Monday, January 16, 2012

Solomon’s Oak is a lovely novel of three wounded people who find each other.  Glory is a recent widow in her late 30’s that is trying to keep her head above water financially while also feeling buried by grief.  Juniper is a fourteen year old who has been abandoned by her father after losing both her mother and sister.  She is in foster care and living with Glory.  Joseph is a wounded former police officer who is trying to recover from a horrific injury.  

The three find each other and form a type of family.  The story is moving, frustrating, and terribly realistic.  It takes place somewhat locally and it’s fun to read about places I know of and that are part of my community.  I can’t say that I love the story or was blown away, but I will say that it’s good.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  It’s slow moving and emotional which can be frustrating for me if I’m not in the right mood!  I do recommend this book though.  The characters will stay with you.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hero by Perry Moore

I didn’t read Hero, I listened to the audio book, and I loved it.  Thom Creed is a super hero.  His powers are new, not quite controlled, and he is on probationary status with The League.  He’s also gay and a teenager.  All those things mixed together cause a bit of angst.  

I love superheroes and I think that Thom makes a great addition to the genre.  He’s growing and learning, becoming more powerful all the time, and is scared to tell his father that he’s gay.  He’s so absolutely human.  He wants his father’s approval so badly and I think many of us can relate to that feeling.  

The book is emotional, hilarious, and exciting.  Pretty much everything that a good book needs.  I definitely recommend Hero highly.  Just a note, it’s a young adult book but really should be read by older teens.  The language can be raw at times and there is one scene that might not be appropriate for younger readers - even though it’s very tame.  

I’d like to mention that the audio book was read by Michael Urie and he did a fabulous job. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

If you look over my past reading history, you’ll notice that Infidel is not a book that I normally would pick up.  Ever.  But that’s the funny thing about book clubs, they get you to read books you normally would avoid.  Infidel is the story of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former member of Dutch Parliament who grew up a Muslim home.  She was born in Somalia and moved from there to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, back to Somalia, back to Kenya, and finally to Germany and The Netherlands.  She now lives in the United States

Without a doubt, Ayaan is a strong woman.  She overcame unbelievable hurdles to make it to The Netherlands and start her new life.  She is someone to admire in that sense.  I don’t agree with all the choices she made in her life but I see that for her, there were no real choices.  

This is a great book for very interesting discussions.  It hits on tolerance, religion, culture and politics.  Consider it for your next book club.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wow. 2012.

At some point I lost my blogging mojo.  It was not a good year for me keeping up with this blog.  I'm just going to put it behind me and move on.  And try to catch up?  I have a ton of reviews that I didn't do.  Some I wrote for other places but never posted here.  And some won't ever get done.  Let's face it, life happens, things get busy and I let things (like this blog) go.  We'll see how 2012 goes. 

To close out the year (although I still need to get to some reviews), here are the facts. 

I read 58 books this year.  I listened to one audio book which brings my total to 59.  That's not as good as last year but I'm not surprised. 

I did meet my goal of reading at least 25 books from my existing stash.  I more than met that goal, so that's awesome.  Of course I acquired more books than I read so that was kind of a waste.  So maybe my goal this year will be to read more and acquire less.  Probably won't happen but it could. 

I did update the listing of the books I read in 2011.  The link is here.  If I've written a review, the book will have a link that will lead there. 

My top 10 books this year are. . . (in no particular order)

1.  The Search by Nora Roberts
2.  Across the Universe by Beth Rivas
3.  The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
4.  If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster
5.  What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity
6.  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
7.  The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
8.  The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (Audio Book)
9.  Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Okay, that was only 9.  I read a lot of good books this year but I'm having a hard time being "in love" with any of them.  Those top nine are probably the closest.  I really want to be obsessed with a book again.  I'm on the hunt.  Let me know of your obsessions.

I also joined a book club.  Yes, it's online so I still don't have to interact with real live people, but it's still a book club.  The first book was Frankenstein.  Okay.  Well then.  I had no idea the monster was such a chatty guy.  That book was completely unexpected.  I am very glad I read it but I'm never going to read it again. 

So that brings us to 2012.  Hooray!  I hope to fall in love with a good book this year.  I hope all of you do too.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles is a very special book.  It made me cry which is always a good sign because it means I grew to love the characters.  The story is about Cam, a seventeen year old with cancer.  She’s been fighting and surviving for years until she receives the news that there isn’t anything more the doctors can do.  Medically, they’ve reached the bottom of the barrel.

Cam deals with the news in a typical Cam way.  She acts tough and strong.   Her mother decides to take Cam and her younger sister to a town in Maine that is known for it’s miracles.  Cam doesn’t believe in Miracles but she is charmed by the odd little town and quickly sets about making miracles for other people.  

This story is really, very lovely.  The characters are all fantastic and really feel authentic.  Wendy Wunder created a little town that I’d like to visit.  One where the sun rises and sets in the same place, dandelions are purple, and whales leap at the same time every night.  This story will make you wish for a miracle too.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Prophecy - The Fulfillment by Deborah Jaeger

I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Prophecy - The Fulfillment, by Deborah Jaeger.  I thought it was a modern retelling of the virgin birth but I was slightly off in that assumption.  The story is actually about the second coming of Christ, but in a different way.

Jillian is a typical teenager.  After a breakup with her boyfriend, she learns that she is pregnant.  Not only is she pregnant, but she insists that she is a virgin.  It is difficult for her family to believe.  Even the doctors are baffled by the odd results to every medical test they can throw at her.  Things take an even odder turn as miracles start to occur.

At the same time that Jillian is going through medical testing, Stephen, a Biblical scholar, has begun to have prophetic dreams.  He understands that he is somehow to take Jillian away from the chaos and the danger that surrounds her.  He is to be her protector.

The story is exciting and very intriguing.  It's an interesting question to ask - what if the virgin birth were to happen today?  What kind of medical anomaly would occur with the Son of God?  While some of the scientific parts dragged, and the end seemed rushed, the book on a whole is very worth reading.  I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to anyone who has faith in miracles.