Friday, June 26, 2015

Reading Report May 2015

What I read in May 2015

by Laurie Halse Anderson
Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary

Melinda called the cops to the biggest party of the year. Everyone hates her now. She's a different person now. She's alone and she doesn't mind because something bad happened.

I have a hard time reading books at their peak of popularity so I figured enough time had passed that I could pick this up. Good story telling. Ok book (might have been I was expecting more from the hype). 

Ready Player One 
by Ernest Cline
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult

In the future the world is grim but the online Oasis exists to help people escape the decaying reality. Wade Watts is a geek extraordinaire whose hobbies include studying pop culture and video games from the 80s.   When the Oasis creator dies, he leaves his entire fortune to the winner who finds his easter egg in the Oasis, and Wade thinks he's got a fighting chance. 

This has been on my to read list for a while and I needed something to listen to while doing massive amounts of gardening and yard work. I'm not normally a science fiction reader but this was just the right amount I can handle. I loved the 80s references, and computer/gaming talk (because I got it!), and I liked the world that Cline built. A fun ride.

These is my Words
by Nancy E. Turner
Historical Fiction

Sarah travels with her family across the plains and eventually settles onto a ranch of her own. The diary is written during her young teenage years through adulthood. Adventures take her from the plains of Arizona across Texas during the late 1800s. 

This was a reread for me. I hosted my Idaho book club in May but I had the opportunity to meet Nancy Turner with my Utah book club back in 2009 (the first author of many for me).  Sarah is a strong, capable, hard working, but tender character. Adventures, heartbreak, love, growing up, learning, and along the way humor too. I'd recommend this to anyone and it's a fun book club pick too.

January 2009

Monday, June 22, 2015

Marriage Monday: Crucial Elements in a Rewarding Romance

"Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements
 in a rewarding and long lasting romance."      
   -Dr. John Gottman

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reading Review April 2015

What I read in April 2015

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend 
by Katie Finn
YA, Contemporary 

Gemma gets dumped by her long term boyfriend at the beginning of what was going to be a packed summer with him. Her plans ruined, she begrudgingly goes to the Hamptons with her Dad. The last time she was there was one of the worst times in her life, she's hoping not to repeat it. 

I was disappointed I didn't like this book. I like the author and had hopes. I thought it was superficial with no redeeming value. The bad and evil was so extreme and I always trying to guess a few steps ahead (and I was right). I realize this is a series but I felt like there was too much destruction to want to try to keep reading. I will try another by this author but not in this series.

One Plus One 
by Jojo Moyes
Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Jess is doing her best to make ends meet, even just trying to make enough to keep the electricity on. Her daughter is invited to a prestigious, but expensive school. Even with the offer of a generous scholarship she can't figure out a way to make this dream come true. Then there is a math competition a few hours away, and if they can make it, this may just be the answer. In a weird turn of events practically a stranger Ed drives the family across the country. 

Fabulous. Engaging. Sad, funny, crazy. Jojo Moyes really writes masterpieces. This is my third book and so far I've loved them all. The characters are deep and brilliant. The plot is fun, real and raw. And the story telling is masterful. I've got two more Jojo Moyes books in my tbr pile, looking forward to pick them up soon!

by Julie Andrews Edwards
Childrens, Contemporary

Mandy is a young orphan in a home for girls. One day during her explorations she finds an old run down cottage. She looks forward to fixing it up and having something of her own.

This was one of my most favorite books as a kid, in fact my copy is practically falling apart. I figured it was time for a reread. I'd recommend this for the young reader, elementary to early jr high age.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Marriage Monday: Conflict is an Opoortunity

"Conflict is an opportunity to learn to love our partner better over time." 
-Dr Julie Gottman

I read this over and over trying to decide what I thought about it. And then it was pointed out, not love our partner MORE, it says love our partner BETTER. Interesting. 

What are some ways that I can love better (in general)?
What are some ways that I can love better (in this situation)?
What are some ways that I can love better (right now)?
What are some ways that I can love better (that my partner will appreciate?)
What are some ways that I can love better (over time)?

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Marriage Monday: Satisfied with Sex, Romance and Passion in Marriage

"The determining factor in whether wives feel satisfied with the sex, romance, and passion in their marriage is, by 70%, the quality of the couple's friendship. For men, the determining factor is, by 70%, the quality of the couple's friendship. So men and women come from the same planet after all." --John Gottman, Ph.D.

What are ways you can increase the quality of your friendship with your spouse?

What are ways that you think your spouse would appreciate?

What is something you can do this week to make your 
friendship stronger with your spouse?

What is something you can do this week to make your 
friendship more fun with your spouse?

What is something you can do this week to connect more with your spouse?

Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Reading Review March 2015

What I read in March 2015

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
New Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Aging out of the foster care system, Victoria has never been able to get close to anyone or interested in anything. Though one thing stuck with her, flowers and their meanings and how they spoke to people. This book follows Victoria over about two decades and how she struggles to understand herself and how people interact with her. 

This book fascinated me. This was one I had a hard time putting down and read it in two days. While I didn't understand Victoria's childhood, it was interesting to see how someone could live through that and how they may end up interacting with the world as an adult. I enjoyed the flowers and their meanings and how it was a bright spot in her life. 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Classic, Historical Fiction

Blurb taken from Goodreads "To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos."

Picked this one up again to read for book club, it has been years and years and there was many things I didn't remember. One of my book clubs has a handful of retired educators and English teachers and it is always fascinating to hear an extra little spice to these classic stories that years of teaching it brings to the table. If you haven't read this in a while, it's time to pick it up again.

Walt Disney: The Triumph of The American Imagination 
by Neal Gabler
Biography, Nonfiction, History

An exhaustive look into Walt Disney's life. This book begins with his great grandfather- how the influence of how he raised Walts father Elias to how Elias and Flora raised Walt and Roy, if that tells you how much this book covers. Tons of 'behind the scene' information, like inter office letters exchanged, conversations with animators, meetings leading to business deals, and how Walt started to dream up the iconic parks and more. To borrow a phrase from the blurb "a revelation of both the work and the man."

This book is huge clocking in at 880 pages or over 30 hours on audiobook. I opted for audio and listened to it over the course of many weeks here and there. I felt for the most part this book was very unbiased towards the business decisions and deals Walt or the company made though a few times I felt like there were parts where it was obvious the author had an agenda. Being as big a fan as I am I still learned a lot (good, bad and fascinating)!