Saturday, December 06, 2008

Just Give Me a Little Piece of Quiet


I found this book Just Give Me a Little Piece of Quiet by Lorilee Craker at a garage sale I think. I have been reading one of the "mini-retreats" each day as part of my quiet time.

This is a book for Moms. It has short two or three page chapters, each one about a different mothering topic. The stories tell a humorous story and then have a spiritual application. I enjoyed the short stories for the most part and verses to go along with them.

The Perfect Life


This week I quickly finished this book The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher. This is the story of Katherine Clarkson. She sees her life as perfect with her wonderful, good looking husband and two married, pregnant daughters. She must do a reality check though when her life is suddenly thrown into the public eye after allegations against her husband's faithfulness and financial misconduct with his organization In Step, which provides homes for those who otherwise couldn't afford it. Katherine has to do some serious soul searching and seek God to determine if she trusts her husband. She learns some valuable lessons about herself, her husband, her daughters, and God.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Silver Crown

by Robert C O'Brien
ISBN: 0689841116

Genre: children fantasy

I picked up this book because it's the same author as Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, and as a child I really enjoyed Nimh. I was not really impressed with The Silver Crown, though. It's an adventure tale of a little girl who wakes up on her birthday and ends up going on a journey to find her aunt and escape from the mean people.

While occasionally I do enjoy a good adventure tale, my preference is for a little hope and comedic relief. Harry Potter was right up my alley until the last three, which got a little dark for my taste but I had to read them because it's Harry Potter!

So this one is fairly well written, and the plot makes sense. It's just too sad, and too dark. I would not recommend it for a child under 12. Just like I wouldn't recommend Lemony Snicket for a child at all. I'm just like that.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Princess Academy

By Shannon Hale
ISBN 9781599900735

Genre: children fiction
Recommended age 9 up

What a beautiful story this was. I was wary of the whole Princess
Academy thing because of Princess Diaries. But this was so good.
Imagine Heidi plus Ella Enchanted plus every good fairy tale.

The villagers are informed that the Prince must marry someone from their village in a year's time, so the young women are to be sent to "Princess Academy."

It's also got a twist ending that is pretty good.

This one was worth paying full price at Target.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Forgiving Hour

Today I finished a book called The Forgiving Hour by Robin Lee Hatcher. Talk about a good book! I really enjoyed this story. The main characters, Dakota, Claire, and Sara, have many issues to work through together because of secrets of the past related to the affair that destroyed Claire's family when Dakota was a child. The author makes the reader feel Claire's pain and the rejection felt by Dakota when they're abandoned by his Dad.


I learned so much from this book about the bondage of living in unforgiveness, the freedom found in forgiving, and how God is the one who can truly bring peace to situations that through worldly eyes it would be impossible to resolve.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ever After

Ever After
Karen Kingsbury

I totally love every book by Karen Kingsbury that I've ever read. I think this may be moving to the top of my favorite list of her books I've read. Ever After is the sequel to another wonderful book Even Now. You can read about both books on the Karen Kingsbury website.

This book really opened my eyes to the reality of the war in Iraq and the sacrifices made by our soldiers as well as their families. The theme of the book is summed up well in this line: "Love is not possible without sacrifice, and sacrifice is not possible without love." This ties in so perfectly to what Jesus has done for us. I would highly recommend this book. Read Even Now first though!

The Beloved Disciple

The Beloved Disciple Following John to the Heart of Jesus
by Beth Moore.

This has seemed to take me forever to read! It is large print and a little over 600 pages. I did enjoy this book though which focuses on the apostle John from his calling as a fisherman to the last days of his life. My favorite part was reading each chapter about the seven different churches written about in Revelation. She pointed out the Identification, Commendation, Rebuke, Exhortation, and Encouragement given to each of the churches. (Not all seven churches have one for each of these.) This was very interesting to learn a little bit of history and facts about these places and make applications to our lives. For example, in Revelation 2:4 it says, "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love." The point made by Beth regarding this really spoke to me: "If God's absolute priority for all followers of Christ is love--for Him first and others second--the the absence of such love is sin."

The Preacher's Daughter

The Preacher's Daughter
by Beverly Lewis

The Preacher's Daughter by Beverly Lewis is the first in a series called "Annie's People." The setting is the Plain community of Paradise, Pennsylvania. Annie Zook, the main character, is the daughter of an Amish preacher and has a secret that keeps her from joining church. Her pen pal Louisa Stratford, a "fancy Englisher," comes to visit to escape her own troubles. Together the girls help each other through their difficulties.


I have read many books by this author and always enjoy learning about a different way of living. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I found it at the library, but then one of my friends loaned me the whole set!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Praying God's Word

Praying God's Word
by Beth Moore

I became interested in this book after taking part in the Breaking Free study by Beth Moore. Each chapter focuses on a different stronghold and how to use verses in the Bible to pray for freedom. Some of the chapters include: Overcoming Idolatry, Overcoming Pride, Overcoming Feelings of Rejection, Overcoming Ongoing Feelings of Guilt, Overcoming Unforgiveness, and Overcoming Food-Related Strongholds. Using scriptures in my prayers and praying God's word is something I want to improve on in my daily prayer life. There is power in prayer and I think it is so important to have God's word in our hearts so we can remember and claim His promises to us.

Here is an example of a prayer from the chapter called "Overcoming Despair."
"I cry to You, Lord, in my trouble. Save me from my distress." Psalm 107:13

Total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover
by Dave Ramsey

I am so excited to finish reading this book. It is called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. My husband received this as a Christmas gift. I knew he wanted it so ordered it for my grandmother to give him. He read through it very quickly. I cannot say enough positive things about this book.

I had heard many things about Dave Ramsey and his book. I really didn't know what all the excitement was about till now I read it for myself! I have always considered us to be pretty responsible and conscious about our spending. We are not frivolous, never have a credit card balance, pay our bills on time, and like to save. This book has brought about a whole new thought process for me now though. It is so exciting to think of the extra money we can have to put into retirement and a college education fund. Then to move beyond that to giving and having fun.
I am pleased to say we are on our way taking the "baby steps" in the book towards a "total money makeover." We established a written budget at the beginning of this month. Since JMP gets paid every two weeks and we're at the end of the first pay period, it is even more exciting to us to see the extra money we have left because we did budget. We had certain categories we used for the envelope system as well. We decided to use some of our savings money to pay off our car loan. We are using the debt "snowball" approach now to work on the truck and then the student loans. It all seems very do-able. At the end of the book Dave gives the reminder of not letting money control you. It is an excellent reminder and something I remember....it could all be gone tomorrow and it's all God's anyway.

I've seen what a terrible thing debt can be. It really does create tension and frustrations and takes away peace. Money causes so many issues for so many families. I firmly believe that is not how God intends us to live. We need to be good stewards. I also believe that this book has some key points that can help anyone have financial peace.

If you want to have financial peace I would highly recommend this book to you. If you think you already have financial peace, I think you'd still enjoy reading it. You'll probably learn a lot like I did!

White Chocolate Moments

White Chocolate Moments
by Lori Wick

This is the story of a young girl, Arcie, who loses both her parents in an auto accident. She then goes to live with her wealthy grandfather. She excels in school while her grandfather is wrapped up in his business. Conflict arises when the other granddaughter, Quinn, visits and has to share grandpa for the first time. A turning point for Arcie comes when Quinn comes to live with them and her world drastically changes. This is the story of family troubles, jealousy, and restoration.

I would recommend this book.

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
Genre: adult fiction

There aren’t many things better in this world than a good book; unless, it’s a series of good books. I am a big fan of series. I love the sense of familiarity one gets with the characters, the storylines, and the author’s style.

So when I was browsing recently through a Borders bookstore, I was thrilled to see the latest edition of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Fearless Fourteen.

Yup, you heard right. This is the 14th book in the series. Before you begin to feel daunted about reading 14 books, don’t. These books are the equivalent of a 30-minute sitcom on television. To call them a quick read would be an understatement.

However, their accessibility does not diminish the joy these books can bring to a lazy, Saturday afternoon or a stolen moment in the bathtub. Allow me to fill in a little of the back-story before I review the latest installment.

The series begins with One for the Money, in which readers meet our unlikely heroine Stephanie Plum. Driven by monetary desperation, Stephanie forces her slimy cousin Vinnie to give her a job as a bounty hunter, a position she has no business taking. During the first couple books, readers cringe constantly at Stephanie’s ineptitude: she gets her gun stolen by a skip, she falls for a wanted man, and she manages to attract every weirdo in the Trenton, New Jersey area, including a couple who want her dead.

After book four, one gets used to the path of disaster Stephanie wages as she doggedly goes after her bounty. However, the plot lines are rather predictable and not as enjoyable as the wacky cast of characters in the series.

Over the series, Evanovich has truly crafted some memorable, if not entirely believable, characters. First, there is Stephanie herself, a stubborn, smart-talking thirty something with an indelible independent streak. Stephanie has managed to attract not one, but two super hot, yet difficult men. First, there is the lean, hard Joe Morelli, bad boy turned decent cop. And then there’s the hot, Latin Ranger, who’s short on words and long on sexual allure.

In addition to the male love interests who keep her flummoxed, Stephanie has collected a troop of interesting sidekicks. The most prominent is her partner, Lula, a former “ho turned file clerk. Lula is a lot of woman, sass included. She is a great friend to Stephanie and they share an honest, often wacky friendship.

There are far too many characters to describe, but trust me, it’s worth it to crack open the series to get to know them.

In Fearless Fourteen, Stephanie experiences her typical trials when she tries to get her latest skip, Loretta, to do the right thing and turn herself in. However, her plans are waylaid when a bank robber kidnaps Loretta. Now, it’s Stephanie’s job to protect Loretta’s son and save Loretta’s life. As is typical with the rest of the series, everything works out well, but not without damage to Stephanie’s current vehicle and self esteem.

I wonder how long Evanovich can maintain the series, given its rather predictable formula. At the end of every book the plot is resolved, yet the everlasting love triangle of Stephanie, Joe, and Ranger is not. It might get a little old eventually, but now it is still highly enjoyable.

Recommended, but for those who need an intellectual recess

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another Collaborator: Introducing Bethany

Bethany, a friend from college, will also now be posting her book reviews. She's already posted lots of them over at her blog, and as she has time she'll re-post those and her new ones.

She filled out a bookworm meme the other day and I thought I'd re-post it here for you.

B is for Bookworm
1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? I remember loving books my whole life, as far back as I can remember. I know I was read to as a child, and we went to the library often. I was in a book club and received books in the mail. Reading was always exciting to me.

2. What are some books you read as a child? I had favorites in the book club books. There was one I loved because of the pictures of the little girl. It was a Little Golden Book. I don't know the exact title (Maybe my Mom can help me out). I loved books by Beverly Clearly as well as the Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin. I enjoyed the Little House series. I don't think I ever finished it all though. It seems like I read the first couple of books multiple times.

3. What is your favorite genre? I enjoy children's literature (the teacher in me) and Christian fiction or Christian romance. Sometimes I like historical fiction, but I have to be in the right mood!

4. Do you have a favorite novel? As a child Charlotte's Web was always my favorite.

5. Where do you usually read? I read in the car when we are driving (anywhere...My husband teases me about always having a book with me, even for short trips). Lately I haven't been reading as much in the car, I guess that is why I haven't finished as many books! I read in bed and in the bath tub while I soak too.

6. When do you usually read? I read before bed and when I'm in my bath. Sometimes I'll read for a few minutes during the day, like when my son is napping.

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time? Yes, almost always.

8. Do you read non-fiction in a different way or place than you read fiction? Yes. I usually have my non-fiction books that I read as part of my daily quiet time. I don't read non-fiction while traveling much.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library? I borrow them from friends or check them out at the library. My friend and I have our own little book club where we trade out books. It's fun!

10. Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them? I keep some and share some. I've sold some at a "book barn" too. Non-fiction I like to keep as a reference.

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child? We have read many books together, and I love to share my love of books with him. The book I'll Love You Forever is one I have enjoyed sharing with him. Also one we read to him even before he was born was You Are So Special Little One.

12. What are you reading now? I'm reading one book for my continuing ed. credits called 7 Keys to Comprehension. Another one I'm reading is Parents Guide to the Spiritual Growth of Children and a fiction book called A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann.

13. Do you keep a TBR (To Be Read) list? Yes. When I see a book in a review, in an ad, or as a blog recommendation I add it to my list.

14. What's next? I have a few in my stack that I borrowed from the library. They are just random books that looked interesting. I want to finish the "Annie's People" series by Beverly Lewis.

15. What books would you like to reread? I want to read some of the ones I read in high school and see how they are different to me now that I am older. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Awakening are two.

16. Who are your favorite authors? Karen Kingsbury, Beverly Lewis, Lori Wick

Are you a bookworm also? Answer these fun book questions on your blog!

The Lost Prince

by Frances Hodgson Burnett
ISBN: 0140367543

I really enjoyed this book. It's by the author of The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, and it's very well done. I can see why it's not as popular as the other two books, but I still really enjoyed it immensely. A young boy is raised to be a patriot of his country, and devotes himself to learning constantly. A huge mystery surrounds his homeland because the rightful leader has disappeared, and every generation longs for the return of the Lost Prince.

My favorite idea from this book was that children can be strong and learn and be dedicated just as adults can. The author doesn't insult adults, but she shows how a young preteen can be faithful and courageous in the face of trials.

I highly recommend this book.

The Heavenly Man

by Brother Yun and Paul Hathaway
ISBN: 082546207x
Genre: Non-fiction

This dramatic story details the life of an underground Christian in China who has undergone severe persecution for his faith. It is amazing to read about God's miracles there, as well as the trials that Christians in China face every day. A very intense read.

Recommended

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Was Told There'd Be Cake

I Was Told There’d Be Cake, Essays by Sloane Crosley
Genre: Essays

To be honest, I bought this book based on the title. Yes, I’m one of those people, those people who browse through Borders and pick books based on the covers. I particularly like the smooth paperbacks. I’m a sucker for bright colors.

To save a little face, I did read one of the essays before I actually bought the book. I also read the back cover and the reviews. The claim is that if one likes David Sedaris (Me talk Pretty One Day), one will enjoy Crosley’s book. Also, the back mentions that she wrote the cover essay for the worst selling edition of Maxim magazine. Sounds like my kind of woman.

Sloan Crosley writes from the perspective of twenty-something, potential intellectual who’s striving to be meaningful in New York City. What’s refreshing about her is that she knows she’s full of crap. She writes about herself with an honesty that has to be difficult to maintain.

Crosley writes about her idyllic upbringing in Westchester, New York, struggling to find her place after graduation, and navigating through the uncomfortable and odd experiences all young women of a certain age endure: the weddings of people you don’t really like anymore.

One of the memorable essays is “You on a Stick”, which tells the story of a random friend from Crosley’s past who asks her to be a part of her wedding. Eventually, the author is promoted to Maid of Honor, without her prior approval incidentally. Crosley agrees to be a part of the wedding mostly based on guilt. The reader has the impression that she is just a bit curious about how this will all turn out, sort of like the over-used car wreck analogy.

Like anything in life that one assumes will be simple, the wedding turns into a big, expensive pain in the bum. To be truthful, this particular essay waxes on quite a bit, but there are little gems in there: Crosley being drafted into making the ribbon hat at the wedding shower, her abdicating her Maid of Honor duty of giving the toast to an ex-gymnast with a lisp who ends up fainting. All good stuff.

Crosley shares other little tidbits with readers, like her collection of ponies from ex-boyfriends. This essay begins the book and confirmed for me that I’d actually want to keep reading. She confesses that she ends up getting rid of the ponies because she’s afraid of how people will judge her for them when she dies. While I don’t have a collection of ponies, I can identify with covering up peccadilloes simply because of the fear of possible humiliation.

There are a couple essays that Crosley could have left out: “Lay Like Broccoli” explains why the author is vegetarian. It’s not particularly funny or interesting. This could just be my bias talking; maybe choosing vegetarianism for some people is interesting, but I’m not enthralled.
For the most part, I enjoyed reading Crosely’s first collection of essays. She comes across as likeable and more importantly, human. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, and she doesn’t seem to expect readers to either. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Recommended, but probably just for women

The Sleeper Awakes

by HG Wells
ISBN: 0803298188
Genre: Adult fiction

Written in 1897, this imaginative book explores what would happen to someone who fell asleep for two hundred years and woke up to discover the world has changed (not necessarily for the better), and that he is the owner of the whole world.

It's got action and it's also got philosophy. I enjoyed reading it and thinking about the implications of a society where everyone lived in the city, and everyone was used as unthinking labor.

I would recommend reading the preface and introduction.

Recommended

A Time of Angels

by Karen Hesse
ISBN: 0786800879
Genre: Children's Chapter Book

Hannah lives in Boston in 1918, and her parents have gone away because of the war. She lives with relations, but then a flu epidemic strikes and everyone gets sick. She is a young artist and we follow her story through trials of many kinds.

This story is hauntingly beautiful with the idea of angels protecting us. Karen Hesse won a Newbery for another of her books, and I like this one even better.

Recommended

The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-Na-Ween

Author: Ruth Sawyer
ISBN: 0763625531
Genre: Children's Picture Book

I wish that I could read aloud with an Irish accent because this story would be excellent that way. As it is it's still a great story, with awesome illustrations about an old lady who has only served others her whole life. Where will she stay for Christmas?

I'm a sucker for lifelike illustrations, and this book fulfills my love for beauty in paintings. I like my picture books to look like art.

I'm excited to read this to my kids and see what we can learn.

Recommended

The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas

Author: Madeleine L'Engle
ISBN: 0440401054
Genre: Children's Chapter Book

This book is part of Madeleine L'Engles Austin family series. Mother is expecting a baby, and Christmas is coming. Every day they do something special to count down toward Christmas. Vicky is concerned that her mother won't be home for Christmas. What happens when the baby decides to come?

This was a sweet, wholesome book. I enjoyed reading about the traditions of the family. Any child would be concerned about their mother being home for Christmas and the ending is so cute.

Recommended

The Bee-Man of Orn

ISBN: 0763622397
Genre: children's picture book

This beautifully illustrated book tells a sweet tale of an old man who encounters a sorcerer. The Sorcerer tells him that he can magically help everyone become what they are meant to become. The bee-man replies that he is happy the way he is. The sorcerer convinces him to try his magic, and a wonderful adventure ensues.

I love the illustrations, and the lesson it tells about accepting yourself, and I also like the style in which it was written. A wiggly kid wouldn't sit through the whole thing, but a young one who loves the pictures and is willing to sit for 15 minutes would like this.

Recommended.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A New Collaboration

My old friend Hillary, from high school, has agreed to be a collaborator here at Are You Really Reading Another Book? We had great times being co-editors-in-chief of the high school newspaper.

Hillary's a secondary school teacher in California, and is mommy to a sweet little girl named Emerson. She is super-smart and motivated and I'm glad we are getting to know each other again.

I'm excited because she'll be bringing different ideas and genres to the blog. She and I have different tastes in lots of things, so you'll be getting more of a variety of reviews. I'm also excited because she is an excellent writer, so I don't have to worry about misspellings or improper grammar. :)

Anyway hopefully she'll write something soon. Meanwhile I've got a few books that I've read recently that need writing up.

Happy fourth of July!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Book of Hours

I posted this on my other blog too because this was just such an excellent book.

I read this fantastic book yesterday. It's called The Book of Hours, by T. Davis Bunn, ISBN 0785268340.

The story was good- a man comes to a small English village to claim his inheritance and encounters a mystery and puzzle.

The concept talked about in the book was really intriguing to me. In medieval times parishioners were asked to pray hourly, so that God would be brought into what they were doing. But many average people did not know how to tell time. So church bells would ring on the hour to remind people to pray, and some people carried a little book called the Book of Hours to read a short prayer while the bells were ringing. Then they would go back into what they were doing.

Because the whole point of life is not to make every day like church, where we sit and listen to a sermon and sing; the whole point is to bring God into your everyday life. Bring Him into your cleaning, your working, your playing. Bring Him into the fun parts and the drudgery. That's how we have a relationship with God.

"We Christians are simply beggars who happen to know where other beggars might find bread."- from The Book of Hours, p. 309
I love this quote. I am far from perfect. I am far from all-knowing or all-powerful. But I know where to find the knowledge and the power. It's in Jesus Christ.

So I'm thinking about getting a chime set on my phone, to ring a short phrase at the top of every hour. Maybe it will help me bring God into my life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Suffer the Little Children

by Donna Leon
ISBN: 9780871139603

Genre: Mystery

Commissaro Guido Brunetti (evidently an established character) has another mystery to solve. A family has been broken apart by a police raid. Who is to blame? Why are these people in trouble? And where is the little child?

I had not read any of this author's mysteries before, and as is always the case when one jumps into the middle of the series, one feels a little left out by the chumminess of the characters. They're always referring to past escapades and explaining the past. It's a little annoying, but this book wasn't as bad as some.

The story is passable.

6 out of 10.

The Princess and Curdie

by George MacDonald
ISBN: 0140367624

Genre: Young adult fantasy

Oh, The Princess and the Goblin is my favorite stand-alone children's book. I have had the most beautifully illustrated edition of it for years and years. The pictures are fantastic. This book is the sequel to the Princess and the Goblin. I have never liked it quite as well and this last time I re-read it I understood why. The beautiful edition I have must be abridged to be easier to read. It was originally published in the 1800s.

The Princess and Curdie is complete and unabridged. If you can follow the writing (long sentences, etc) it is a lovely story too. It is not a tame book, just as Aslan is not a tame lion. There are gruesome parts to it. But it is all telling a story, a moral story, to help you realize the benefits of living honestly and with God as your leader.

One of the most interesting parts is when Curdie (the protagonist) is given a gift. He is able to tell by taking someone's hand whether that person is a good and upright person, or whether the person is degenerating into an animal on the inside.

Extremely good read, although it did hurt my brain to read 1800s style writing.

9 out of 10

Music through the floor

by Eric Puchner
ISBN: 9780743270465

Genre: Short stories

I was not impressed with this book. I picked it up mainly because of the title; I love music so much that I have to hope that any book with music in the title will be good. The first story, "Children of God," was pretty good. I found it an interesting look at a young man who is a caretaker of mentally disabled people.

The next two I read were about young high school students but I thought the themes were quite mature. Yes, I know that young people sleep around and do things that are not very morally good, but I just don't like to read about it. I will still go back and read the one about the ESL teacher because that's what I am, but I don't think I'm going to read all of them.

4 out of 10.

Eldest

by Christopher Paolini
ISBN: 9780375840401

Genre: fantasy

The second in the trilogy, this book continues the adventures of the young man Eragon. He's already had half of his training and needs to continue his training with the elves.

I liked this book better than the first; I feel the author is maturing in his writing style.

Recommended. 8 out of 10.

Eragon

by Christopher Paolini
ISBN 0375826696

Genre: Fantasy

This book is good reading for an adult or an older high-schooler. A young man finds a stone and is thrown into a quest involving dragons, magic, and the hope of triumphing over evil.

Recommended. 7 out of 10.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

And the Shofar Blew

by Francine Rivers

This Christian fiction book explores the possibility of a preacher getting caught up in his pride and sense of self and forgetting all about the fact that God is in control of our lives. The book follows this preacher from the beginning of his ministry to the end of it.

This book really helped me remember how important humility is and that we really aren't the ones "saving" people- God is.

Recommended.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Apologies

I have to apologize to my readers and commenters. It seems that I hadn't correctly set up the comments for this blog so I didn't know I was getting comments over here. I just went back and found I had about 15-20 comments from people. Sorry everyone! I do appreciate your feedback and wish I had read those comments when they were first posted. :)

Seizure

by Erica Wagner
adult fiction
9780393061482

This story was very confusing and there was too much jumping around to make much sense of. I didn't get very far into it. I couldn't get a feel for the characters and I just had a sense that hope was going to be missing from the tale.

Not finished and not recommended.

Way Down Deep

by Ruth White
Juvenile fiction
ISBN: 9780374382513
9 out of 10

Where "The Baby and Fly Pie" was overly scary and too heavy for a teenager, "Way Down Deep" is perfect for a young adult.

The themes are similar: orphans and who can take care of them, who will be a good parent vs. who won't. But this book is full of hope and has some really sweet parts. "The Baby and Fly Pie" really didn't have any hope at all.

Follow Ruby June on her journey to find out who her parents are.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Measuring Time

By Helon Habila
ISBN: 9780393052510
Genre: fiction

This book takes place in Nigeria. The author uses a lyrical storytelling method to tell the story of twins and a village. Spanning from 1960 to 1990 we are introduced to most of the major problems Africa as a whole and Nigeria itself face: AIDS, drought, government mismanagement, etc.

The book is pretty good, but I'm not overly fond of the author's style. I couldn't see a point to the novel. Not that a novel always has to have a point, but it kinda just petered off and ended.

6 out of 10.

Nickel and Dimed

by Barbara Ehrenreich
ISBN 0805063897
Genre: Non-fiction, current events

The author does a social experiment where she tries to live on minimum wage in three different United States cities.

This book brings up all kinds of questions and really makes you think about the prejudices or pre-conceived ideas you might have about poor people- why are they poor? Why don't they just get a better job? Can't they budget their money?

While there are some problems with the experiment, the author realizes those problems as well and explains her methods.

A great read.

8 out of 10- recommended

The Baby and Fly Pie

by Melvin Burgess
ISBN 068980489x
Young Adult Fiction

If you know me you know I don't like horribly depressing books with no good endings. I also am not fond of books that pretend to be for children that are really too mature.

In my opinion this book is too mature for a high schooler or middle schooler. And it's so depressing.

A short synopsis: it's the future, and some homeless kids live in London. They have someone who supposedly takes care of them, but it's not a great situation. Think Ender's Game but it's an adult who takes care of them.

They find a baby and have to decide what to do from that point.

It's very sad. Not very hopeful at all.

3 out of 10.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Road

Author: Cormac McCarthy
ISBN-10: 0307387895

This book is pretty good. I read it all last night in one big chunk because it was so compelling. It is an apocalyptic, stream of consciousness, eerie book about a man and his son. Though the topic was somewhat depressing I found myself unable to put it down because I simply had to know the end of the road. The author portrayed the little boy very well and I just had to finish it. It was haunting.

I don't know if I love it, and I know it's a sad book rather than a happy one, but I definitely recommend it.

8 out of 10

Mature readers only.