Thursday, July 22, 2010

August's Pick-- for real this time

Thanks, ladies, for bearing with me. :) I originally chose "Left To Tell" by Immaculee Ilibagiza, which came highly recommended by a good friend. But as I read it (in two days), I realized it was too similar to what I'd chosen last time. Last time I picked a book about faith, love, courage and forgiveness during the Jewish Holocaust. "Left To Tell" is a book about faith, love, courage and forgiveness during the Rawandan Holocaust of 1994. I swear my literary interests do extend beyond holocausts. :) It was a great book, don't get me wrong; I give it 4 of 5 stars and highly recommend it. Although I will warn you that it is gruesome in parts. How could a first-hand account of the Rawandan Holocaust in which the author lost 2/3 of her family not be gruesome? But it's gruesome in an "innocent people were cruelly murdered" kind of way, not a "the author is delighting in crude, gory details to get a rise out of the desensitized audience" kind of way. Anyway, because I do have other interests, I decided to pick a new book and encourage you to read "Left To Tell" on your own. It truly is a remarkable story and you may want a tissue or two. :)

On to my real pick for the month----- "A Room With A View".
"This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England. A charming young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson—who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist—Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor, and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion." (

I've never read it before but I keep hearing lots of great things about it. I hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I was like 90 billionth on the waiting list at the library for this book, so I "borrowed" it from Barnes and Noble. Is that kind of, criminal? I really want you to tell me what you think. I returned it in pristine condition ... but my mom thinks I'm going to you know where for it. Yikes! I told her, "But people buy sweaters and things all the time, go home, put them on, and decide they don't like them, so they return them. What's the difference? I decided I don't want to own the book after all." Justification glorification. I'd be interested to know what you think about this.

Moving on to my thoughts for the book I went to such lengths to read. :) I don't know what the fuss about the book was all about. Yes it was a cute little story, but there are lots of cute stories out there. It wasn't particularly well-written, the weird glowing people idea was a little out there in crazy field - next to the people who can see sparkling cake particles in the air - and it was too short to give me any kind of satisfaction. I didn't hate it or anything, other than the fact that my husband looked at my book right when I was ambushed by that yucky part in the middle somewhere and I blushed for shame as I turned the page as fast as I could. :) But it kept me entertained for a few hours of a road trip, and that's a good thing.

Although, it made me cry at one point, and do you know what part did it? Not the grief over a dead mother, not the loneliness and persecution of a new town, not the giant dryer-checking grandfather ... but the father whose daughter didn't know his love for her was quiet. My heck, I bawled over that.

And the author's jumping viewpoints from character to character actually was a fun ride. I enjoyed the overlapping stories and the simple understated style.

Okay, I guess I liked it more than I'd thought. Three stars from me

And don't forget to tell me if you think I'm a criminal. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

August's Pick-- Revised

I've changed my mind. Still on the hunt for August's book... I'll post it when I find it..... :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

July Book-The Girl Who Chased The Moon

The book I chose for July is The girl who chased the moon by Sarah Addison Allen. It is about "a girl named Emily Benedict who hopes to solve some riddles surrounding her mother's life.
But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, she realizes that mysteries aren't solved in Mullaby, North Carolina, they're a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit the mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, offering them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth-but also in the hope of rekindling a love she fears might be lost forever. Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily's backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in."
I really enjoyed this book and I hope you all do as well.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Wow, I loved the Maze Runner. It was admittedly a little on the violent side for me - but Hunger Games I loved too, so whatever - but I thought the premise was really original and thought provoking. What would I be willing to pay to recreate peace in a world torn apart by disease and strife? I don't know. I'm not sure which side I'm on right now, which is great because it makes me make my decision based on my own principles before the author "reveals" which side is which in the next book. I like that.

I'm excited for October (right?) when we read the sequel. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Reading List

Here is the 2010 Reading List. Mandy, if you could give me administrative access to this blog, then I'll post the list on the left hand side. Thanks!

June-The Maze Runner/James Dashner-Shelli
July-The Girl who chased the moon/Sarah Addison Allen-Emilee
October-The Scorch Trials/James Dashner-Emilee

I think it would be awesome if we could each post something about our recommended book by the 1st of the month. If you have any suggestions, please give your input. Also, if you are still in the book club and would like to participate, let us know as well. Thanks!

Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 Reading list

I think we should make a reading list for the rest of 2010 and post it on the left hand side. What do you think? For example:

June-The Maze Runner
July-The Five Love Languages

If we each take a month or make a suggestion, I'm sure we will have one awesome book list. I think we should read The Scorch Trials in October since that is the second book of the Maze Runner.

Let me know your wonderful thoughts.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Maze Runner

I finished this book over Memorial weekend and loved it! I won't tell you my whole opinion since I may be the first one done. There is a second book so I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the recommendation. I absolutely loved it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Maze Runner

Someone I know and admire and LOVE is reading this book and his stamp of approval means it will be a great read. I think the book is pretty accessible. I saw it a few weeks ago at Costco for like $8, so I think it would be in libraries and stuff.

Anyway, I really hope we all like it. My friend says he hasn't been this captivated by a storyline since Harry Potter. :) Take that for what it's worth to you, but I'm excited.

Have fun reading!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Who's up?

So who's up next? We survived our big move to Georgia and most everything is unpacked. I've got two months till our baby boy arrives and I'm ready for a new book! Gotta get my reading in now while I can! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So I was wondering if we could make up a picking order and post it on the sidebar? I never know when it is my turn. I can do it if you want. What are you gals thoughts?? suggestions???

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Loved It

I love this book. My mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas a couple years ago and I remember reading it on the couch, pregnant three feet out in front of me, while everyone else was still in bed ... I figured if I was too uncomfortable to sleep at least I could read. :)

What moved me most was the selfless compassion of these women. My goodness. I always forget the protagonist's name, but she saw other people more than she saw herself - which is a talent and an attribute I wish I had too. Others' distress meant more to her than her own, and suffering bothered her more for what it kept her from doing than for her own discomfort.

There are so many Christlike people in this world. I admire them. The light of Christ is real, and the things people can bring themselves to offer - even to strangers - is truly remarkable to me. It reminds me that I'm always in a position to serve. If I choose to. I can certainly hide behind excuses and justifications, but that's all they are. I don't say it in a self-depreciating way but in a grateful way. Service is a great healer, and I'm grateful it's always available for the choosing. And I'm grateful for the people who make that choice so consistently.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It's been over a month and a half that "The Hiding Place" has been our reading pick... Just thought I'd check in and see if anyone is making progress or if this pick was a flop and we need to move on?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Hiding Place

Oh hooray! "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom it is!

This is one of my all-time favorite books. It's actually a biography, not fiction, but it's a superb read that I guarantee will keep you turning pages. I read it often, I think of it often, I refer to it often. A true five-star, life-changer in my opinion. And if you're anything like me, read with a tissue. :) It's that powerful.

Here's one review:
Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was a Dutch woman admired the world over for her courage, her forgiveness, and her memorable faith. In World War II, she and her family risked their lives to help Jews escape the Nazis by hiding them in their home in Haarlem, and their reward was a trip to Hitler's concentration camps. Corrie's father, sister, brother, and nephew died as a result of their imprisonment. But she survived and was released--as a result of a clerical error--and now shares the story of how faith triumphs over evil.

For thirty-five years Corrie's dramatic life story, full of timeless virtues, has prepared readers to face their own futures with faith, relying on God's love to overcome, heal, and restore. The Hiding Place tells the riveting story of how a middle-aged Dutch watchmaker became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler's death camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century.

heads up

I'm not trying to rush the discussion of "The Namesake" one single bit. Just thought I'd throw out my pick (I believe I'm up next!) so everyone can try getting their hands on it. I know sometimes it takes a while if you end up on a hold list at the library...

I choose Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place". Unless everyone has already read it, in which case I have a back up..... what do you think?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spoiler alert! - updated

Don't keep reading if you're not done; I just wanted to respond while the book was still fresh in my mind.

First: LOVED IT.

Lahiri's descriptions were so rich, especially--I'm noticing this now as I think back through the book--when it comes to the aspects of Bengali & American life that she juxtaposes. Here are the ones that I could think of:

  • Food: At first I thought she was describing the Indian dishes for the benefit of those of us who don't know the cuisine, but then the descriptions of the restaurants Gogol ate at & the food at his first dinners with Maxine & Moushumi were just as minute, & so hunger-inducing.
  • Family: His repressed relationship with his parents vs. Ruth's hippie parents & Maxine's laid-back parents. Even the things they talked about at the dinner table were so different: I remember something about him thinking that his parents would never argue about movies or music.
  • Parties: the loud, crazy Bengali parties vs. the dinner parties he went to in NY, especially with Maxine's family
  • Clothes: She goes to such great lengths to describe Gogol's mother's saris, his jeans, his girlfriends' sweaters, shoes, everything. I was particularly struck at the beginning with his mother's reaction to the hospital gown she had to trade her sari in for when she was giving birth, because it only reached to the knee.
  • Homes: The Gangulis' fastidiousness (I loved the remark about some Bengali families laying newspaper on the carpet in the room the kids were in!) was quickly rejected by him as soon as college, & he loved the quiet disorder in Maxine's family's house.
  • Death: Forgot this one initially, but it stuck out to me more than most. Gogol seems to always notice graveyards, perhaps because they're so different from the Indian funeral customs. But in the end, the photo of his father in their house on Pemberton Road is "the closest thing" he has to a grave.
Also, I thought it was really interesting that death is what spelled the end of Gogol/Nikhil's two committed relationships. First, his father's death yanked him back into his Bengali world, causing things to end between him & Maxine. Then, the death of that secretary at Moushumi's department was what caused her to find Dmitri's resume & contact him, beginning the affair that ended her marriage with Nikhil. Both times, it seemed like the past came crashing into the new world he was living in: his Bengali past intruding on his firmly established American life, then this American man from Moushumi's past intruding on their somewhat Bengali (if only because they were both Bengali) life.

Did anyone else find it ironic that the man who ruined Gogol's marriage, the one whose "name upset Gogol more than his own" for the first time, also had a Russian name? It's a good thing Gogol is my husband's favorite author (he served his mission in St. Petersburg & majored in Russian at BYU), because now I can read "The Overcoat!"

Lastly (I know this is long), I find it interesting that after all of their rejection of the lifestyle their parents created for them, Gogol & Sonia wind up appreciating it, even embracing it. It reminds me of that little rebellion period that I think most of us go through, where our parents are uncool & not smart in the least, & then we mature, get married, have kids, & end up doing a lot of the same things our parents did.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Namesake

I have finished reading this book and have two sleeping kids so thought I would post a few comments.

I knew nothing about this book going in so I did not know what to expect. As I started reading I fell in love. It was a real page turner for me. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching there lives. I enjoyed how every now and than it would switch to a different characters perspective but still fall all the characters.

I was kind of sad when the book ended. I wanted it to keep going so I could find out what happens to "Googles".

I am excited to see what others say and to post more. I did not want to spoil it for anyone who has not finished!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Apologies & Resolutions

I owe all of you an apology. I'm a flake. For various reasons - not the least of which being a difficult period of nursing - I've become a stereotypical TV-watching, magazine-reading housewife. I've neglected not only this blog group but my once-beloved books in general. So one of my New Year's resolutions is to return to reading, & Mandy just let me know it was my turn to pick the next book, which is:

Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian-American author whose books deal a lot with the cultural & generational clashes that Indian-American families deal with. I read her newest book, a collection of short stories called Unaccustomed Earth, about those same themes, & I found that I learned a lot about the Bengali culture. This one is unique, though, in that the person whose namesake is the main character is the Russian author Gogol. I'm interested in seeing how the three cultures will affect each other.

Lastly, in an act of shameless self-promotion, I thought I would introduce you to my dear Abigail, who is thankfully long over her difficulty nursing. She's six & a half months old & growing like the cutest weed I've ever seen:

I look forward to getting back into books with all of you & Jhumpa Lahiri!