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.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Marriage Monday: Happy Couples Do This Work Gladly

"To be a good long-term lover, there's no free lunch, and there's no free love. Love that lasts takes work. Happy couples do this work gladly, reaping the benefits in body and mind."
-Mona D. Fishbane, PhD

I love how she starts out this article, "Falling in love is easy, and delicious." For those of us who've been in a loving relationship can't you relate to that? This article discusses what we can do and what happens when we're more settled in a relationship to get those fabulous feelings to stick around. She also discusses proactive loving vs passing loving. Check it out.

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.