Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

This is my first Nicholas Sparks book (he also wrote the Notebook and A Walk to Remember-both movies). I heard they were good, so I thought I would give them a go. I had mixed feelings about it.

Summary: A single mom raising a special needs child gets rescued by a fireman when her car crashes. Typical romance ensues only said fireman also is carrying a lot of baggage and can't commit.

My opinion: Sad. I know the Nicholas Sparks books are often sad, but I almost think he was being sad for the sake of being sad. Let me give an analogy: I dislike when comedians are dirty not just because I dislike dirty jokes, but because they aren't really clever. I think good comics are the ones that make everyday stuff funny because that is clever. 12 year olds can think of dirty jokes, it doesn't really take talent.

That is how I thought of this book- to just kill off a few characters to make your story 'heart warming'. Like the shock value of killing off characters you wouldn't expect would make the book popular or something. I have read some sad books I really liked, but this one just seemed a little forced or something. And even though the ending is sort of good, it doesn't really make up for all the sadness. But there were some really good characters and conversations, so someone with different taste will probably like it a lot.

I guess I prefer sad books to be nonfiction. When it actually happened, that is one thing. But when you just make up a really sad story, I'm not a huge fan.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Austenland By Shannon Hale

I have been meaning to do this but lately just haven't had the time. A few weeks ago I finally got around to reading Austenland by Shannon Hale. It's been on my summer reading book list for awhile now, So I decided it was time. I had heard some pretty good reviews from various friends and was looking forward to sitting down for a light fun read. Austenland is a story of a 30ish single girl who was left a trip to England by an Elderly Aunt {who recently passed away} to join a 3 week, step back into time resort. There you must dress, act, and do all the activities and life events as one would have done if you had lived in 1818. From there the best way to sum it up is if you've seen Pride & Prejudice, then your all set.

Now, before I begin let me note that I had read Shannon Hales blog on "How to be a Reader" and I 100% agree with her that, to be a good reader you have to be open to the writers style and remember that this is the author's story to tale. Here's a little bit of what Shannon Hale had to say on how to be a good reader & so forth.

"You are half of the story. But in order to participate, you need to give up some control. You can't force the characters do say different things, do different things, be different people--you can only control your own interpretation and reaction to them. You need to allow the author to tell the story she's trying to tell. It may not be a good story, it may not be your kind of story, but if you don't try to play along, you're not giving the story a chance. And in the end you might not like it--there are an infinite number of reasons why this might be. But the author didn't fail you--the author just wrote a story that didn't click with your internal reader at this point in your life. You are responsible for half of that story. So you go find the next book, the next author that works for you, and as a team, you and the author tell a new story together. "

Again, I agree 100%. So as for my review for Austenland. This was just not my idea of a "fun" light read. ****SPOILERS*** First , I did not like how Jane, the lead heroine just HAD to get over her fascination with Pride & Prejudice and the whole Jane Austen world. What's wrong with it? The whole "Let's make out with Martin the Gardner" was just plain stupid & silly. I did try to make an effort in liking it BUT I found that I just could not like the lead character Jane. Yes, it did follow the whole kinda Pride & Prejudice feeling BUT Elizabeth Bennett would not have gotten up when board and decided to go make out with the Gardner.

So, I will try another Shannon Hale book later. To me, it just wasn't that cute or funny as I have heard others call it. If your looking for a light read, with a really cute love story to hold your interest, where the lead characters are at the center of the book, This is NOT your book.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale
By Diane Setterfield

Everyone has their idea of comfort. Maybe it's laying on the beach sipping pink lemonaide, maybe it's a log cabin - complete with mountains and snow, maybe it's a warm blanket, a fire and some hot chocolate, or maybe it's sitting inside your house during a hot Arizona summer - sweating and grouchy...well maybe not that one. For me, my idea of real comfort and tranquility involves quiet(something I rarely experience) cozing up with a soft balnket and a good book. It just doesn't get better than that!!

And that's just what happened this last week. I cozied up in my favorite chair, with my favorite blanket and read, no more like devoured this book. I devoured every page and then licked up the crumbs. I love good stories. I love when a book takes you into another world...A world that once you discover it you have such a hard time stays with you - because you really did go there. I love witnessing talent and in this book you do. Diane Setterfiled is and AUTHOR. And I decided...if I am ever an author...if I ever write a book ...I would rather write one great book, one piece of art, than a 100 mediocre novels. Well done Ms. Setterfield!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

by Elie Wiesel

Beautiful, gripping and utterly horrific. This book was difficult to read, it's difficult to know these things happened in OUR world. The same world that I live in now. The same world that I brought two innocent children into. It's difficult to learn and know these things....and yet I feel it's absolutely necessary. We need to know. We can't let their lives and voices be ended. We must give voice and thought to their lives. That's what I would want...if I were them. Review

In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Hi there. My name is Bonnie. I'm Melanie's sis-in-law. I LOVE to read, just like all of you. I have 5 kids, ages 12,10,7, 4 and 5 months. We are a busy but happy little group. I just finished reading the Fablehaven series, again. Love those books. Now I'm looking for something new to read. I think my next book will be Wicked. Have any of you read it? I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Ultimate Gift

I have really not been reading lately and I have started several books, just to put them down and not finish them. My sister saw this movie and recommended the book and so I sat down to read it. It is a quick read, doesn't take a lot of time but the lessons I have learned from this book I will remember always. I only wish it went into some more detail about his experiences, that was the only drawback.
The book is about an older very rich gentleman who has always given his family everything they wanted. When he passes away he divides his assets among his family, but to his selfish, self-centered nephew he gives what the uncle calls the ultimate gift. Through a series of requests and actions, the nephew does receive the ultimate gift from his great-uncle which is worth more than all the money in the world....
Now I gotta go check out the movie, see how it stands up to the book.