Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Here it is....one of my favorites this year!!! I finished this some time ago but never posted about it - now I'm finally getting to it. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak ~ I can not even hardly tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Was it that the narrator of the story is "death"? Was it the author's choice of wording and powerful description? Was it that the main character LOVES, LOVES, LOVES books and loves them so much she even resorts to stealing them? Was it that it was set during WWII in Germany and it deals with the Jewish Holocaust?? I do not know all of my reasons - just that I think it is one of the best books I've read this year and I'm telling everyone to read it!! (And as a side note - to those that I have had read it - they've loved it!!!) In our library - this book is in Young Adult - but I do think it crosses over into adult as well. A side note my husband said I should add - (By the way - HE LOVED IT TOO) there is quite a bit of swearing in the book - it's in German, but it is translated the first time it is used. Just wanted to give a heads-up on that. I would say it would not stop me from giving it to my boys to read though. An even better description of the book can be found here. One other note - I loved this one so much that I ran and read his next book I Am the Messenger. HATED IT!!! It is filled with "trash", in my opinion, very slow starting, and when I forced myself to keep reading - I never felt it redeemed itself. He should have stuck with history!! If you want discussion questions, the only place I have found them is here.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I just finished When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. This was a very good book - it does claim to be a Christian novel - but it is not too "pushy" on the Christian aspect - you can take that as a good or bad thing. The story is quite good and very well-told. You meet a man who is mourning the loss of his wife to heart issues. Of course, since he was a doctor, her death was extremely difficult on him - especially so since he was working in the cardiac/heart specialty to cure her. As he is trying to "hide" from his past, he relocates and meets a little girl, Annie, who is also suffering from a heart issue. The only way Annie will survive is if a renowned surgeon - known for his specialty with smaller, intricate spaces - will operate on her - now, if only that surgeon will step forward......I'm not giving anything away - you know very early on who that surgeon is - it just takes the novel unfolding to tell us what happens to Annie and the doctor recovering from his wife's death. I did enjoy this story - in fact, I was near tears in a few parts - for the most part, I thought it was very easy to figure out what would happen, but the end does take a very dramatic and unexpected turn which lends for an interesting ending. I did enjoy this book and would recommend it - touching, well-told story.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Well - I finished House of the Scorpion today - after weeks of pushing through - which is very unlike me! First of all - I am NOT a science fiction fan - that was a big hold back for me - secondly, I had another book I really WANTED to read at the same time- that's not fair, is it??? But it did not reach out and grab me - the only reasons I kept plugging along were that 1) my husband LOVED it and I wanted to give it a good "go" and 2) I have to discuss it with teens in a program coming up here shortly. So - I did finish - I'm glad I did but I must say it just never held me. It does explore the issue of cloning and yes, as my husband said, I did empathize with the main character, Matt, who is "built" just for "parts" for a very wealthy landowner. Beyond that - I would have a hard time telling others to run right out and read it - but since my husband really enjoyed it - I will put a disclaimer on - If you love science fiction, I bet you'll really enjoy this one - if not, hang on - it's a long read!!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
A friend that has also adopted a daughter from China suggested I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. She told me that it has so much information on how women feel that are born in China - and, after finishing it, all I can say is "Wow!!" This book is so powerful. I have heard of foot binding and other aspects of "older" China culture - but this is so real when you read it - almost as if you are living with these ladies in China. In this story you follow Lily as she grows up in a typical poor Chinese home - from her foot binding to her arranged marriage to her arrangement with her laotung (her match with another woman friend - they are typically even closer than husband and wife in China just because of the roles that men and women are allowed to play). It was powerful and touching and ends full of regret and longing - it makes you look at all of your relationships in a whole new light. I am so glad I read it - not only to share a part of her culture with my daughter someday, but also because it is just another glimpse into friendships.