Monday, March 30, 2015

Marriage Monday: You and Me vs

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Marriage Monday: Delightful and Enduring

[Image Source: Cranberryfries]

"I know it is hard for you young mothers to believe that almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with your husband. You had better be sure you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring. Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important. Encourage him. Be kind. It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive. Be cheerful. Don't be a whiner."
--Marjorie Pay Hinckley 

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Reading Review February 2015

What I read in February 2015

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
 Historical Fiction

When the Nazi's occupy Paris, 12 year old Marie-Laure and her father flee to her great Uncle's home. Marie-Laure is blind and her father builds her replica's of the cities so she can learn how to navigate on her own.
Young orphan Werner is put into Hitler Youth where he quickly discovers his talents at math and fixing radios is far above most. He's requested on a special assignment to track the resistance.

An interesting insight to others also in the middle of the effect of World War II (this book specifically set in France). I thought Doerr gave a perspective to the young boy Werner whose talent earns him a spot working with the Hitler Youth and the information he was fed. As a reader I felt like it gave a face to many who were involved though didn't understand the extent of their actions (and like most didn't really have a choice).

Panic by Lauren Oliver
 Young Adult

Panic is a legendary game for graduating Seniors with a lot of money at stake. Like $60,000. Two unknown judges set up elaborate risk/dares all summer and one by one people are eliminated until at the end of summer one collects all the money. Heather never considered for a minute that she'd be part of the Panic crowd until one night she's pushed too far and she realizes this may be the only way. 

I picked this up purely because it was a Lauren Oliver title. I was back and forth the entire book. I liked Heather and watching her realize the depth of her strength and determination. The premise infuriated me (huge risks, some resulting in death). However I started thinking of this book more as fantasy, ala Hunger Games and I was able to enjoy the book for it's story telling merit (with the exception of a point at the end that was just a bit too cheesy for me).

The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyes
 Romance, Fiction

Jennifer wakes in the hospital in 1960 to the news she's been in a car accident and has amnesia. Upon returning home, trying to put the pieces back together she can't escape the feeling she's in a cold and distant marriage. Going through every item in her house trying to regain memory she finds a heart felt letter from a man who's not her husband, only signed B. Jennifer feels finding out who B is might bring her happiness. In 2003 Ellie finds this letter and hoping for a happy ending for herself she tackles the task of finding out what happened to Jennifer and B. 

I had read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and knew immediately I'd need to find more of her books. This one did not disappoint. I was enraptured the entire time. I read this in a 1.5 days. Involving two different loves stories this book is packed so don't get confused with the different POVs.

The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone
Fiction, Childrens, Historical

11 year old Flissy grew up in London but with the onset of WWII her parents take her to Maine and deposit her with relatives she's never met before. The crazy cast includes her grandma, Uncle Gideon, Aunt Miami, and Captain Derek, a boy her age. Flissy notices Uncle Gideon received a letter with her father's handwriting so she enlists the sleuthing skills of Derek to help her figure out what where her parents are and what they might be up to.

Picked this up at the elementary kids book fair.  The cover suggested something far more enchanted and perhaps cute romance though was more historical fiction and mystery. Other than feeling dooped by the cover the book was ok. I thought it slow but for younger readers it may be be just fine.

If interested:

Goodreads: Shelf- Read
Pinterest: Books I read in 2015
Pinterest: Books I read in 2014
Pinterest: Books I read in 2013
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Pinterest: Books I read in 2011
Pinterest: Books I read in 2010

Monday, February 16, 2015

Marriage Monday: Small Things Often

It's the small things done often that make the difference. Dr Johm Gottman

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reading Report Review January 2015

What I read in January 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of 
The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
Non Fiction, Memoir, Humor

Cary Elwes recounts his experiences while working on the movie The Princess Bride. Even including stories of what everyone was doing before they were cast into their roles. The book also has memories and stories from other notables like Robin Wright, Rob Reiner, Mandy Patinkin, William Goldman, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal and others.

I listened to this one on audio because Cary Elwes actually reads it himself. It was a neat behind the scenes type book with additions from several people involved in the film. Cary shares a few fun stories of the beloved Andre the giant and several other encounters and bloopers with other cast members. The Princess Bride book is one of my favorite books I reread often and I, like many many others, love the movie, so I was confident I'd love this book. And I did. :)

Goddess Born by Kari Edgren
Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Clean, New Adult, Romance

Set in the 1700's Selah has a secret she must hide, she's a healer. When a local priest tries to court her, and is rejected, he begins to spread word that she's a witch. To keep her name clear she's devised a plan to wed, but when that goes awry she must think quickly before returning home alone.

I liked a lot about this book. A few things were bothersome (it almost felt like certain points had to be plugged in so the reader could connect all the dots before the reveal) but overall I liked it. I thought the plot was fun especially with the marriage of convenience and how the characters tried to deal with being thrown into that situation.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction

Told in alternating perspectives, Noah who we read about at age 13 and Jude who we read at age 16 are twins. At 13 Noah is a remarkable and motivated artist and at age 16 Jude is working her way through her mothers death and the drifting apart of her family. 

I became an instant fan of Jandy Nelson after reading her first book (which is not for the clean reader) The Sky is Everywhere. She writes beautiful, full of life, emotion driven stories. 

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Lani and Erin are best friends. Erin is confident to Lani's insecurity. So when the girls meet Jason it's only natural that Erin goes for him. Only Lani can't stop thinking about him and strikes up a deep friendship.

I picked this up at a friends of the library sale. I was hopeful for a easy going, sweet, well written story. Instead it felt choppy and watered down. The chapters lasted on average 2-3 pages causing the story to not feel like there was a lot of development (in either scenes or characters). I am surprised I actually finished it. I wouldn't recommend this one.

Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas
Historical Fiction, Adult

A small mining town in the mountains of Colorado in the 1920s is hit with a devastating avalanche. The book describes several families from town and how they felt living there or came to end up there.

Fascinating. Interesting. Sad but worth the read. This book feels so full because Dallas writes all we know about a character in 2-3 chapters and still at the end of the book it feels like we know the towns people and feel for their heartache. Read this one for book club and enjoyed the story line. I think I'll pick up another Sandra Dallas book. 

Atlantai by Ally Condie
Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction

Reviewed on my blog in this post.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Marriage Monday: First Concern

"When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy and your marriage will go on throughout eternity." 
-Gordon B. Hinckley

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Club Party with Ally Condie Spotlighing Atlantia

Several years ago my bookclub had the lovely Ally Condie as a guest author to highlight her book Freshman For President (it was a fun one I got to help plan). Since then we've been adoring fans of all her books and had her as a guest for her series Matched.  Last week she kindly invited us to a party to thank us for being so fun. We couldn't not turn it into another great party, this time for Atlantia. 

Atlantia by Ally Condie

Atlantia is a stand alone young adult novel about a young siren who has chosen to not reveal her true identity to her underwater community. She's always wanted to go to the above but without explanation she's left below with no more family. With nothing to lose she starts formulating a plan to finally get what she's always wanted, to see the sky.

We had a great discussion on the book and got to ask questions and hear answers straight from the Ally. I even asked one, but you'll have to ask me since it's kind of a spoiler if you haven't read the book.

Here's a few pictures from our party:

My friend Brook and Ally did fantastic with the decorations and goodies.
(Notice the poster? Big and little details everywhere.)

Representing both the Atlantia underwater and the above.

We each brought a favorite read from last year and wrapped them all in beautiful brown packaging. We then each got one and got to open our surprise book while we listened to each other tell why we chose that one to share.

Aren't they pretty?

The group! As always we go all out.
(Can you spot the blue bats flying above us??)

These decorations! The delicious goodies! Seriously Brook & Ally did a fabulous job.

The beautiful cake by Meagan.

The details!

Drink stirrers by gnomesweetgnome etsy shop.

Ally had a fun gift for each of us. A jewel and a shell (pictured below). 
Book coordinating goodies, cool!

Some members of our bookclub love to give gifts. Tonights was a calendar of gorgeous ocean pictures.

Jenni, Jamie, Ally, me.