February 2010 Book Challenege - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 132 Old 02-17-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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I read it and liked it . . . wouldn't rave but enjoyed it.
That pretty much sums it up for me -- likable but not rave worthy.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#62 of 132 Old 02-17-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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Man, it's been crazy busy at the office and getting tons of other stuff done around the house (taxes, school apps for dd, etc etc). Phew, I haven't had time to post in FOR-ever. How's everyone doing?

Despite being busy, I feel like I have a pretty good book pace going! I'm really clearing away the piles of books on my dresser and around my bed!

#6 Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith

One of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. It was sweet. I think the novelty has worn off for me though. I liked the story and the characters, but I can't imagine myself reading any more of them.

#7 The Wasp Eater by William Lychack

A story of a young boy and his dealing with his parents getting divorced. I really didn't care for this book. I was glad it was so short. I'm not sure if the author was really trying to be subtle in his storytelling style or trying to tell the story instead of explaining it in dialogue or something, but there were quite a few instances where I had no idea why the characters had so much "tension in the air" or what was motivating certain feelings in the characters. Frustrating.

#8 How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer

I really liked this book, which surprised me because I don't usually care for short stories. I picked this up in the "read and return when finished" shelf at my library b/c I liked the cover, I had no idea it was a collection of her short stories. I couldn't put it down though. They were all coming of age for young women stories or stories from gradeschool aged girls. Most of them had a taste of how cruel children/teenagers can be to each other. All were interesting plot lines though. A little dark, but good.

#9 Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham

Now this one was the winner of the bunch for me. This is a memoir of a man who was born in Vietnam and his family escapes after the Vietnam war and emigrates to the US. He has 5 or so brothers and sisters. His family is dysfunctional and he has a longing to do something different, find his roots. So he decides to bike from the Bay Area up the west coast to Seattle, flies to Japan, bikes down Japan and flies to Vietnam, visits family and then bikes from South Vietnam to North Vietnam. Really fascinating road memoir chapters alternated with chapters of self-exploration, family relationship examination and memories of Vietnam and what it was like when they first arrived in the US. Really good.

#10 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

We probably all know this one. Made a movie out of it with Matt Damon and the kid from ET. I LOVED this one too. Stayed up until 3am one night to finish it, and I haven't done that in ages. It wasn't quite as dark as I expected and I was surprised to see it's first in a trilogy. The other two books are on my list.

#11 The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Eh. Also was a movie, most notably one in which Nicole Kidman wore a prosthetic nose. I skimmed the last 50-75 pages.

#12 Sara Book 2 Solomon's Fine Featherless Friends by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Another good, simple book to learn about the Law of Attraction, but in a story/novel format. Good stuff if you are interested in LOA.
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#63 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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NCD, it took me til yesterday to notice the final word in the thread title.

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Originally Posted by fremontmama View Post
Man, it's been crazy busy at the office and getting tons of other stuff done around the house (taxes, school apps for dd, etc etc). Phew, I haven't had time to post in FOR-ever. How's everyone doing?

#6 Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
One of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. It was sweet. I think the novelty has worn off for me though. I liked the story and the characters, but I can't imagine myself reading any more of them.
#8 How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
#9 Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham
#10 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
I'm doing alright. Still doing PT twice a week and struggling financially and physically (and sometimes emotionally) with all of the side effects of being hit by a car in June. But certainly feeling better physically than I was 4 or 5 months ago. In October DD started going to school 3 days a week and right now she is really liking it. It's definitely a change and I'm guessing I'll feel the change even more when my days are less filled with accident stuff. DH has finished coursework and is working on his dissertation as well as teaching a class (as an adjunct) at the University of Denver. He loves teaching so much. My brother is now at the prison where he will most likely be for the rest of his sentence. Still wrapping my head around all of that. What kind of school apps are you working on for your DD?
I feel the same way about the #1LDA--I enjoy some of his other books more. I put 8, 9, and 10 on my word document of things to put on hold after Lent.

#40 One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
This one reminded me very much of Bel Canto in some ways. Passport and visa office, somewhere in the US. Earthquake, 9 ppl are trapped. Eventually one of them suggests that each of them tell about one amazing thing that has happened to them. I liked it. Not quite 5 stars, but good stuff.
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#64 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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I'm putting 8 and 10 on hold (I read 9 years ago). Thanks for the recommendations.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#65 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther
Iranian woman moves to London, marries a Brit and raises a daughter, always has homesickness. the story is set at a time when there is a crisis with the adult daughter that compels the mother to return to Iran. i found the history very interesting, and the mother's challenges within that history. however, the character development was not very strong, and the mood, except in parts, was too distant for my taste.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#66 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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#41 The Doom Machine by Mark Teague
I'm finishing this one up today. Cathe, I'm glad you encouraged me to read it, I'm enjoying it.
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#67 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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NCD, it took me til yesterday to notice the final word in the thread title.
That's alright ... apparently it takes me until somebody else points it out.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#68 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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Bit behind this month because I have been doing what I swore I wouldn't ~ reading multiple books at the same time.

4) Small Island by Andrea Levy

This novel examines class, race, and prejudice in London during WWII. It is written from the perspective of the four main characters, which I really liked because you got some insight into how each of them see each other and themselves. I enjoyed this book.
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#69 of 132 Old 02-18-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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I'm doing alright. Still doing PT twice a week and struggling financially and physically (and sometimes emotionally) with all of the side effects of being hit by a car in June. But certainly feeling better physically than I was 4 or 5 months ago. In October DD started going to school 3 days a week and right now she is really liking it. It's definitely a change and I'm guessing I'll feel the change even more when my days are less filled with accident stuff. DH has finished coursework and is working on his dissertation as well as teaching a class (as an adjunct) at the University of Denver. He loves teaching so much. My brother is now at the prison where he will most likely be for the rest of his sentence. Still wrapping my head around all of that. What kind of school apps are you working on for your DD?
I feel the same way about the #1LDA--I enjoy some of his other books more. I put 8, 9, and 10 on my word document of things to put on hold after Lent.
Oh, I am excited to hear what you think of Catfish and Mandala. I just requested his other book.

You sound busy! That's cool about the teaching for your DH! And I'm so glad you are feeling better since the car accident, I hope all those loose ends get fixed up for you soon. Healing thoughts for you And for you and your family too with your brother's situation.

School apps for dd, aaahhh, the pressure's off now, we're done filling them out for the one private school we'd really like for her kindergarten. I'd love to feel confident about the public school stuff, but the school district just changed everything around, basically taking away our control to choose a school, we automatically get the neighborhood school and our neighborhood school is not good, the kindergarten teachers were scary! Lame. So, we're hoping for a good situation with either this private school or hopefully getting into an "option" or alternative public school. We'll know how it all will shake out soon hopefully. Phew. I'll be relieved when the waiting is over.

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Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther
Iranian woman moves to London, marries a Brit and raises a daughter, always has homesickness. the story is set at a time when there is a crisis with the adult daughter that compels the mother to return to Iran. i found the history very interesting, and the mother's challenges within that history. however, the character development was not very strong, and the mood, except in parts, was too distant for my taste.
I read that book. I liked it, but also agree with your criticisms. I think the book could have safely been another 50-100 pages longer and given us a little more character development and explanation, I felt like there was much more story to tell. I think that was her first book, I wonder if she'll have another one?
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#70 of 132 Old 02-19-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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#42 Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess by Carolyn Meyer
I think this series is a sort of spin-off of the American Girl books (which I'm not a large fan of). Written as journal entries. Read it with my DD. The story of the Romanovs is something I've always been aware of but I learned at least a little more about their story from this book. I'd like to keep getting a grip on it.

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That's alright ... apparently it takes me until somebody else points it out.
awesome.

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4) Small Island by Andrea Levy

This novel examines class, race, and prejudice in London during WWII. It is written from the perspective of the four main characters, which I really liked because you got some insight into how each of them see each other and themselves. I enjoyed this book.
Added this one to my list.

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Oh, I am excited to hear what you think of Catfish and Mandala. I just requested his other book.

You sound busy! That's cool about the teaching for your DH! And I'm so glad you are feeling better since the car accident, I hope all those loose ends get fixed up for you soon. Healing thoughts for you And for you and your family too with your brother's situation.

School apps for dd, aaahhh, the pressure's off now, we're done filling them out for the one private school we'd really like for her kindergarten. I'd love to feel confident about the public school stuff, but the school district just changed everything around, basically taking away our control to choose a school, we automatically get the neighborhood school and our neighborhood school is not good, the kindergarten teachers were scary! Lame. So, we're hoping for a good situation with either this private school or hopefully getting into an "option" or alternative public school. We'll know how it all will shake out soon hopefully. Phew. I'll be relieved when the waiting is over.

Yeah, maybe I'll let myself put Catfish and Mandala on hold on Sunday. I think Sundays are technically exempted from Lent practices.
Thank you for all your good thoughts for me and my family.
I'll be interested to hear what ends up happening for school for your DD. Is she your only? My DD will be 6 next month.
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#71 of 132 Old 02-19-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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I haven't had a lot of time to read for myself as I've been busy with knitting olympics, but I've read some great books with my kids (4 & 7).

the Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich - We love Little House books and this was maybe even better!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - My kids loved all the anti-grownup sentiment and how I bawled at the end.

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright - Thanks for the rec! We're loving it.
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#72 of 132 Old 02-19-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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I'm so glad you liked Birchbark House. We loved it too. I just ordered it for my elementary school library along with the sequel. Can't wait to turn the kids on to it.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#73 of 132 Old 02-19-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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Yeah, maybe I'll let myself put Catfish and Mandala on hold on Sunday. I think Sundays are technically exempted from Lent practices.
Thank you for all your good thoughts for me and my family.
I'll be interested to hear what ends up happening for school for your DD. Is she your only? My DD will be 6 next month.
Oh Lent! I forgot about that And sure, always happy to send good thoughts. DD will be 6 in October and we have DS too, who will be 2 in about a week!

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I haven't had a lot of time to read for myself as I've been busy with knitting olympics, but I've read some great books with my kids (4 & 7).

the Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich - We love Little House books and this was maybe even better!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - My kids loved all the anti-grownup sentiment and how I bawled at the end.

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright - Thanks for the rec! We're loving it.
Oh, those Birchbark House books sound good! We're getting read to read some Little House books with DD. Actually, I'm sort of compiling a mental list of good books on CD for kids for our road trip coming up in April. I'll add that one.

#13 Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton

A memoir from a stay at home dad who used to be a food writer and restaurant critic. Pretty fun. Recipes at the end of every chapter. I enjoyed it. And hope to try a few of the recipes

Now I am trying to decide what to read next. I'm in one book club that meets regularly and am waiting for that book pick to arrive from my hold list. I'm also waiting for books on my hold list for 2 other very casual book clubs. And then I have 3 piles on my dresser of books I bought at the library sale or picked up from the "read and return when finished" shelf. These ones have been languishing and I just can't decide what to read next while I'm waiting for the book club books. I have a desire to tidy up those languishing book piles. Here's what's in them, help me decide!

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Six Wives of Henry the VIII by Alison Weir, A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, and a couple huge Harry Potter books.

Which one.....hmmmm.

Frightfully, this doesnt cover the 4 small piles of books tucked under my dresser b/c I ran out of room on top of my dresser.
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#74 of 132 Old 02-19-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Breaking out of Bedlam by Leslie Larson

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In her delightful second novel (after Slipstream), Larson injects a jolt of liveliness into the bleak setting of an assisted living home, thanks to the obstinate and crass narrator, 82-year-old Cora Sledge. The overweight, pill-popping Cora is placed in the Palisades by her children after they deem her unfit to care for herself. Once there, she begins writing in the journal her granddaughter gave her, her entries eventually revolving around a big secret from her past. Meanwhile, around the Palisades, Cora is often in the midst of—if not at the center of—resident feuds, both the victim and suspect of a spree of robberies and the recipient of a suave new resident's amorous attention. Perhaps not surprisingly, Cora decides to take control of her life, and as she questions the loyalty of those closest to her, she reveals intimate feelings and personal heartaches that have always been obscured by her rough exterior.
Cora can be a bit over-the-top at times and a few scenes made me squirm a little (geriatric sex, anyone?). The overall tone is humorous but the "secret" that Cora writes about has a sad ending. I am not having an easy time reviewing the book today so I will just leave it there.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#75 of 132 Old 02-20-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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#13 Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton

A memoir from a stay at home dad who used to be a food writer and restaurant critic. Pretty fun. Recipes at the end of every chapter. I enjoyed it. -- And hope to try a few of the recipes
I really enjoyed Hungry Monkey as well. Definitely a lot of ideas for how to incorporate my DD in cooking with us.

I'd recommend The Eyre Affair---very lighthearted and hilarious.

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#76 of 132 Old 02-20-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Oh, those Birchbark House books sound good! We're getting read to read some Little House books with DD. Actually, I'm sort of compiling a mental list of good books on CD for kids for our road trip coming up in April. I'll add that one.
We started the Little House books when DD was about 4 or 5, which imo is too young. There was more racism in the books than I remembered, so the Birchbark House is excellent to counter that sentiment.
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#77 of 132 Old 02-20-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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#43 Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Decided to re-read this one after Cathe read it recently. Really good stuff. It's funny how one always sees/interprets a book differently depending on what is going on in her life at the time. This time I thought a lot about how I want DD to see her parents in love/being loving to each other and we've got a lot of room for improvement in that area.

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The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright - Thanks for the rec! We're loving it.
Yay, I'm glad you like it!

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Oh Lent! I forgot about that
I'm sort of compiling a mental list of good books on CD for kids for our road trip coming up in April. I'll add that one.

#13 Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton

A memoir from a stay at home dad who used to be a food writer and restaurant critic. Pretty fun. Recipes at the end of every chapter. I enjoyed it. And hope to try a few of the recipes

Now I am trying to decide what to read next. I'm in one book club that meets regularly and am waiting for that book pick to arrive from my hold list. I'm also waiting for books on my hold list for 2 other very casual book clubs. And then I have 3 piles on my dresser of books I bought at the library sale or picked up from the "read and return when finished" shelf. These ones have been languishing and I just can't decide what to read next while I'm waiting for the book club books. I have a desire to tidy up those languishing book piles. Here's what's in them, help me decide!

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, The Six Wives of Henry the VIII by Alison Weir, A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, and a couple huge Harry Potter books.
1) you probably forgot about it because normal ppl don't associate reading habits with Lent.
2)Where are you going for your road trip?
3)Added Hungry Monkey to my list.
4)I vote for The Eyre Affair, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, or the HP.

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We started the Little House books when DD was about 4 or 5, which imo is too young. There was more racism in the books than I remembered, so the Birchbark House is excellent to counter that sentiment.
This is good to know, I'm hesitant about L.H. for those reasons and others as well, so maybe we'll pick up this instead.
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#78 of 132 Old 02-20-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Clarence Cochran by William Loizeaux

This was a juvenile novel about a cockroach that turns into a boy and tries to communicate with humans to save his family and friends from being exterminated. I read this because it was a new book to my library and I hadn't been able to get anyone to check it out. I read it so I could talk it up, but really it didn't thrill me. Guess this one will continue to sit on the shelf.

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

This was a disturbing book researching the events that lead to the killing in the mid-80's of a mother and infant by the Lafferty brothers.

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#79 of 132 Old 02-21-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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1) you probably forgot about it because normal ppl don't associate reading habits with Lent.
2)Where are you going for your road trip?
3)Added Hungry Monkey to my list.
4)I vote for The Eyre Affair, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, or the HP.


This is good to know, I'm hesitant about L.H. for those reasons and others as well, so maybe we'll pick up this instead.
Thanks for the vote on what to pick up next I don't know why I'm having such a hard time deciding

We're driving from Seattle to Portland and the Redwoods and then the Bay Area! We can't wait!

And yeah, the LH stuff, it's hard right? I didn't remember the racism either, and I can't decide if it makes a good discussion starter or not. Maybe we'll wait a couple more years. DD is only 5.5yrs.

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I really enjoyed Hungry Monkey as well. Definitely a lot of ideas for how to incorporate my DD in cooking with us.

I'd recommend The Eyre Affair---very lighthearted and hilarious.
Didn't Hungry Monkey make inspired cooking sound easy? I need the shove at our house, actually, we both do, we both tend to make the same things over and over.

2 votes for the Eyre Affair. Okay, I'll go that way Thank you! Hilarious sounds good.
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#80 of 132 Old 02-21-2010, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 The Men Who Stare at Goats
by Jon Ronson

My review can be found HERE


#3 Under the Dome (Audio)
by Stephen King
read by Raúl Esparza

My review can be found HERE


#1 Tales from Outer Suburbia, #2 The Men Who Stare at Goats, #3 Under the Dome (Audio)

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#81 of 132 Old 02-21-2010, 11:12 AM
 
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Under the Dome, King

Loved it.

Look Again, Scottoline

[QUOTE]thriller about an adoptive parent's worst fear—the threat of an undisclosed illegality overturning an adoption. The age-progressed picture of an abducted Florida boy, Timothy Braverman, on a have you seen this child? flyer looks alarmingly like Philadelphia journalist Ellen Gleeson's three-year-old son, Will, whom she adopted after working on a feature about a pediatric cardiac care unit. Ellen jeopardizes her newspaper job by secretly researching the Braverman case.[QUOTE]

There were parts of this that I really liked, and it was interesting to listen to as an audio book -- but at the same time I felt there were numerous loose ends particularly in the legal aspects of the book that were unusual for Scottoline.

#1-World Without End, #2-Giada's Family Dinners, #3 When You Are Engulfed in Flames, #4 Her Fearful Symmetry, #5 First Among Sequels , #6 Under the Dome, #7 Look Again, #8 The Lost Symbol, #9 Sea of Monsters, #10 Protecting the Gift, #11 Titan's Curse, #12 Never Tell a Lie, #13 Man in the Dark Suit, #14 Battle of the Labyrinth, #15 An Abundance of Katherines, #16 Shanghai Girls
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#82 of 132 Old 02-21-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright - Thanks for the rec! We're loving it.
Glad you like! It's such a sweet series.

#14 - Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden

I hadn't realized this was the second book about the same family by this author, and I'd like to go back and read the first one. This one alternates viewpoints between Will Bird, a Cree bush pilot in Northern Ontario who's in a coma, and his niece Annie, who has returned to her community after travelling to Toronto, Montreal and New York, seeking her missing sister. It was very readable, although I liked the Ontario parts better than the NYC bits, which felt a bit flat and stereotyped (skinny models, menacing drug dealers, lots of partying). Will's time in the bush, his growing sense of fear as he is persecuted by a local thug, and the suspense of wondering how he ended up in the coma are well done.
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#83 of 132 Old 02-21-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazaria

This was a nonfiction book centered around a teenage Honduran boy trying to get to the US to find his mother who came 11 years before to try to earn money to support her starving children. After all that time in the US, she is still barely making a living while her children miss her terribly. It is amazing what he and other migrants go through to try to get over the border.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#84 of 132 Old 02-22-2010, 02:44 AM
 
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#44 The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd
of the genre i call airport fiction. To give you an idea -- the author blurbs were from Lee Child, Patricia Cornwell, and James Patterson. Takes place largely in L.A. with key characters being FBI agents.

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Originally Posted by fremontmama View Post
We're driving from Seattle to Portland and the Redwoods and then the Bay Area! We can't wait!

And yeah, the LH stuff, it's hard right? I didn't remember the racism either, and I can't decide if it makes a good discussion starter or not. Maybe we'll wait a couple more years. DD is only 5.5yrs.

2 votes for the Eyre Affair. Okay, I'll go that way Thank you! Hilarious sounds good.
Oooh, that sounds like such a super lovely road trip. I've spent very little time on the West Coast but I really like it.
Yeah, the whole what books your child reads stuff gets pretty complicated. I vacillate between feeling like DD should be able to read whatever interests her and feeling like I want be super selective.
I hope you enjoy the Eyre Affair!
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#85 of 132 Old 02-22-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

Got an advance copy of this to review. I've always been fascinated by dolls and dollhouses and what it would be like in that world so I was very excited to read this book about two kids who find a magic key that allows them to shrink and enter the 68 dollhouse rooms in the Art Institute of Chicago. I liked the characters of Ruthie and Jack, as well as their teacher Mrs. Biddle. The writing was good -- kind of old-fashioned which suited the style of this book.

My critique is that I wished more of the story was about Ruthie and Jack actually in the doll house and not so much time spent on the logistics of getting to the museum and into the rooms. While I enjoyed this book, I would have liked it so much better if they had had more adventures in the house and in the worlds beyond. I also would have liked the pair to discover more about history through their adventures rather than having Jack spout so much of it. It seemed a little "reader feeder" at times. All in all, I'd recommend to 4-6 graders who are into fantasy books. I don't think there is enough action for reluctant readers but kids into books would probably enjoy this.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#86 of 132 Old 02-22-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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Potluck Club by Linda Shepherd and Eva Everson.

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Meet the Potluck Club--six women who gather each month to share their insatiable appetite for good friends, great food, and a pinch of prayer. Their seemingly unlikely friendship brings a little spice to life in Summit View, Colorado. But when they send up enough misinformed prayers to bring down a church, things get interesting . . . Evie's niece arrives with a broken heart and a big surprise. Lisa Leann tries to take over. Goldie's marriage turns sour. Donna stews over a strange encounter. Lizzie's librarian eyes are on the lookout for trouble. Vonnie must come to terms with a secret she's kept hidden from her best friends. But who knows what life will serve as The Potluck Club discovers that friendship is no piece of cake and a little dash of grace, like salt, goes a long way.

Christian fiction writers always seem to go out of their way to prove their Christian characters are just as human as anyone. Unfortunately, I think sometimes they go too far and present absurd characters instead of real people. I found myself laughing at a few of the characters in this book -- and I don't think they were meant to be funny. The character of Clay and his subplot were completely unnecessary and I still don't understand his purpose in the overall book. I ended up skipping the short chapters that involved him. Perhaps his role in the books is fleshed out more in the next one.

As far as Christian fiction goes this is not one of my favorites. I hope the second one in the series is better and the writers just needed to get their groove going.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
(1-04) (8-09)
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#87 of 132 Old 02-22-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewCrunchyDaddy View Post
#2 The Men Who Stare at Goats
by Jon Ronson

My review can be found HERE


#3 Under the Dome (Audio)
by Stephen King
read by Raúl Esparza

My review can be found HERE

I didn't realize that was a book, which of course it is, when has a movie not been a book first these days? Sounds fun.
Quote:
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Oooh, that sounds like such a super lovely road trip. I've spent very little time on the West Coast but I really like it.
Yeah, the whole what books your child reads stuff gets pretty complicated. I vacillate between feeling like DD should be able to read whatever interests her and feeling like I want be super selective.
I hope you enjoy the Eyre Affair!
It should be lovely! We really can't wait, we haven't been on a real vacation in a long time. A couple long weekends in the last 2 or 3 years, that's about it. So, a week on the road should be awesome!

And yeah, that subject of reading matter. It's a tough one, I'm a tiny bit picky, but mostly very open-minded. Sometimes I'm not up for the explanation required with the old books though, ykim?

And the Eyre Affair, thanks for the nudge you two. It's really fun!
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#88 of 132 Old 02-23-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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I've been on MDC hiatus for about a year, but I'm baaack!

Just wanted to pop in and say hi to all my old book challenge buddies...NCD, Bufo, Cathe, everyone else...hi!

Here are my first 2 books of 2010 (a little behind on writing reviews):

#1 The Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 2.5/5

Summary: After 17-year-old Ben’s dad announces that he’s gay, Ben rebels by skipping school and doing drugs. Then his dad decides they’re moving from the city to a small town in Montana. Trying to fit in while sporting a mohawk turns out to be the least of Ben’s problems.

Review: I wanted to love this book. I did love several aspects of it, and I am glad I read it. But it wasn’t one of my favorites.

What I loved:
  • The grit—The tough conversations between Ben and his dad were so real they were almost painful to read at times. In a good way.
  • The issues—Homophobia, child abuse, abandonment. The book takes on big-ticket issues with a capital I, but it didn’t feel like a thinly veiled morality play.
  • The funny—A quote and more at my review...

#2 Fire by Kristin Cashore
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5

Why I Read It: I loved Graceling, so this companion novel was a must-read for me.

Summary: Fire is part-human, part-monster. The monster part of her makes men wild and full-fledged monsters crave her blood. The human part has to cope with having the power to enter people’s minds and bend them to her will.

Review: I was a tad bit bummed to find out we wouldn’t be seeing the next round of steaminess from Katsa and Po in this book. But I need not have worried because parts of this story rivaled a sauna.

This book was a little slow getting off the ground, but it picked up in the second half. Part of that is that I had trouble clearly seeing Fire’s motivation in the first half.

What saved it for me and why I kept reading—aside from the yummy bits, of course—was that the world Cashore created is completely engrossing. I mean, monsters?! But I totally bought it from page one.

Also, did I mention the romance comes in the ever-so-delicious flavor of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet?

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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#89 of 132 Old 02-23-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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Snozz!!! We missed you. Great to have you back.

Guess what? I'm an elementary school librarian now . . . my dream job!

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#90 of 132 Old 02-23-2010, 10:37 AM
 
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cathe, that's so cool! Are you having a blast?

Expecting #2 in May 2013!

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