Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What I've Read This Summer

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWater for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

This book was very beautifully written. I had images of the circus running through my head as I read this (it also helped that there were also pictures). It also made me think twice about whether I'd want to take my kids to a circus where animals are treated this way. The book is about a man (Jacob) whose parents die suddenly just before he takes his final exams for vet school. Upon realizing that his parents had accumulated so much debt just to put him through vet school, he hops on a train and later realizes its a circus train. During his adventure, he meets his unstable boss, several unlikely friends, a smart elephant, and his boss' wife-- the woman he falls in love with. I highly recommend this book...I thought that it read like a Hemingway novel and I would gladly read it again.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Splendid Suns was a great follow up to the Kite Runner. It is about Afghanistan life (again) but this time it is told through a woman's perspective. The book follows the lives of two women that form an unlikely friendship as wives to the same man. It describes the struggles and hardships that Afghani women must endure. I highly recommend this book. I didn't think it was as good as the Kite Runner but it was an excellent read none the less.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketShopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsela books haven't been that great lately and this one hasn't kicked it up a notch either. It just seems like the same old same old except its not even funny anymore. It's about Rebecca Bloomwood Brandon during her first pregnancy. She tries to buy everything, changes to an OB that also happens to be her husband's ex, and she single handedly saves the department store she's working for from going belly under. I wouldn't bother with this one.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketVanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult astonishes me again. How does she write such intriguing books time and again? I have decided that she is now one of my favorite authors. This book was good (although not as good as My Sister's Keeper). It's about a woman that learns she was abducted 28 years ago by her father...the man she's looked up to and trusted all her life. She is devastated by the fact that her father had lied to her about her mother being dead and that her real name wasn't Delia. The book traverses through the trial and alternates views between Delia, her dad, her fiance, her friend and her alcoholic mother. The reason why he abducted her comes out during the course of the book and it was a page turner. However, I did guess the ending. I highly recommend this book.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBehaving Badly by Isabel Wolff

I wouldn't bother with this one. It's a chick lit book and not even a funny one. It's about a pet behaviourist that unknowingly did something as a teenager that affected a young man. She tries to find him to apologize and clear her conscience. Instead she falls in love with him.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Accidental Happiness By Jean Reynolds Page

I read this book because it was chosen for my book club. It took a long time for the plot to build (about half way through the book). I didn't really care for it (I wouldn't recommend it) but I didn't hate it either. It's about a woman that finds happiness where she least expected. The woman's husband dies in a freak accident and she moves to her boat to escape the memories of her husband. While on the boat, she accidentally shoots her husband's ex-wife's daughter when they trespassed onto the boat.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

The book is about a 17 year old kid that goes on a shooting rampage for 19 minutes at his high school after 11years of suffering under the rule of bullies. The book looks back at the years of bullying and how the school system does nothing to prevent it.

It was really kind of sad. A teenager already has to deal with all the horrible aspects of being a teenager-- acne, awkwardness, voice changes, body changes, mood swings...let alone having to fend off a bully. It also makes you wonder how many things could have been done differently so that it didn't have to escalate into the ramage.

It was a good book. I read it for my book club-- but it's definitely one you can wait till paperback release for.

Next Up: Accidental Happiness by Jean Page (another book club read from my other book club)

Sorry, I haven't been posting so much on this blog. I just haven't had as much time to read!!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Children's Books

I'm a mom and I love to of course I read to my kids to foster their love of reading. These are my favorite children's books are:
  1. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
  2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
  3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
  6. The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein
  7. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  8. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  9. Mr. Brown Can Moo Can You? by Dr. Seuss
  10. Whose Slippers Are Those? by Marilyn Kahalewai
  11. No David! by David Shannon
What are your favorites?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Sister's Keeper

So, at 1:00am this morning, I woke up to The Breadwinner puking praying to the shit bowl porcelain god. Then Jr. Peanut woke up, so I went to go nurse him...only to have him hurl chunks on my boob. After such trauma, I couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to finish the best book I've read in a long time...My Sister's Keeper.

It's about a young girl, Anna, that was genetically engineered and conceived in order to save her older sister,Kate from the throes of APL Leukemia. For 13 years, Anna donated various parts of her body to her sister in order to keep her alive. Finally, when Kate's kidneys start to fail, Anna decides that enough is enough -- she doesn't want to donate any part of her body anymore. With the help of a lawyer, Anna sues her parents for medical emancipation from her parents.

The book is uniquely written and told through the eyes of each person in the family and those involved in the trial. The family struggled for 13 years to cope with the possibility Kate's death. It's a circumstance that severly affects the lives of each family member. Jesse, the brother, feels invisible and turns to truancy to cope and seek attention. Anna, is trapped by her sister's health--never allowed to leave or live her own life because she's had to give numerous blood, marrow, and other donations. Sara, the mother, is torn between saving one child and sacrificing another. Brian, the father, feels that what they are doing to Anna is wrong, but still wants Kate to live.

Throughout the story, I kept thinking that Sara should give up and let her daughter die because of the profound affect of Kate's looming death has had on her family. But then I thought-- wouldn't I do the same thing? Isn't it easy to get caught up in trying to take care of one person and somehow put other people second? I cried so hard and it made me think of what has happened in my own life...

After The Princess was born but before JR Peanut, I had 3 miscarriages. The first was the hardest for me. I had gone in for an ultrasound at 10 weeks and saw the heartbeat. The doctor told me that the baby looked a little small and scheduled me to come in two weeks later. When I went to the second appointment, the doctor found no heartbeat. He told me I could let the baby pass on its own or I could get a D and C. Then he patted my shoulder and said sorry. He left me alone in the room and it all sank in. I cried... a lot. I chose to let the baby pass on its own. Bad idea. My body didn't release it until three weeks later while my daughter and I were suffering from the flu. It was like a horrible period with HUGE clots. Anyway, I kind of lived through a fog for the next few months. The Princess could tell I was sad (kids pick up on these things quickly) and she would pat me when I was sad. I had two more miscarriages that didn't affect me as much but still saddened me. I was so caught up in it, I think that I didn't get to enjoy The Princess. I didn't pay as much attention and I was focused on having a second/coping with the realization that I may not be able to have more kids... kind of like how Sara (in the book) built her life around trying to keep Kate alive.

So, long story this book (keep a box of tissues handy)! I'm grateful that I don't have to face the kind of challenges posed in the book.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

To Kill a Mockingbird

I read To Kill a Mockingbird in High School. I was a little hesitant to read it because I didn't remember all the details of the book--but it was to be the topic of discussion for my Mommy Book Club. I'm glad I re-read it. I think reading the book more than a decade later and with a decade's worth of maturity made me appreciate the book.

It was an intriguing read about a young white girl (Scout) growing up in the south during a time when prejudice ran rampant. Scout's father does the best he can to raise his two children without a mother and the only female role models for scout are her African American housekeeper and an Aunt that lives some distance from her. While she's struggling to come to terms with becoming a woman, she discover the different "lines" that divide our society...race, poverty, disfigurement, etc...

When Scout's father,an attorney, defends an disabled African American accused of raping a white woman. All hell breaks loose.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Have Lots of Books to Read

So. Let me start off by saying that one of my favorite things to peruse books in a book store (or Costco or anyplace that has books!). I usually wind up finding one or two books that I'd like to read...and add them to my list.

Most of them are fiction. Some are non-fiction, a couple are intended for the young adult, some are about raising kids, some are indulgent chick lit reads, some are...well--you get the idea. There are a lot of books that I have left to read. After I read them I generally sell them on ebay so I don't have them anymore if they are marked as read.

If I liked the book, I'll give a better review later.

Book Title Author Read? Comments
A Friend of the Family Done Good read but it took me a while to read it.
A Good House
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Done Hard to read at times
A Home at The End of the World
A Lotus Grows in the Mud Goldie Hawn
A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving
A Window Across the River Done Eh. Wouldn't recommend it.
Accidental Virgin Done very funny
After You'd Gone
Amanda Bright @ Home
Amanda's Wedding Done Funny.Took me a while to read it though
Angels & Demons
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons Done Great read.Makes you want to start a book club myself
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging Done Hilarious (laugh out loud) but it's about a teenager
Any Place I Hang My Hat Susan Isaacs
At First Sight Nicholas Sparks
Babe in Toyland Done Ehh.I didn't care for it
Baby Proof Done Okay.
Babyville Done Okay read
Backtalk Aurdy Ricker
Bee Season Done Good Read.A little weird though.
Best Friends Martha Moody
Blue Shoe Anne Lamott
Breeding Between The Lines Alon Ziv
By The Lake John McGahern
Call Waiting Done Not as good as 32aa but still a quick and easy read.
Cats Meow
Cocktails For Three Madeleine Wickham
Coffee and Kung Fu Done I liked it.A little introspective but good.
Come Together Done Cute Story about one couple's relationship through both the female and male perspective
Confessions of Max Tivoli
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Done Okay read.Too much technical stuff
Dating Big Bird
Diary of a Mad Bride Done very funny
Diary of an American Au Pair
Dirty Girls Social Club
Dive From Clausen's Pier
Does She or Doesn't She Done Stupid
Dogs of Babel Carolyn Parkhurst Done Good Read.Sad. About a man that discovers things he never knew about his wife after she dies.
Down Came the Rain Done Interesting.Somewhat repetative
English as a Second Language Megan Crane
Every Boy's Got One Done Really cute and quick read
Everyman Philip Roth
Faithless Karin Slaughter
Faking It
Fat Chance Done Okay
Finding Cassie Crazy
Five Men Who Broke My Heart Done Interesting.Makes you think about past relationships
Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom Done Easy and quick read.Makes you realize that your life does have a reason
For One More Day Mitch Albom Done Quick and easy read.It seems every mother is taken for granted.
Getting over Jack Wagner
Ghosts of Boyfriends Past
Good Girls Don't
Good People of New York done Okay Read.
Happiness Sold Separately Lolly Winston
Hardly Working
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hissy Fit
Hit Reply Done Okay.It got kind of depressing
House of Sand and Fog
Hunger Point
I Do But I Don't Done Cute but not as good as Pink Slip Party
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell Tucker Max Done Funny
If You Could See Me Now Celia Ahern
In Full Bloom
Isabel's Daughter
Julie and Romeo
Kite Runner Done Excellent book.I was riveted
Last Year of Being Single
Life of Pi
Little Altars Everywhere
Little Earthquakes Done Excellent book for first time mothers.I think we all go through a little bit of everything that the moms went through in this book.
Little White Lies Done This was a great book.She's the sister of Sophie Kinsella.Not as good as Kinsella but good none the less.
Love, Rosie
Man Eater Done Cute, quick read
Middlesex Done fascinating but a little slow at times
Mr. Commitment
Mrs. Kimble
Multiple Choice
My Fractured Life
My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult
Name & Address Withheld
Not So Perfect Man
Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination
Our Lady of The Forest David Guterson
Out of the Blue Done Okay
Perfect Elizabeth Done Good read
Playful Parenting Lawrence Cohen
Playing Away Done A little slow at times but over all a good read.
Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities Alexandra Robbins
Plot Against America Done Good read.Very realistic has some good history lessons
Positive Discipline - The First 3 Years
Prep Done Excellent read.I really empathized with the main character
PS I Love You Done Good but the ending was kind of weird. This is actually being made into a movie with Hilary Swank
Raising a Happy Unspoiled Child
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Red Tent
Rescuing Rose Done This was a funny book.  I really like Isabel wolf books
Scenes From a Holiday
Secret Life of Bees Done Excellent book.It made me cry.I'm not really sure it's about strong women though.
She Went All the Way Done Sucks
Shopaholic and Sister Done Okay read
Slave to Fashion Done okay read
Slave to Love
Slightly Settled
Smart vs Pretty Done Okay.Kind of lame
Smart Women
Something Borrowed Done Excellent Read.Read very quickly and it was a page turner.Can't wait to read the sequel about Darcy
South of the Border, West of the Sun
Star Craving Mad
State of Fear
Straight Talking Done Good read
Sushi for Beginners Done Cute.
Tales of a Drama Queen Done Cute
Talking to Addison Done Funny. Quick read
The Answer is Yes
The Anxiety of Everyday Objects
The Birth Order Book Kevin Leman
The Bitch Posse
The Bonesetter's Daughter Done Another great read by Amy Tan
The Bookseller of Kabul
The Cold Six Thousand
The Da Vinci Code Done Excellent book.Makes you think about the bible and question why its so male dominated.
The Devil in the White City
The End of Vandalism Tom Drury
The Eyre Affair
The Historian
The Jane Austen Book Club Karen Joy Fowler
The Love Wife
The Man of My Dreams Done Good but not as good as prep
The Memory Keeper's Daughter Kim Edwards Done Excellent Book about a Dr. that gives a way one of his twin children at birth because she has down's syndrome
The Mermaid Chair Sue Monk Kidd Done Good book.Not as good as Secret Life of Bees but it was good
The Miracles of Santo Fico
The Nine Month Plan Done Ok
The Other Boleyn Girl Done Very good and an interesting read
The Other Side of the Story Done Just as good as her other books
The Photograph
The Playgroup
The Read-Aloud Handbook
The Reader
The Second Assistant
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Shadow of The Wind Carlos Ruiz zafon
The Sparrow
The Tenth Circle Jodi Picoult
The Time Traveler's Wife Done There were parts in this book where I just couldn't put it down.Other parts where it drags.The best was his final letter.
The Year of Living Famously
These High Green Hills
Three Junes
Tuesdays with Morrie Mitch Albom Done Quick and easy read.Wasn't as good as I thought it would be.
Unconditional Parenting Alfie Kohn
Undomestic Goddess Done Funny.Similar to her other books.Some parts slightly unbelievable but still laugh out loud
Vanishing Acts Jodi Picoult
Waiting Ha Jin Done Good.Not as good as I thought it would be though.About a doctor that waits a long time to divorce his wife and marry another only to realize that he did the wrong thing
Welcome to the Great Mysterious
What About the Love Part
White Oleander
White Teeth
Total Books =144 Books Read=58
Net To Read 86

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A New Blog

I just created this blog because I realized that the posts on my other blog seem kind of random and I thought that I would focus this blog on the books that I read.

My other blog is titled "Confessions of a Former Bookworm" but a reader commented that I still seem to read a lot of books. I guess I'm in denial about being a bookworm. Perhaps my state of denial indicates that I have issues...

This blog is under construction so check back later for my reviews. I'll probably go back and review some oldies but goodies (as in books I read a long time ago) in addition to what I'm reading right now.