Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
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
- Conor is capable of seeing the true motives and reasonings behind others' actions. What does Conor's character teach us about judgments?
- How are Christianity and the kind of spirituality Sorcha's family practices similar?
- 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?
- 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?
- Would you allow your sibling to make Sorcha's sacrifice for you? Does it change the way you view the Atonement?
- Marillier paints her characters' personalities exceptionally well, I think. Which character do you relate with most in the story and why?
- 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?
- What makes the dependable characters dependable? Is that kind of character possible now? Do you know others who are so trustworthy?
- What are the dangers in judging an entire race (or gender) solely by our experiences? Do we miss out on opportunities that way?
- What does this book make you think about?
Sunday, October 25, 2009
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
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. :)
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....
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
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
By: Josi S. Kilpack
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
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
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
So let's move on. I have no idea who is next. Shelli?
Monday, August 3, 2009
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
And received a Bachelor's degree in this:
(August 12, 2006)
(Portland Oregon LDS temple)
So he could build these:
(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!!:
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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.
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
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
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 aunt...how 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
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
I personally loved this book and highly recommend it. It is the perfect book for a book club. Have fun reading!
Anyone else have anything to add?
I think it's Em's turn to choose the next book . . .
Thursday, April 23, 2009
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
P.S. Also I love you.
Monday, March 23, 2009
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
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 me...how 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
Saturday, January 31, 2009
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
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!
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
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."
- Ben Page THE BOOKSELLER.
"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."
- ELLE MAGAZINE
"...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 "half.com" 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 yours...so 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!!