Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Missing by Beverly Lewis

 Description: Twenty-one-year-old Grace Byler longs to find her missing mother and to uncover the secret that drove her to leave them three weeks before. Grace suspects the reason has to do with her father and his reserved, uncommunicative ways. This conviction led Grace to break off her betrothal to her quiet, staid beau, and she is now resigned to remain single. But when the young Amishman she thought was courting her best friend takes a sudden interest in her, Grace is befuddled and wonders if he can be trusted. "Englisher" Heather Lang has come to Amish country to relive fond memories of her mother and to contemplate a grave medical prognosis of her own. While in Bird-in-Hand, Heather meets Grace Byler and the two young women strike up a fast friendship, amazed by how well they click. Following the only clue they have, Grace and Heather travel together in hopes of finding Grace''s mother and bringing her home. Will they find what they''re looking for...or something much more?

Review: It was much better than the first book in the series, which seemed to drag a bit. It was interesting to see how the storylines in the book are starting to pick up both on the Lettie and Heather side of things, with the Grace storyline sort of just linking the two of them. Hopefully the third book, which is due out in April, will tie up the storylines.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010 Chick Lit Challenge


The Chick Lit Challenge 2010 runs from January 1 - December 31st. The goal is to read at least 8 chick lit books during the year. Books can be listed ahead of time or as you go along. Books can also be used for multiple challenges.

Here are my books:
1) Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
2) The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
3) Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
4) Size 14 is Also Not Fat by Meg Cabot
5) Big Boned by Meg Cabot
6) Watermelon by Marian Keyes
7) Learning Curves by Gemma Townley
8) The Devil Wears Prada by Laura Weisberger
9) A Weekend in Paris by Robyn Sisman
10) Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

2010 reading resolutions

Here are my reading resolutions for 2010:

• To spend more time at home reading. I spend way too much time online at home and need to spend less time online during the day and spend more time reading

• To reduce my library collection and to either donate my books to a good cause or give them to somebody who would also appreciate them

• To make an effort to read genres I haven't read or don't like reading.

• To finish a book from my bookclub that I am not presenting and to finish a former selection of my book club.

• To read at least 50 books and 15,000 pages during the year.

• To reduce the number of books that I have out from libraries at any one time. Libraries are like my crack cocaine and I also seem to bite off more than I can chew. In other words I tend to borrow more books than I can possibly read at one time. I am possibly thinking of limiting myself to 10 books from my public library and about 3 or 4 books from my church library.

• To read something like Anna Karenina or Moby Dick or The Count of Monte Cristo and to finish it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Description: Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean, miserable, bitter old man with no friends. One cold Christmas Eve, three ghosts take him on a scary journey to show him the error of his nasty ways. By visiting his past, present and future, Scrooge learns to love Christmas and the people all around him.

Review: Enjoyed it. It was the second time that I have read the novel and it was interesting to read the book again, especially after watching the most current version of the movie. I found it not only a good book, but also something that one should take to heart all the year round.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Book Reviews

I finished two books yesterday and here are the reviews for the books:

Book One:
The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller.

Description: [Timothy Keller] uses one of the best-known Christian parables to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.

Review: A very interesting and thought provoking book. While most of the book seemed to be discussing parts of the parable that I already knew and understood, but what was most interesting was his discussion on the eldest son, which rarely gets a worth mention at all in most sermons that I have heard on the parable. Recommended.

Book Two:

The Secret by Beverly Lewis

Description: In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered. Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment. Heather Nelson is an English grad student, stunned by a doctor's diagnosis. Surely fate would not allow her father to lose his only daughter after the death of his wife a few years before. In denial and telling no one she is terminally ill, Heather travels to Lancaster County--the last place she and her mother had visited together. Will Heather find healing for body and spirit? As the lives of four wounded souls begin to weave together like an Amish patchwork quilt, they each discover missing pieces of their life puzzles--and glimpse the merciful and loving hand of God.

Review: If you have read any of Beverly Lewis' previous books, you can probably get through this book in short order. It was a good read, especially to pass the time as I either was waiting for a bus or riding on the bus to and from work. It is one of the more lighter pieces of fiction that I enjoy and thought that the storylines were intriguing, but mostly liked the storyline with Heather, as there wasn't much and when there was something, it wasn't connected at all to the primary storyline. I hope that the next two books provide more of the Heather storyline, but what one hopes and what one gets are two different things all together. Recommended for those that have enjoyed Ms. Lewis' previous work.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bronte Challenge

I discovered a great challenge. Its to read, watch, or listen to a books by the Brontes. I plan on watching, as I have too much to read at this time and I would like to just sit down for an evening and watch a good miniseries.

Here are the three that I plan on watching:
Jane Eyre (2007 Masterpiece Theatre)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996 - Masterpiece Theatre starring Tara Fitzgerald and Toby Stephens)
Wuthering Heights (Masterpiece Theatre 2009)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Frustrated...a tad

Last Thursday I got a call about a book club that I belong to and found out that the meeting is this coming Saturday. I was a little pissed off, as I thought that it would be towards the end of the month. I am a little mad that I hadn't known at least a couple of weeks prior to and the fact that I have something up that evening that I have to be at around 5 pm makes me even more mad, but honestly, I could have said no to volunteering that evening, but then if we had been able to meet a couple weeks later I would have had the book done.

I am mostly pissed off at myself but there is nothing to do but making sure that I read as much as I can over the next two days, but with the thickness of Anna Karenina, I don't know how much more I can get done. Hopefully I can get the first half done.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Reading Challenge

I went to the library and got a bunch of Christmas themed books. I don't know exactly what my books will be, but here is a tentative list of books that I plan on reading:

• A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
• Grace by Richard Paul Evans
• Christmas vows : $5.00 extra by Lori Copeland
• The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
• A wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
• The Christmas Basket by Debbie Macomber
• Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
• Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn
• Finding Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn
• Sarah's Song by Karen Kingsbury
• Gideon's Gift by Karen Kingsbury
• Finding Noel By Richard Paul Evans

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gretzky's Tears ; Stephen Brunt

From Renowned sportswriter Stephen Brunt reveals how "the Great One," who was bought and sold more than once, decided that the comfortable Canadian city where hockey ruled couldn't compete with the slushy ice of a California franchise.

Bobby Orr's career ended prematurely, with tears. Wayne Gretzky's tears, unlike Orr's, announced not an ending but another beginning. Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers had four Stanley Cup victories, but Gretzky may then have had other goals in mind.

Beginning with his dad, Walter, and continuing with Nelson Skalbania, Peter Pocklington, Bruce McNall, Jerry Buss - and with the CBC's Peter Gzowski as chronicler for the eager masses - the enormity of Gretzky's talent attracted all sorts of people who were after a variety of vicarious thrills.

Review: I really quite enjoyed it being as I am a hockey fan and have followed much of the exploits of what happened in regards to the NHL expansion since the mid-1990s and the eventual downfall of the game in the Southern United States. It was not only interesting from from my prospective as a hockey fan, but also as somebody who is interested in history and has been following the news stories in regards to the Phoenix Coyotes, which were once located in Winnipeg and were called the Jets and can recall the moves of various and formation of teams since 1994.

I also liked how Brunt integrated the climate of Canada as a country at the time of the Gretzky "trade" with the events surrounding his departure. While I was alive at the time and probably saw it on the news the day of the event, I recall the Ben Johnson scandal that hit the fan in the next 3 weeks afterwards. Its strange how one recalls certain events and not others, even though both are significant in terms of one's sporting history, especially when they occur within a few weeks of each other.

New Author Challenge

I am going to attempt to read 15 new authors in 2010. Most likely they will be books that I all ready own and haven't attempted to read. I am also considering reading authors in genres that I don't particularly like, ie. fantasy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

WWW… Wednesdays!

I found this reading meme. I thought it was neat and plan to be involved with as, it allows me to show what I am actually reading and asks these three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish?

What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers
What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading "Gretzky's tears" by Stephen Brunt. I just started it and its an interesting view of the NHL and hockey culture in the last 30 years surrounding the NHL and hockey in Canada and the United States.

What did you recently finish?

I finished "The White Queen" by Philippa Greggory. Excellent book. I really liked how the book was narrated. Highly recommended.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Anything on the side bar of my blog; more likely I am going to be reading "The Secret" by Beverly Lewis.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The White Queen

I requested this book with absolutely knowledge as to what the book was about and simply because of the author and also because I had seen the book in a local bookstore and also because I didn't want to spend the $34 CDN for the hardcover and for a book that I probably wouldn't pick up for at least a year or more.

In any case, I really enjoyed it. What I liked about the book was that not only was it very lyrical, but I found it rather enjoyable, especially since it is about a period in English history that was filled with upheaval. I have no prior knowledge of the period about the War of the Roses, except that it was fought between the Houses of York and Lancaster and that it involved a family called the Pastons. So basically I went into this book with very little knowledge of this period of English history and having not read any of Gregory's books.

But after reading this book over the past 2 weeks has made me want to know more about this period of English history and I can't seem to find anything that is worth reading from this time period. I would love to know more about this particular Queen Elizabeth and her role in English history.

So basically I was driven by the fact that I wasn't willing to spend the money for the book and I can't wait for the next book in the series, which apparently is called the White Princess, at least that is what I have read that is going to be, but I could be wrong.

I really liked the book and if you like historical fiction and like Greggory's writing style, I would highly recommend it. I haven't read any of her other books, but that being said, its a good book and is something that is good for the ride home on the bus/train/subway or for a period of time that you have a lot of time to read.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Christmas Reading Challenge

Don't have a book chosen yet; will post it as soon as I have a choice or two. I have to see what I can get through a library until about Christmas or whatever I can find at home.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Why I love reading

I was reading a book on the way home from work today and I started to think about why I love reading. There are many reasons why I love reading but I suppose the main reason is that I enjoy escaping to a different time and place; to be transported to a place or a time that doesn't exist in my own world, that is a part of my daily routine. I sometimes love being transported to a warm, summer's beach on one of the many cold and rainy evenings during the fall and winter. I like being transported to a time that I couldn't possibly even go back to and to a place that I can only dream of visiting. I sometimes get a little sad when I have to part with characters that I have grown to love and cherish, almost as though they are a part of my own family and circle of friends.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Books and Libraries

I love reading, don't get me wrong, and I love libraries and exploring them and I have found gems that I wouldn't have otherwise have found had I not explored the bookshelves of my local library (if you can count the online catalogue as bookshelves, but I have found books by just picking them up from the library). Anyways, it seems that whenever I step into a library or a bookstore, I can't help but come out with a bunch of books in my hands. I know that I am taking more than I can possibly read, but some of them are so good that I don't want them to slip from my hands. I suppose you can call me a book whore and maybe I should try to control my urges to get my hand on a new book. I guess this isn't the time of day to decide.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Additions to 2010 Books I want to read before I die

There are six books that I want to add:

• Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
• A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
• The Russlander by Sandra Birdsell
• Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
• My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
• Unless by Carol Shields

Hopefully I will be able to read them

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Books I want to read before I die for 2010

Here are the books I wish to read for the challenge, Book I want read before I die for 2010:

• The Reason for God by Tim Keller
• Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
• The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
• The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
• The Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
• The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels
• Marie Antoinette: the journey by Antonia Fraser
• The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
• Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
• Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
• Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
• Life of Pie by Yann Martel
• In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
• To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

First Post

This is a blog about the books that I read. I will likely link to my LiveJournal account, where I have also posted about the books I read. If I post there, I will post a link here and vice versa.
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