Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reading Report November, December

What I read in November and December 2014

Up From Orchard Street by Eleanor Widmer
Historical Fiction

Immigrant family of three generations living together trying to make it on New Yorks lower east side based around WWII era. The story hops around focusing on different characters throughout the book but is told from one narrators perspective.

This was a reread for me (for bookclub). It was fascinating hearing the group dissect the story and writing. I breezed through it the first time but reading it in regards to leading a discussion made me have completely different feelings about this one. I liked it through the first time, but was more critical the second time through. 

Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Childrens, Mystery

Encyclopedia Brown is a kid genius and notices, discovers and understands things a bit differently than most people. So when mystery's go unsolved Encyclopedia can find the answer. 

I read this and a few others in the series with my 8 year old. She LOVED trying to guess what it was that he figured out. I think she mostly liked flipping to the answers like she was in on the secret. 

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
New Adult, Romance

Moses has always felt cracked, broken and unwanted. In order to quiet the waters, he paints. And he's brilliant at it. Next door neighbor Georgia is determined to be his friend but he's not sure he needs any. 

I didn't love this one right away as much as I loved all other Amy Harmon books. I dont know if the characters weren't developed enough for me or if their relationship wasn't developed enough. I did keep reading though, but it was just ok for me.

Code Talker by Chester Nez with Judith Schiess Avila
Non Fiction, History, Memoir

Navajo men were asked to join in the battles of WWII for a secret mission. After they joined they were told they were going to help develop a secret code that the enemy's couldn't break. Chester was one of the original 29 code talkers.

This book was a memoir of Chesters life. It had a lot of story about growing up in the Navajo nation and trying to help his family earn a living, deciding ultimately that he could help them more if he went to school to learn to read and write English. I'd guess it's about half and half Navajo and WWII stories. I found it very fascinating. 

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
New Adult, Contemporary

Sydney often sits on her deck and listens to a stranger, Ridge, across the way play his guitar. One day he holds up a paper with his number and asks her to text him. Their friendship is bold and honest and understanding. From the start through the book. 

This is my first Colleen Hoover book and I loved so much about it. There were a few spots I had a hard time with but I loved the raw feeling of it. I felt often times I could describe the book or scene in one word: swoon. I must say though, that I like Sydney just as much as I like Ridge. I'll probably reread this one again.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Young Adult, Contemporary

When Sky meets Holder she's intrigued. At a chance second meeting she decides to get to know him. He's both her rock and what makes her world crumble. 

I'm an instant fan of Colleen Hoover after the last two books. I love the characters she develops and the connections they have. It may be because her characters seem more mature, grounded or open, I haven't decided yet, but I like it. This plot was a bit tough (without spoiling) but the story telling and writing made me stick with it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Marriage Monday: Choose The Course For Your Marriage

"Every couple needs to take conscious responsibility for choosing the course their marriage will follow."
-Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D. 

More from Neil Clark Warren here.

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Marriage Monday: Stay In Love

"I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one's companion. Any man who will make his wife's comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughout their lives and through the eternity yet to come." 
-Gordon B. Hinckley 

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reading Report October 2014

What I read in October 2014

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Historical Fiction 

A British spy plane crashes in Nazi occupied France. The two passengers on board are captured. Verity is asked to reveal her secrets, and the secrets of her country. To save her life, each day, imprisoned with the enemy, she writes a story. 

Well written, fun idea told through letters and flashbacks. I had a lot of folks tell me how good this one was so I was a tad disappointed that it didnt hold my interest as much as I was hoping (though more my fault than the books probably). It is rated highly on book sites though so if you like the genre chances are you'll like this one more than me.

Life In Motion An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland
Non fiction, memoir 

Misty Copeland is the only African American soloist to dance with the American Ballet Company. But to get there was no easy feat. 

Picked this one up for book club and then sadly wasn't even able to go that month so I didnt get to hear others thoughts or discuss it. I had a hard time with this one because other than being in the ABC it seems like the book was filled with, 'life was hard, then it got harder' or 'nothing I did was appreciated'. Misty sounds like she overcame a lot and has worked hard to get where she was, but it maybe could have been told better (different things added or taken out?).   It felt like I had to muddle through just to finish. 

Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen FinneyFrock
Young Adult

Starbird lives on Free Family Farm where everyone chips in and everything they have is everyone's to use. When Starbird leaves to be a waitress at the Family's diner she realizes there is an entirely different world outside the farm. And she might not want to ever go back.

Picked this up off the shelf at the library. It was both exactly what I expected (from the blurb) and also kinda surprising. Interesting, a little frilly, and a tad weird. 

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Fiction, Historical fiction, 

A recent empty nester, Sookie discovers something about her past that shakes her to the core. Her entire identity crumbles and she secretly tries to put the pieces together before anyone can find out.

This is my first Fannie Flagg book (though I loved the movie Fried Green Tomatoes). Told in a current time period with stories from the past (war era) the story is unraveled and woven to create a history Sookie never knew. Read this one for book club and enjoyed it ok. I do want to read another Fannie Flagg.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Marriage Monday: Nurture Your Marriage

"Keep  your courtship alive. Make time to do things together-- just the two of you. As important as it is to be with the children as a family, you need regular weekly time alone together. Scheduling it will let your children know that you feel that your marriage is so important that you need to nurture it. That takes commitment, planning and scheduling."
-Joe J. Christensen

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Marriage Monday: Gratefulness Makes Us Happy

"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy." 
-Albert Clarke

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Marriage Monday: We Need to be Loved

"I learned a long time ago that most people, including me, go through times when we are not very lovable. We get beaten up by stress, discouraged by our lack of success, overburdened by work, underpaid, sick or whatever. For short or long periods of time we need to be loved even though we don't merit it."
-Finding The Love of Your Life by Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.