Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

The Static On The Line

Friday, May 18th, 2012

After finding the website, I Wrote This For You dot me, I immediately bought the book, of course — titled after the website: I Wrote This For You by Pleasefindthis. And in it, I found some of the most beautiful, raw snippets of thought prose. One of the passages that stands out to me right now is titled, “The Static On The Line”. It says,

Don’t talk to me like you know me. Talk to me like you love me.

Incredible, eh? So, why not? Why don’t we talk to people like we love them, like we adore them? Why are we often harshest to those we are closest with? He writes about this on his blog too, in a post titled “The Closeness of Shadows” where he says,

You still believe you’re allowed to hurt the people who love you more than anyone else.

Why is that? =/ That is so sad. Let’s stop, shall we?

And definitely, read the book and the website.

5 Books, 1.75 weeks

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

My campaign to read aloud has been working out wonderfully! I have read 4 books out loud and 1 to myself in the past 1.75 weeks! How fun is this? Today, I read aloud Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. It is a little over 100 pages long and an easy read and it entertained my house this afternoon for a couple of hours. It was fun. I read it aloud and we laughed together at the crazy things his father says. How fun! If you still haven’t started reading aloud, you should! Come on! Pick a book and a friend or family member and DO IT! =)

What are your waiting for?

I can definitely recommend, Sh*t My Dad Says as a quick, funny read…his father is hilarious and crass. Chelsea Handler’s father would be proud…

Email Interview with author Karen Maitland

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

My true love is to read. I am far past a bookworm plowing past bibliophile. My home is littered with books stacked waist high from the door onward. It is a literary adventure within these walls. This past year I have been fortunate enough to read some excellent books and one of them Company of Liars: A Novel by Karen Maitland sent me head-over-heels for historical fiction.

I wrote a review post about Company of Liars: A Novel which you can read here. I contacted the author recently to ask some questions so I could fill inthe author information for her on another book lover website. Whilst exchanging emails with this most gracious and eloquent writer I mentioned the possibility of having an informal email interview. I sent her a bunch of questions, asked her to pick her favorites and respond at her own leisure. And respond she did. I am sharing her responses with all of you in this post. Karen Maitland is both thoughtful and eloquent in her responses, thank you Karen! (more…)

Of Books and Birds v2

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Two constants in my life are books and birds—that is not to say there are not other constants but these two stand out for me right now. I wish to share the books I am reading with you and the birds that are coming to my feeders. I have four feeders and 2 bird houses. This is quite the feat considering I live in an apartment and all of those are on my balcony. Hahahaha. I do so love my birds.

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

I have better photos but this one I took just a few moments ago — and so I thought it would be the best to share. I will also share a photo of a female house finch that visits regularly.

Female House Finch

Female House Finch

I really enjoy watching and listening to the birds. This week has been sunny and they haven’t missed a note in enjoying the newly come spring time weather. They were flying in elaborate aerial patterns trying to impress potential mates. They were singing pretty for all to hear. I like spring and I like birds.

I am currently reading the following books.

Women of the Asylum by Jeffrey L. Geller and Maxine Harris

Women of the Asylum by Jeffrey L. Geller and Maxine Harris

This book is a collection of personal accounts by women who were locked away in the mental institutions against their will. It is sad but revealing. Not so much has changed for women and mental health.

Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes Doomed Love

Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes Doomed Love

This is the biography of Assia Wevill—Ted Hughes’ second wife who committed suicide, taking her daughter’s life with her own. I will let you know in detail what I think of this book when I finish it.

I am reading a few for classes but I won’t share these with you unless you really want to know…then you can leave a comment. I will also give thorough reviews of these books when I am finished with them.

Company of Liars

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I felt like I should share the books I have been enjoying. And so, I will. I just finished reading Company of Liars by Karen Maitland. This is a historically relevant fiction spin-off of the Canterbury Tales. It is creative and engaging. The characters have believable strengths and flaws, both endearing and annoying.

Set in England, circa the 1400’s, a story of nine wayward misfits who come together by chance attempting to escape their pasts, as well as the Black plague. There is Camelot, the one-eyed elderly man selling hope in relics; Rodrigo, the passionate musical performer, and his promising, yet, troubled student, Jofre; Zophiel, the narcissistic magician; naive Adela, who is pregnant and should not be on the open road, and Osmond, her serious but devoted husband; Cygnus, the one-winged man accused of a heinous murder; Pleasance, the healer; and the eerily strange, devious albino child she has unofficially adopted, Narigorm.

Their journey is arduous and wet. It hasn’t stopped raining for months. Imagine traveling by foot or by wagon and horse on dirt roads, through forests and swamps, with constant rain! EGADS! That would be horrible.

The author does justice to the time period, researching interesting facts to make the story more believable. In a dark time this lost and confused, wayward band find protection, comfort and often suspicion in one another and in their beliefs in the supernatural, spells, relics, charms and folklore of the time.

But it isn’t just the Black Plague these nine must avoid along their way to an unspecified destination. They have to avoid supernatural predators, everyday hassles, angry mobs, and other dangers presented in the medieval times. They have nothing but one another and their limited shared resources. But can they really trust each other? They do not actually know each other and most of them know the others have lied about something or are running from something in their pasts, but what? And how will this affect them?

Where will they end up? How will they be betrayed? Will they survive? (Read the book to find out!)

An interesting side-theme in this book is the way the story demonstrates the religious journey for the side-characters, the villagers these nine pass in traveling. The plague and death must have taken its toll on the religious beliefs of people during this time. Was this the catalyst for the Enlightenment? The book tells how the people turned to God and the Church, which they were taught to do since birth. Then as death smothers all around them, they first try to cling to their religion and their priests, who often take advantage of them. Soon, the Church and the priests abandon them altogether to perish. Alone, they begin to question their beliefs. This is interesting to me, historically speaking. Don’t worry, this book is not religious. This was just a back burner theme I picked up on and found intriguing.

This book provided a engaging tale and motivated me to research more about that time period. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the read. This is the first book I have read by this author, I will be looking for more.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, strong characters or anyone who has an interest in history (or historical fiction), particularly the medieval times. 

Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention

Monday, August 25th, 2008

She is truly inspiring. Their connection is palpable. One gets the sense they truly care about one another and like each other a lot. This is a healthy relationship. I like them. Here was her speech.

Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention (as it was prepared).

As you might imagine, for Barack, running for President is nothing compared to that first game of basketball with my brother Craig.

I can’t tell you how much it means to have Craig and my mom here tonight. Like Craig, I can feel my dad looking down on us, just as I’ve felt his presence in every grace-filled moment of my life.

At six-foot-six, I’ve often felt like Craig was looking down on me too…literally. But the truth is, both when we were kids and today, he wasn’t looking down on me – he was watching over me.

And he’s been there for me every step of the way since that clear February day 19 months ago, when – with little more than our faith in each other and a hunger for change – we joined my husband, Barack Obama, on the improbable journey that’s brought us to this moment.

But each of us also comes here tonight by way of our own improbable journey.

(more…)

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Click here to buy me uber cheap!Sometimes, I am shocked to see the prices of book. Some are way too expensive, hardly worth the almost $30 they charge for them. Some, though, are so inexpensive it is a shame. This is the case for this book, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox  by Maggie O’Farrell. I went to BN.com today on the prowl for a new book to consume and saw this on the front page under specials or discounts or something. I clicked on it and it is on sale for $1.99!!!! OMG! That is insane! This is such an amazing book.

This book is wonderful! The characters are realistic, likeable and easy to relate and empathise with. The story is interesting and complex, touching upon societal ills while telling the story about one woman and her familial history. Iris, the opening character, is called to help a great aunt she didn’t know she had who was soon to be released from a mental institution. You are taken on a journey of exploration into the history of this family, how Esme (Euphemia) lived outside societal expectations and how society dealt with her in response. She dared to do as she pleased but at what cost? This is a timeless message, isn’t it? We all must choose what is important to us and there is always a price to pay. Together, Iris and Esme, learn how to be exactly who they want to be while getting to know one another. It is a story of the trials, errors and triumph of spirited women.

This book was engaging, thought provoking and simply a delight to read! I would recommend it to anyone! It is definitely well-worth the read. Incidentally, it also introduced me to an excellent author, Maggie O’Farrell. If you have not read anything by this author… STOP READING and GO! GO GET SOMETHING BY HER! She writes in a way that makes you yearn for more. =)