

(I tried to post a picture but my computer is being dumb so sorry no picture
but click HERE for picture)

Here is the amazing description:

Award- winning author Josi S. Kilpack introduces a new series of culinary cozies that is sure to tantalize mystery lovers. In this debut volume, cooking aficionado turned amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller tries to solve the murder of her beautiful young neighbor a single mother who was mysteriously lured from her home while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie s search is the woman s missing two year-old child. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects including her! For an added treat, original mouth- watering recipes for Sadie s Lemon Tart, Homemade Alfredo Sauce, Carrot Cookies, Brownies, and Granny s Gingerbread Bundt Cake are sprinkled throughout the book

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Let's get a new book!

I looked up the order again in the archives. For the record, it is:
(and now)
So that means it is one of the Catherine's turn...(sorry ladies, I can't remember which one of you was first...)
Pick something for us! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I agree

I just finished "Angels and Demons" this past weekend and I agree with Mary's analysis. It was captivating in parts, but often I felt like I was on a merry-go-round, reliving the same scene/plot over and over. Brown's ideas were interesting, but I felt a bit too fantastic in parts (Langdon jumping out of a helicopter without a parachute and actually surviving? Not to mention being able to get right back up and run back to the Vatican...). And certain aspects were just overwhelmingly gruesome or sexual.

An interesting read, but definitely not stellar literature.

P.S. My husband and I just watched the movie. This was one of the rare times that I felt the movie was actually better than the book. They deleted ALL the sex (thank heavens!) and it was actually very entertaining. I might even go see it again. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Let's Move On . . .

It appears my suggestion went over like a lead balloon. Oh well, no worries. I read it, and while it was a captivating book, it wasn't great literature and there were some very gruesome, unsavory parts in it.

So let's move on. I have no idea who is next. Shelli?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Angels and Demons

So ... I read a few dozen pages in and couldn't finish. It creeped me out too much. I don't know what it is with me in the last year but I'm easily scared and prone to nightmares. As hard as it is sometimes to just resist my curiosity and read or watch things I know will frighten me I've adopted that as my policy. When the scaries come, run away. :) But I'm anxious for your reviews and anxious for the new book. What did you all think?

P.S. Are we in choosing order on the left widget? Am I two book choosings away? I need to plan for that. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a little introduction

Hey Reading Gals! I am so excited to be a part of your group, and I can't thank you enough for opening yourselves up to a lady you don't even know! So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to give you a little introduction to me, my life, and my family so you can get to know me and actually have a face to go with my posts. :) So without further ado, I present--- my life in pictures!

I grew up here:
(Portland, Oregon)

Went to college here:

And received a Bachelor's degree in this:

Married him:
(August 12, 2006)

(Portland Oregon LDS temple)

Moved here:
(Mesa, AZ)

So he could build these:

Had her:
(March 10, 2008)

And time flew like this:

Now our family looks like this:

And who could forget her?:

And we LOVE LOVE LOVE to do lots of this!!:

So that's our family! We just celebrated my husband's 26th and my 24th birthdays. I LOVE being my baby's stay-at-home mom and in my free time when she naps I sew, play piano, and of course devour every good book I can get my hands on. By the way, my husband is Eldon's (Shelli's husband) older brother. It was through Shelli's blog that I found Reading Gals, and I admitted to her that I've been secretly reading along with you for several months now. Thanks for letting me come clean. :) If anyone wants access to my private family blog, just leave me your email address in the comments. It's so wonderful to make new friends and I look forward to getting to know you all while we share our love of literature!

Monday, July 6, 2009

read the draft

I left a draft for everyone to read. Let me know what you think. Thanks, ladies!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't Hate Me . . .

So here is my choice:
Here is the synopsis from the editor:

An ancient secret brotherhood.

A devastating new weapon of destruction.

An unthinkable target.

When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol -- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist -- he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati...the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy -- the Catholic Church.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican's holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces they have hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair...a clandestine location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

An explosive international thriller, Angels & Demons careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war.

* * * * * * *
This is actually the prequel to The Da Vinci Code. If you haven't read The Da Vinci Code, don't worry, besides having the same main character, there is no real connection to it, or so I hear.

If you read and hated The Da Vinci Code, I'll ask you to keep an open mind, There were some parts of The Da Vinci Code that I didn't care for, but one thing I really enjoyed was the fast-paced action set in museums and cathedrals throughout Paris and London. I've always wanted to read Angels and Demons because it supposedly takes us through a similar journey through Rome.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Book?

I don't know whose turn it is next, but are we ready to move on? I'm excited to read the next one.

Also, I think we should consider choosing some kind of topic, or country, or something one month and everyone can choose their own book relating to the posed question and we can share what we read and learned. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

so this is love...


Thank you Emilee for having us read this book, I absoutely loved it. I laughed out loud about Isola, cried over Elizabeth, and fell in love a little with Dawsey. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I really enjoyed the unique perspective about WWII, I had no idea about the occupation of the channel islands.

My mom actually went to hear the author speak at a book store in CA and sent me an autographed copy. She told me how there was a lot of research that went into this book and how many of the stories are based on ones the original author had heard in Guernsey. I was touched by how the niece took over the final editing and rewriting for her I wish the aunt would have lived to see the remarkable success of her only novel.

Truly, this book was a joy to read.

Ok, some food for thought...

Was anyone else shocked to learn about Sidney? I kinda thought he would end up with Juliet. Personally I am a big fan of the Dawsey romance, but I wish there was a sequel so we could see how they grow together.

What was the purpose of Remy as a character?
- At first I thought it was to embody the tragedy of the war and the camps, but I am beginning to think it is more about moving forward without forgetting. I sensed the theme that moving on doesn't mean forgetting the past, and Remy is a good example of that. Her story was tragic, and yet inspiring. I'm glad that she gave us a better glimpse of Elizabeth and also that she was able to eventually return to France and pursue her goals.

Did anyone have a favorite character? (besides Elizabeth and Juliet)
I really loved Isola. Her letters and observations and her "unique" talents/ideas were such a fun addition to the book. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Sidney. What a great friend he is to Juliet and to the people he meets in Guernsey.

Ok enough questions. If anyone has not bought this book, go and do it now. Seriously. It really is that good. I will read it multiple times over my life and continue to be inspired each and every time I'm sure.

p.s. did you guys see the contest in the back of the book? a book club can win a free trip (all expenses paid) to guernsey :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I can't stop thinking about this darling book. Usually epistolary novels aren't my thing, but I thought it was the perfect form to use to teach so much about WWII while maintaining her entertaining style. Are you all just in LOVE with Juliet? I adore her ... And Elizabeth's character was inspirational to me. I'm amazed that Shaffer could lead us to love a character so much that we never actually meet, and whose voice we never hear. I'm so impressed.

My favorite element of the book, though, was the compassion of some of the German soldiers. I'd never stopped to think that some of the soldiers would not like what they were doing and would find little (and big) ways to help the citizens whose communities they were occupying. I loved Christian, and admired Elizabeth even more for her willingness to see behind the uniform and help others love him too. I cried when whoever it was told about the soldiers who would intentionally push potatoes off the cart without a glance to the children who chased behind. I've thought about it a lot since.

I was surprised by the Dawsey part of the plot. I guess I should have seen it, but I'd always thought Juliet would realize she was actually in love with Sidney. Well, until we found out he was gay. :) And Isola ... what a doll! I picture her a lot like the big hairy guy from Harry Potter. And I mean that in a nice way, even if the features are less than flattering.

Why don't we have communities like that these days? Is it just necessity and trial that make people bind together like that? I don't know. But I wish I had the courage to develop those kinds of friendships. Thanks for picking this book!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

"Celebrating literature, love, and the power of the human spirit, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the story of an English author living in the shadow of World War II—and embarking on a writing project that will dramatically change her life. Unfolding in a series of letters, this enchanting novel introduces readers to the indomitable Juliet Ashton. Through Juliet’s correspondence with her publisher, best friend, and an absorbing cast of characters, readers discover that despite the personal losses she suffered in the Blitz, and author tours sometimes marked by mishaps, nothing can quell her enthusiasm for the written word. One day, she begins a different sort of correspondence, responding to a man who found her name on the flyleaf of a cherished secondhand book. He tells her that his name is Dawsey Adams, a native resident of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands recently liberated from Nazi occupation. Soon Juliet is drawn into Dawsey’s remarkable circle of friends, courageous men and women who formed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as a cover to protect them from the Germans. With their appetite for good books, and their determination to honor the island’s haunting recent history, this is a community that opens Juliet’s heart and mind in ways she could never have imagined."

I personally loved this book and highly recommend it. It is the perfect book for a book club. Have fun reading!

Great Book

I really enjoyed The Only Alien on the Planet. I was a little concerned at first, because the description made it seem a lot like Twilight (teenage girl moves to new school, becomes fascinated by a beautiful, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone she has ever met). But the book is actually a bit deeper than that. There is kind of a sweet a romantic aspect to the story, but main message I took from it was the importance of true friendship. I really felt for Smitty, or the "alien" in the story. The way he evolved as a character was very cool- from being completely blank and unresponsive to being able to find his voice even in the face of his abuser made him a very intriguing character. I also found it interesting that Smitty's condition was not the result of parental abuse (like I would have suspected). Rather it is the result of emotional abuse from an older sibling, which is rarely encountered, at least in the literature I've read. This book is a good example of how even adolescent lit can be a source of wisdom. There were a couple of poignant passages that I would go back and highlight if I were to ever read it again, which I probably will. It was definitely worth the 75 cents plus shipping.

Anyone else have anything to add?

I think it's Em's turn to choose the next book . . .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Only Alien on the Planet

So I finished this book like a week ago but forgot to post. So here are a few of my comments:

I actually enjoyed this book. I was a little worried at the beginning. I like the idea of how it illustrated the importance of friends. Without his friends, he might never have talked.

I enjoyed how it told a story but had a moral and I was connected on an emotional level. I felt for the girl who's family moved. I felt for the boy he didn't talk.

So is anyone else done??

Friday, April 3, 2009

NEW Book!!!

Sorry, guys.....just one of the many things that has slipped my mind these days....

Okay, so for my pick, I'm going with some young adult fiction. This is an old favorite of mine. I first read it MANY years junior high, I think, and I even went to a discussion group attended by the author. It was cool. Moving on, the book is:
The Only Alien on the Planet

By Kristin D. Randle
If you can't find it at the library, has a bunch for $0.75 plus $3.49 in shipping if you feel that is worth your while. Oh, and it's also being re-released this year with new cover art - which, incidently, I'm not so crazy about....
Anyway, go at it!


Okay, Heath, we're ready for your book choice. And may I say that now that my baby and I are both healthy and home - but on house arrest until JUNE (when RSV season is over) - Mommy could use a book with some adult conversation attached when she's done. :) Hurry!! Quit making spaghetti squash and pick a bloody book! :)

P.S. Also I love you.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I apologize for my neglect of our group :)

hopefully the causes have passed for now. My review of the book...

I loved this book. There was so much I didn't remember from the first time reading, and so much more that I caught on to the second time around. I think the first time I was just trying to get all the stories and characters straight, so I missed a lot of the intricate details and character development. This book is very "spanish" and reminds of works by older spanish authors like Lorca who I read in college. So much symbolism! So much depth! I got more out of the book the second time around. However, there were parts I really didn't like. some of the more violent scenes I had glossed over and didn't remember, sorry about those. This time around I was also more aware of the similarities and differences between Daniel and Carax, which made the book more interesting.

But moving on... the lovely Heather is up next to pick our book of the month...and I personally can't wait.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Let's review, baby!

Okay, so I thought I'd get the ball rolling.
WOW, what a book. Intriguing, mysterious and heart-wrenching all rolled into one. Believable complex characters, twisting unpredictable storylin.........a wild ride.
Overall, I liked it (obviously there were some things I could have done without), I liked it alot. I'd probably recommend it to others. But I won't be buying it (that's the ultimate test for me...I LOVE books and I have alot of them, but I only buy a book if I have read it, loved it and want it to join my group of treasured friends).
Daniel was so interesting to he could become so engrossed in another person's story...their mystery. Someone he did not know, and most likely would never know. But then I realized that I myself have done the same thing. Not exactly to the extent that he did, but I've been drawn in before by another's life, and wanted to know more.
I'm still not sure how the Daniel/Bea relationship happened. Out of thin air, it seemed. But, of course, I was so glad that their story ended happily, with Julian's help. Speaking of Julian and his story NOT ending happily....what would a happy ending have been, seeing as he and Penelope were half-siblings?
Anyway, no really deep thoughts here, it's been too long since I finished. :) Anyone else?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

shadow review

I'm ready to post my review and ask some questions...I just finished the book for the second time last week. Where is everyone in their reading? I don't want to post a review that gives away a few of the surprises. I was shocked how much more I caught on reading the book a second time and how quickly I got sucked into reading even though I remembered a good portion of the plot. So, let me know where you ladies are at so I can post my review and we can move on to someone else choosing March's book.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Shadow of the Wind

Wow! What a remarkable book! I do have to confess that this was a little more difficult to get sucked into. However, once I understood Carlos Ruiz Zafron's type of writing and the characters, I was involved. There were parts that I loved and parts that I was totally confused about. It could be due to the fact that I didn't read it in one or two sittings. I also get distracted easily. However, I found myself engrossed in its pages halfway through. At that point, I didn't want to put it down. I enjoy a book when the author gets to the point. I feel that Zafron's ending summarized everything and I loved that. He is a very intelligent author.

I enjoyed the beginning when Daniel went to the cemetery of forgotten books with his father to choose a special book. It made me realize that books are a gem and we must not take them for granted. I really liked Daniel's character. He seemed like a good kid trying to do what was right. I enjoyed most of the characters. I also enjoyed this book because it was a mystery and a passionate love story.

I don't want to give away too much on my review in case others haven't had a chance to finish the book. Overall, I enjoyed Mandy's choice and will need to read it again and again to capture all of the details. Has anyone else finished?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bonds the Make us Free

I am once again going to be brave and post. I have been waiting for the book that Mandy suggested at the beginning of the year from the library so i had a couple of spare moments to play catch up.

I finished this book finally. It was a hard read. Lots of things to think about and ponder. Very deep. As I began reading this book I became very defensive and was not sure if I was going to make it through it. I was feeling like a terrible person and I had way too much to change but I kept reading and realized I am doing alright. As I was reading I was constantly looking for step by step of how to change. I am a list girl. Give me a list and I will accomplish it! I realized that this was more of here are some ideas and concepts to ponder and apply to your life instead of a step by step.

I enjoy greatly how this book eneded. Love is a power that makes anything possible. The more I love my husband the more I am willing to over look faults and work to be a better person. The more I love my daughter the more fun and enjoyment I have each day I spend with her.

This was a good book to read hard but good! Thanks!

God Wants A Powerful People by Sheri Dew

I choose to read this book for the my choice church book. I am going to be brave and be the first to post hoping others will follow so I will get a list of church books to read :)

I really enjoyed this book. I like Sheri Dew's writing style. It is very practical and for me it grabs me and I want to keep reading. This book discussed how we can be a more powerful people (the title fits perfectly). She basically goes back to the basics of being a member and describes how they make us powerful. For example studying our scriptures daily provides us with knowledge which is turn provides us power.

I enjoyed this book because it reconfirmed how the basics are important. It was nice to read as the new year began so I could rededicate myself one more time to be just a little bit better everyday!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Greetings my dear friends and happy holidays and happy 2009. Although we all have yet to post on our last book club assignment (I'll do it today or tomorrow....) it is now January and time for a new book. After looking over our previous reads, I am choosing something that goes in a very different direction...

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

This is one of my favorite books. It is full of mystery, intrigue, romance, danger, suspense and great writing. This book caused me to miss my stop on a train, take extremely long lunch breaks, stay up way past my bed time, and sneak into the bathroom at work to read just one more chapter. My problem with most page turners is a thin plot or poor writing style, but Zafon is a master author and weaves an intense plot with well developed characters and a complex storyline beautifully. I'm getting excited to read it again.

Here is the description from the author's website:

"Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead."

Still not convinced? Here are some reviews...

"A potent mix: a coming-of-age story set in Barcelona's post-war years, an edge of fantasy, a tragic love story, and a labyrinth of mystery."

"Zafón makes sure there's a robust serving of amor, and enough magic, murder and madness to keep even the most reluctant reader engrossed. Diabolically good."

"...There is no question that Wind is wondrous.... [M]asterful, meticulous plotting and extraordinary control over language.... The Shadow of the Wind is ultimately a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero."
- Entertainment Weekly

"The Shadow of the Wind will keep you up nights---and it'll be time well spent. Absolutely marvelous."
- Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Well, now that I have your attention, let me introduce you to a helpful website where you can read an excerpt from the book... click HERE... and you will find intriguing questions, more reviews, a summary, and other info about the novel. And in the interest of our pocket books, I even looked it up on "" and you can buy the book new for less then $10 and slightly used for even cheaper. It is also available in my public library as I am sure it is in you have that option too. In other words this book is just waiting for you to pick it up and enjoy it.

I hope everyone enjoys this novel, it is one of my favorites and I am excited to see what everyone thinks. Happy reading!!