Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Addy An American Girl Series book 4,5,6 by C. Porter

My daughter and I read these out loud over the summer for her Liberty Girls club. They are cute little historical fiction books about a girl named Addy. She is black and was a slave. Her family escapes and tries to make a new life being free in the North. Her brother fights in the Civil War. They were interesting and informative to read because they incorporated so much of the culture and the attitudes toward blacks during that time period. They each had a special message about standing up for what you believe and not giving up when it is hard. They were always talking about the power of HOPE even if it seems like everything is going wrong.

Whole Books

Stay out of the Dog House!

Ha Ha, so funny...

A Dog's Life by Anne M. Martin

This is an autobiography of a stray dog. I'm glad I am not a dog. This was a very very boring book. We kept listening to it because we thought it might get better. It didn't...the poor dog went through all kinds of adventures but nothing special or remarkable. Luckily it had a happy ending with the stray dog finally finding a human to spend the old dog days with to the end.

Whole book

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

This was a good book. It even made me cry! It takes place in thelate 1930's during the Great Depression in America. I love the descriptions from a little boys point of view, especially the vampire scares.-- And the library! I laughed at the funny impressions he got of librarians. "I have a treat for you!" He knew that librarians and little kids think treats are very different but he pretended to be excited when she showed him the huge civil war history book.
This was a great read-out-loud book. The kids enjoyed it too.

Whole Book, Healing Book

Friday, December 05, 2008

35 books, falling short this year!

sheez...we moved to Utah and I stopped reading! Yikes! My goal this year was to read 50 books and I am only at 35...I need 15 more and that is almost a book a day! I don't even have a library card because I don't pay utility bills! They won't give me one if i don't have a utility bill at the address we are staying! I did borrow one from my sister for half the summer but I usually just got books for the kids...
Okay lets see if I can still reach the goal...I did finish 3 books this week and started 2 others...uhh that isn't a book a day! Maybe I will spend all day tomorrow at a bookstore and find only short children's that is defeating the point of the goal. I could stop blogging so much and watch less tv and then I would have more time to read!
Uh, maybe I forgot a few books and haven't recorded them on the list...I better check with the kids and see if I missed any...panic!

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

I heard this was a movie but I haven't seen it yet. I think my mother in law recommended the movie a while back. I just happened to see the book at the library and took it home. Yep, it was a good book. Surprising and a little creepy, death sometimes is because there is so much unknown.

Pretty much the guy dies, he meets 5 different people that have been waiting for him to tell him something about their lives, ask for forgiveness or get forgiveness or teach him something important and then they can go on to the next part of heaven themselves.

What makes the book so very very interesting is this ordinary man's life. He thinks he didn't make a different or accomplish anything but because all of our lives are connected without even knowing it he made a huge difference to millions of people. He fought in the Vietnam war, or the war before that. He was a hero but never thought about it that way when he got back because of all the garbage and yucky things he had to go through as a soldier. He loved his wife, deeply. He hated his job but this was where he made the biggest difference in the world. Little things are big things. Some parts of the book were really sad, some were yucky because war just is, but some of the book was very inspiring.

I recommend it for a good fast read that will make you reflect on life and maybe see things from a new angle.

Healing Book

An Assembly Such As This (Book 1) byPamela Aidan

Fitzwilliam Darcy - Gentleman

I have wanted to read another Jane Austen but she is dead and can't write anymore. Luckily lots of writers like to pretend they know the rest of the story so this is a Pride and Prejudice rewrite but from Darcy's perspective. There are a lot of books like this out there but luckily my sister Danna found this series and recommended it.

It is really really worth reading if you are a Pride and Prejudice fan, which I am. I don't think it would make too much sense if you haven't read Jane Austen's book first. Darcy is the guy that is just weird and mostly banished from her book. But Austen's book is all from Elizabeth's perspective and her world. We don't ever hear what Darcy is doing the whole time the rest of the story takes place. In this book we can peek into his world and hear what he thinks about things. (Isn't that what every woman wants, to hear what the guy thinks?)

He has a dog, a horse and loves to spend time outside with them. He wakes up very early, he loves to read. He is a very shrewd but fair businessman. I never knew this from Austen's book. AND he is madly in love with Elizabeth by the second time he sees her but no one knows this. He won't even admit it to himself for a while and every time he comes around her it always goes wrong so she thinks he is a mean, snobbish guy and steers away from him for two thirds of Austen's book. Secretly the whole time he is struggling with himself because he wants to pursue her yet he can't stand her family and their rank in society, plus he would be a hypocrite because he just talked his friend out of marrying her sister for almost the same reasons. What a mess, what an interesting mess.

This novel is in three parts compared to Austen's one book novel. Bummer, I only checked out the first one because I didn't know it would be such a fast read. Now I am left hanging and really want to know what Darcy will do next. EVEN though I know what happens in the end already I don't know what happens from Darcy's angle.

Whole Book

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Elder Wirthlin passes away...

He was a favorite apostle of the LDS church. Died on the first day of Dec. peacefully in his sleep. I will miss him. I really liked his last conference address. If you haven't read it you should. It is about being happy and finding humor in challenges. Even if you bump your head or something, instead of grumbling or swearing you should laugh. "Come What May and LOVE it!" great advice!

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Little Princess & The Secret Garden both by Frances Hodgson Burnett

These are wonderful classics. Amazing how different it is from The Little Princess starring Shirley Temple version. My daughter and I read it together out loud. She then wrote a really good book report about her favorite parts. Here it is:

A Little Princess

This was a good story. It was exciting. I think my whole family should read it.
There was a girl named Sara. She started out very rich. She got more then she ever wanted. She was very nice and not the typical spoiled type. She was kind, generous and not stuck up. She acted like a royal princess.

Then her dad died and she lost everything abut her doll Emily. They made her a servant and she slept in the right hand attic next to Becky the scully maid. Sara had always been friends with this servant girl.

Sara, even though she didn't have money, she still acted like a princess. She worked hard. She didn't get much to eat. She taught the children French lessons. She had a good attitude.

One of my favorite parts was when Miss Michin gave her a basic book on learning French when she first arrived. When the French Master came in she spoke to him in fluent French. She had learned it since birth because her mom was French.

Another favorite part was later when she woke up in the usually cold attic instead it was warm and had a fire, warm blankets and food. she thought it was a dream and maybe even magic.

The sick man from India next door felt sorry for her. It was he that secretly gave her all these things. He was actually looking for her but didn't know it till later.

One time when Sara was out on an errand she was very very hungry. She found a four pence in the mud. She saw a little girl in front of a bakery. She asked the girl if she was hungry. The girl was hungrier then she was. Sara went into the bakery and asked for four buns. The bakery women gave her six. She saw hunger in her eyes and felt sorry for her. Sara took the buns out to share with the hungry girl on the street. She gave her five and only ate one herself.

Sara was finally found by the Indian Gentleman who actually had been her father's partner in the Diamond Mines. She was rich again. The man adopted her and took Becky with them. She was not a scully maid anymore, now she was Sara's personal maid. She always had plenty to eat and warm clothes to wear. Sara also got a dog for a pet.

I think Sara was very courageous. Even though she was poor and unhappy living as a servant, she acted like a generous little princess.
The End.

We also read this last month The Secret Garden. My son decided this was the best book he read all year and wrote this book report on it:

The Best Book I Read All Year

The Best Book I Read All Year was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is about a boy and a girl about 12 years old. They live in Yorkshire, England, in a Manor, which is a huge house with lots of servants and rooms. It is surrounded by the Moors and lots of Gardens. The main two characters are Mary and Colin.

Mary starts out being very lonely and very selfish. She is shown where the key is to a secret forgotten garden. She starts to weed the overgrown plants and helps the garden come back to life. Sometimes she hears strange crying sounds coming from inside the Manor. She discovers her cousin, Colin and they become good friends.

Colin has thought all his life he was going to die. He is sickly and week. His dad is a hunchback man and he thinks he will be just like him. Mary doesn't agree and talks him into thinking he could get better. Colin can't walk because he has sat in his bed most of his life being sick. He throws tantrums and bosses all the servants and doctors around.

One of the funny parts of the book is when Colin is having a tantrum. Mary marches in and stamps her foot, yells louder then Colin, telling him to stop it and tells him she won't be his friend or visit him again if he keeps acting like that. This surprises him and he stops crying. Mary tells him about the secret garden and he wants to go see it. This gives him hope that he can be a normal boy and make his dad proud of him.

There is another boy that lives in the neighborhood named Dickon. He helps Mary in the garden and when Colin wants to go outside he pushes his wheelchair. They all keep the garden a secret from the adults. As they help the garden come to life they each change inside. By taking care of something else they stop being so selfish and self-centered. They become more healthy and happy being outside in the garden. They all become good friends and help each other.

I wish I had a secret garden so that I could play there. This was the best book I read all year.

The End

both are Whole books

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

SPOILERS and of course a bit of critique. Don't read any further if you don't want the plot discussed and the details of the whole book brought to light...

This book starts out with the sickest mutilations of the body. War is gross but the details are even worse. This first part though was just details of a satanic type cult chopping off their own body parts or limbs because it was cool. Then sacrificing human slaves. Yuck!!! I really wish I could have censored this part before my son read the book but he read it before I did and what can you do?

Then it was interesting that there was another kind of mutilation to the body but by a noble character for noble reasons. The only way to win the support of this one tribe and to be a person they respected and they would let this person be their ruler was for the people trying to win this office to participate in the Trial of the Long Knives ceremony. One person cuts their arm then the other person cuts and they go up and down both arms and the first person to stop looses and the last one to cut wins. It is so bloody and painful and then they can't have a magician heal them but it must heal naturally so the scars are forever seen and respected by all for bravery and sacrifice.

Then Eragon also does a type of mutilation to his body. He is constantly breaking the bones in his hand as he fights and then he has to use a lot of energy to heal himself with magic. So to save himself the pain and inconvenience of breaking his hands every time he goes into battle he uses magic to make his hand grow huge callouses on his knuckles so they are more durable when breaking peoples head open and killing them in battle.

Compared to today's world there is a lot of plastic surgery to heal scars from accidents or birth defects. There is also a lot of plastic surgery for convenience and to make one self beautiful. There is also tattoos, piercings and other things that are all a form of "mutilation".

Paolini separates Eragon many times from his dragon in this book. This causes lots of problems because there are a lot of people that want him dead. Of course he comes out triumphant in the end.

I like how he visits the land of the Elves and tries to find a sword. He also finds out how the really bad guy gets all his power. Makes sense, he gets it from the second heart which he captured or collected over the years from dead dragons, technically this heart is where the dragon still lives on and isn't really dead completely. Eragon also forges a new sword, which is why this book is called fire. His sword is also called fire, or Brisingr in Elvish language.

Of course we can't forget his brother Roran and his brave true love Katrina, which they rescued from the Ra'zac (evilest of all creatures). His brother is in the army of the good guys, the Varden. He has to kill so many bad guys and the book goes into detail for every person slaughtered. It also has lots of details of war strategy and Raran eventually commits insubordination but in so doing proves what a great leader and brave person he is. He saves the whole division of the army from dieing unnecessarily but risks his own life. When he returns he is whipped 50 lashes but then promoted to captain of his own division. Hmmm, not sure what Paolini is trying to prove there.

Overall the book was long and bloody and disgusting, yet interesting and quite a set up for the next book to follow. All of the characters have been developed and something is should happen to move us along...but the book ended and said sorry you have to wait for the next book, which is actually part of this book but it was getting so long they had to make it in to two book and call it the Eragon cycle not trilogy.

Broken Healing Book not recommended for the faint of heart

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne

Whew, finally finished it! Way too much geology for me! It was amazing how much imagination he crammed in to one book. I really couldn't tell what was fiction and what was just fake.
I guess now I can watch the movie.

Whole Book

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

I waited in anticipation for this book to finally come and when I got it I was was an illustrated novel. I have never been into comics. In fact I never read them. But since I had the book and it was one of my favorite authors I read it.

Surprisingly it was very entertaining and unique. I couldn't guess what Rapunzel would do next. I have never heard this slant on the age old fairytale story and I couldn't wait to read the whole thing. It was longer then I thought for a comic but worth the read.

My favorite thing about the book is Rapunzel's long red hair. She has it braided into two long ropes and then uses them as a whip like Indiana Jones to get places or to knock things (like guns) out of others hands. She is very brave.

If you want to borrow it let me know!

Whole Book

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

This was three books in one...750 pages of Pern! Since I still don't have a house and I try to make myself scarce at my sister in laws house this was a good time to read a really big book. Dragonquest, Dragonflight and the White Dragon.

I loved them. It is so interesting to take yourself into another world and just think about that all the time. I even dreamed about Pern every night for a few weeks. (except a few times I dreamed about my sister and her not boyfriend at a political convention). I wish I had a dragon! But the last book in the series had a weird twist, the White Dragon, kind of weird. Anyway, other then that it all ended up happily ever after. Love those happy endings....or is it the end? There are more books to read!

Not really whole books but definitely science fiction/fantasy classics. Not recommended for children.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

SPOILERS!!! I give tons of the plot away so don't read this if you want to be surprised when you read the book. I will say right up front...The book is not for children!!!!!!!!

What was Stephanie Meyer thinking? Is she taking over every parents responsibly to teach their children/teenager about Sex! Does she think she has the right to write all those books then end with one more in the series that of course all those same young girls that have been reading her books all along are going to read, despite her warning that it isn't for children under 13...I don't think it is for children under 18!!!

The whole book was filled with Bella and Edwards sexual life and thoughts, not just the beginning when we went on their honeymoon with them but throughout the whole book they constantly couldn't wait to be alone and get it on! All the way to the last page you hear it, they are consumed by each others sexual desires!!!! Sure you can get into the book and just try to ignore this but my daughters won't be reading this type of smut until they are more mature and have a better understanding of the difference between love and LUST! It is a part of life and they are married but I don't need to read about it, little girls don't need to idolize the characters in the book and think about this yet!

Can you imagine writing about your honeymoon, or about how much you want your husband and how many times a day you think about him and want him in bed or can't wait till the kids are asleep, then you take these writings and hand them to your daughter or your daughters best friend...maybe around the age of 14 or even 16 and say, "Here, would you like to read an adventure story about mom and dad?" YIKES. Really teenagers do not need to be focusing on this until they are adults and ready to date seriously and get married. Teenagers don't need to take it to this level yet!

Okay, now that I got that off my skin. The book was sappy and slightly predictable. It was also a great ending or beginning for Bella and Edward and their little girl. I liked Bella's new self a lot better then the old one as a human. She is strong, smart and not so wimpy, dependent on Edward or Jacob.

The part where she gives birth is pretty gross because most of her bones break and you don't know what kind of monster is going to come out and she has to go through the pain of becoming a vampire, very intense. BUT I was a little disappointed she one of the first things she does as a vampire is lie about what she went through. The excuse is she is trying to protect feeling of the ones she loves but I still think the truth is always better then a lie. Really they could have dealt with it after they already dealt with so much. This doesn't give her any integrity points in my book.

The whole drinking human blood is something I will never be able to get used too, even if it is very common in these books because it is vampires and shape-shifters. This is very satanic no matter what science fiction book you want to jump into. It is just sick and wrong. Sure sure, they have to eat something but I'm sorry it is just wrong and not something I want to think is common or okay for someone.

Overall a very creative book. Alice is of course my favorite. She adds mystery and spice to the book near the end. I felt sorry for Charlie but I'm glad he wasn't just dumped like the poor mom. The mean Italian mafia was a bit overdone but at least the fight never happened even though it was like it did because they talked and planned for it so much before it was to happen. I'm glad Jacob is happy, it was really too bad he was going to be left behind but now he isn't.

It was a good adult book. Lots of sex and love with the whole supernatural thing going. I would say it is a Broken Book. I don't recommend it for children and I think parents should discuss it with their girls because of course they are going to read the last book in the series! The movie comes out soon for the first book, if you have read the other reviews I wrote about these books you know I don't think any of them are for children/teenagers because of all the mixed messages they send about what is right and wrong. All Broken books, good is bad and bad is good.

That's all, hope you enjoyed your read!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey

Yep it takes a good dragon book to get me back blogging. I love Anne McCaffrey's books. This one in chronological order for the Dragon riders of Pern series is the beginning. The very first one, how it all began, the first landing and everything from the creation of dragons to the first Thread Fall and the first dragon riders.

It was very technical and scientific and a lot of imagination. I think it helped me understand a bit more of the other books. Like I never remembered the dolphins.
Really cool. I still have a few more books to read from the series there are like over 20 but I think if I read them in Chronological order I will be able to make more sense out of it all. Not that science fiction needs to make sense all the time, just sit back and let the imagination flow!

My grandfather introduced me to these books when my sister and I went on a long educational road trip across the US. These are his favorite books and when I read them I am reminded of him. Now his son, my uncle is excited to let me borrow books from his collection. He loves these books too. So thanks to him I am reading some again and some for the first time. Thanks Uncle R!

Whole book

Chronological Order of Pern Books

In the First Pass:
The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

In the Second Pass:

In the Third Pass:
Dragon's Kin
Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey (release date to be announced)

In the Sixth Pass:
Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
Nerilka's Story

In the Ninth Pass:
Dragonsinger (overlaps with Dragonquest)
The White Dragon
Dragondrums (overlaps with The White Dragon)
Masterharper of Pern (overlaps with all of the above and more)
Renegades of Pern
The Girl Who Heard Dragons (short story)
(also the title of an anthology of short stories, not all of which are set on Pern)
All The Weyrs of Pern
The Dolphins of Pern
The Skies of Pern

Friday, July 25, 2008

Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter

I loved this book just like I loved The Girl of the Limberlost. Freckles, I believe came first but I read them out of order. Still worth it.

GSPorter always does an excellent job filling us in on all the wildlife and nature. It is very educational. I love her descriptions of the vulture family that Freckles finds in a hollow tree.

Some people might be surprised with how much Freckles can't get over his low status in society but in the 1900's this is how they really believed. Once your family was poor you were always poor and you couldn't associate with the rich and educated or rise to their level in society. I think she wrote true to how people thought back then.

And yes, again this was a sappy love story with a happy ending! A really good sappy love story. (I like the old fashion love stories where they hardly even hold hands and if they do they blush and dream about it for days.) Classic!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

Blah...this was a horrible book. I had to see it it got any better so I read it to the end. What a waste of time. I loved The Secret Life of Bees but this one doesn't even come close.
I don't think she thinks very highly of the Catholic Religion. But she loves Mermaid Folklore.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Prince Caspian (the book not the movie) by CS Lewis

LOVED it, of course. I remember reading the beginning of this book a few times but I think this was the first time I actually got to the end. I can't wait to see the movie, I wonder how they do the tree people. (don't tell me, I am probably the only one that is waiting for the movie to come out in Redbox.)

I wonder if I would believe in Aslan no matter what, or be a doubter??? I think mice with swords are cool. Do my children hear enough about the Old Testament? Are they familiar with the stories of Jesus, how the world was made and who we can turn to for help in our daily lives? Will they be able to rise to the occasion and face challenges in life with faith and strength from God?


And another thing...

And can anyone guess where this picture was taken? Here are some clues: I didn't take it, I wasn't there, those kids are strange (they take after their father), there is something peculiar about that fountain...and the house behind it...tiny steps will make anyone go crazy if you climb them enough times!

Monday, May 19, 2008

CS Lewis

We listened to The Horse and His Boy and I just finished The Magician's Nephew. Love them! We read them so we could go see the movie Prince Caspian but you can see we didn't read Prince Caspian yet...ummm, that as the whole point. I can't get a hold of this book on CD or tape from the library. Everyone must have had the same as we wait we will read the rest of the Narnia Series. I am not good at waiting...I wanted to see the movie!!!! Of course my son has read it a couple of times and is very disappointed to not see it last weekend right when it came out and waiting is not his forte.

Did anyone else see it? Don't tell me what happens but tell me if it is worth waiting for.

Bool of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

This is one of her new books! She also has another book coming out near the end of the summer! I can't wait! (she wrote Goose Girl and Princess Academy if you can't remember who she is.)

This book is another coming of age story of a young maid and a princess but with a twist. I was surprised that the story was not about the princess but about the servant girl instead. I really liked this book after I got through the first quarter, that part was dragging but I realized later it was on purpose. Then right before the middle it started getting very interesting and finally came together.

Hale wrote it in a very unique style, every chapter is a journal entry. She also took the story from a Grimm Brother's fairy tale and researched Medieval Mongolia. It had a kind of Genghis Khan feel to parts of it. Since I am not familiar with this area of the world in Asia or its folklore I found the story very intriguing and inspiring. There was adventure, romance, drama and mystery. A very unpredictable ending but of course a happier ever after kiss was on the last page, that was where the fairy tale comes back in.

The two girls get locked in a tower. They almost go completely mad. They don't stay there for the whole story but 1000 days is a long long time to be in a tower. I won't say anything more or I will give away some of the suspense in the story. They also really hate rats, which live in the tower with them eating all their food. The story has some violent parts and quite a few heroic parts. There is a very evil man and a young dreamy prince. I would read it again and think it was a really fun book!

Whole Book, Healing Book

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Two books but since the second one picks up right when the 1st one ends I am putting them together in this blog.

Roald Dahl is one of my favorites! LOVE HIS WEIRD SILLY CHILDREN'S BOOKS!!! I don't think I will like any of this weird adult books. Yep I'll pass on those.

To refresh your memory some of his children's books are: BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Those are just his most famous books but my favorite is The Witches. This book was inspired by his grandmother. He also has some really weird cookbooks out too.

This is the strangest little known fact about him. He wrote that horribly scary movie the Gremlins! Kim do you remember that one? Are you still having nightmares?

He was born in 1916, he spent a lot of time in boarding schools but despite that he got a great education in England. His children's book career didn't start until 1960 when he actually had children.

These two books are a sort of autobiography of the memories that stick out most in his childhood and his service during WWII. He was actually born in Wales and is Norwegian. His dad died when he was still young. He loved to ride his bike, eat candy bought from a local sweets shop and he loved playing sports.

When he finished school he got a job in Africa for Shell. He then joined the air defense to fight Hitler. He was very very lucky and had some narrow escapes every day he did that. He hates snakes (because there are quite a few in Africa that almost killed him). He loves giraffe, elephants and all jungle creatures.

Both books were very entertaining. He had a good childhood. He commented a lot on the Head masters at some of the boarding schools and the violence that was common in that time against rule breakers or just poor innocent boys being boys. He still can't get his mind around the spankings and beatings that were allowed at some of his schools. He also had his share for pranks and once was accused of cheating but of course they didn't believe him when he said he wasn't cheating just asking for some ink from the boy next to him.

He had some hard times too. It seems that he was always faced with death of loved ones and sickness. He was a very generous man and learned a lot of compassion and patience. He later helped others in the community and even the world through donations and personal friendships and visits with very sick children.
There is a cool website for his books

Healing Books

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sherlock Holmes selected stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

I never really read any of his stuff before. It was pretty good and very mysterious. Whole Book

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

What a fun book! A murder mystery written in a children's book! There were clues throughout the book just waiting to have someone put them together and figure it all out! Which a few people almost do and only one does completely in the end.
I really wished I had made a chart of the different characters in the book and the clues that went with each one. There were 16 suspects. I kept getting them all mixed up! Luckily I was reading the book on my own while listening to it with the kids in the car at the same time so I had a little review on a few parts.
One of the characters is a little girl named Turtle. She is my favorite. Instead of bottling up her problems and feelings inside she always kicks people in the shin. Hilarious! Now we have more then one person limping...
Overall the books was funny, entertaining, sly, and tricky. Each person bettered themselves and made some new friends by the end of the book.
Loved it!
Whole Book

Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfield

Okay, I didn't give the first book a lot of slack but the second and third books were really fun! I could not put them down and had to read the third right after finishing the second. I didn't get a lot of anything else done for a few days until I had come to the end.
There was lots of adventure and creativity in these last two. They were surprising and not so shallow as the first book, Uglies.
If you haven't finished the series I recommend that you do. Pretties and Specials were worth the read.
Broken Books, Healing Books

Also there is a fourth book Extras that takes place in Japan or something. I think I will skip that one. I am done with this whole world of Utopias for a while.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 13 The End By Lemony Snicket

Finally I got around to finishing this book. I don't think I finished #12 because some of the stuff didn't sound familiar.
This was a fun and gloomy series. Lots of mystery, deception and of course horrible unfortunate events.
One good thing about the stories...they are very unpredictable.
I do learn lots of new words too. Like argybargy, braewoman,ceviche, and herpetologist.
Very clever, good ending and I would still have to say they are broken books. They don't even come close to the healing book category either, just broken on purpose for the young readers there is something wrong with this, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Hmm, it was a weird book. Very Young Adult (teenager level). Everybody gets to be super model gorgeous, what is wrong with that? Uh, I can think of lots of things but the book spends the whole time trying to convince us that beauty is everything...or maybe not? Then the book leaves us all hanging in the end. Why? Well, there is a second book called Pretties. Oh, I guess I will have to read that one now so I can maybe find the answer to this question.

I think the book reminds me of The Giver and The White Mountains but with a horrible shallow spin on the whole Utopia thing. It doesn't make any sense that the main character and the group she is rebelling with never get caught even though the society has high tech spy agency and future advances in biology working against them. It is a bit "dumbed down" so your average cheerleader would be able to read this book. AND I can't believe the main girl just doesn't tell the truth! She lies and keeps getting deeper and deeper and then digs a pit so deep she ends the book doing something really stupid but of course made to look like the ultimate sacrifice or penitence for her lying. She is such a heroine.

Overall I found it entertaining and enthralling enough to read it straight through only stopping to right a talk and sleep and eat sometimes eat. Now to get my hands on the second and third books!

Healing Book

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

This was a very scary book!

I usually don't read Ghost Stories. I think they are too scary and I always get nightmares so I'm not sure why I picked up this book in the first place. I do love the author so I guess I just wanted to see what he could possibly write to scare me. WELL, this book wasn't written by him, just compiled by him and it had plenty of ghosts to keep me up at night.

In 1958 Roald Dahl wanted to make a tv series of ghost stories. He read 749 short stories called ghost stories. He was very disappointed in the first fifty or so stories because they were trivial and not the least spooky. Finally he found one that gave him the shivers! In the end he found about 24 really good ones and the rest were just gibberish. At first the female ghost story authors were ahead but in the end the males caught up. He thought this was interesting that females write really good children's books and really good scary stories but weren't very top ranking in sculpture, painting or music. This is all in his Introduction in the book, which I liked better then the ghost stories. He really rambles on about interesting things. Anyway, he never got to do the tv series because their pilot was a big flop in Hollywood because it offended American Catholics or something. Bummer.

So the book has 14 short stories that will scare the pants off you! Each one by a different author, each one original and unpredictable.

"The best ghost stories don't have ghosts in them. At least, you don't see the ghost. Instead, you only see the result of his actions. Occasionally you can feel it brushing past you, or you are aware of its presence by subtle means...I hope you will be disturbed by all the stories in this book they were written with precisely that end in mind." R. Dahl

Saturday, March 29, 2008


This book was written around 1900. I hated the book. Hate is a strong word...I think I mostly hated wasting my time reading it when I could have read something better. Why did I read it? BECAUSE it was selected for a book group by a new member. The new member happens to be about 16 yrs. old and this book was assigned to be read in her English class in High School. I was curious to see what kind of books were required in HS for this age. I WAS SHOCKED as I read this book that 16 yr. old girls were reading this type of book. What type...the smutty type. Yep, it is a broken book. It is seems innocent enough because the time it was written they didn't write about infidelity and get into the hot and steamy details of sex BUT despite NOT having it spelled out for us it is there. Of course I had to finish the book to find out what became of all the drama and to find out what the big deal was about the book in the first place.

The girl the story is based around comes to Chicago to find work. Doesn't and then ends up shacking up with a guy for a while then leaving him and shacking up with another guy. She goes from a poor girl with no future to getting a job in a theater, becoming a star and having plenty of money to live an easy life. One of the guys in the story end up opposite from where he started, poor and homeless and one ends up just doing the same old same old. It is kind of a rags to riches story and a riches to rags story all in one ONLY there was a lot of just plain luck involved and of course some unlucky moments too. The girl is so shallow and we never get to really see what she is feeling or thinking other then she wishes she could wear expensive cloth and shoes.

The one good part about the book is the fact that Dreiser reports the reality of living in a big city at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was hard work to earn just a little. People worked in factories. The rich were bored and had nothing else to do but sit around and spend more money. AND as sister Carrie finds out, money doesn't make you happy. She was sad most of her life, rich or poor. She was also very lonely despite fame and fortune in the end.

Interesting yet disturbing because of the common place manner the author portrays a young girl seduced and living a lifestyle with what seems to be no way out without ending up on the street starving to death or working in a horrible factory for barely nothing to maybe survive on. So she just pretends to be the "wife" of the guy she lives with and he gets a free bed warmer and someone to fix his food and clean his house. She gets a place to live without working out of the home and she has no ambitions or goals or even any friends. I feel so sorry for her state of being and her empty head. It was such a fluke accident that she went into acting because she hardly ever even left her flat! There was no color to the whole book it was just blah. I don't recommend it unless you have to read it for a stupid High School class and need an A by completing the book assigned.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Diaper service vs. investing in your own diapers

My diaper service for the last 10 years is Tiny Tots. I was going to quote a lot of studies and facts but if people really care they can do the research themselves and decide what is best for their family. Cloth diapers work for us and help the environment. AND please don't get me started on Proctor and Gambles Pampers! YIKES, very bad stuff!

There are lots of different types of cloth diapers. Some are better then others. As for me, I wish I had invested in the beginning in the cloth diaper wraps but who knew I would have 4 kids? !! I never had my own washer and dryer so it made sense to always do the diaper service instead of invest in my own cloth diapers. I just couldn't see washing them at the Laundromat every week. Living in the Bay Area I would say quite a few of my friends use cloth diapers. But more of them use single use diapers and are perfectly okay with that. Our kids turn about almost the same and if they are a little different it comes down to other parenting choices not the cloth vs. cloth vs. single use. If I had my own laundry facilities I think I would have invested. It would have saved in the long run. Instead I come out even financially...the diaper service is about how much I would have spent on the single use diapers.

I hope that Those that are thinking about the choices out there really take the time to do the research. Okay I can't help it here are just a few facts....I got most of them from and and check out for great prices and accessories for diapering.

"Less Water and Energy are Used to Launder Cotton Diapers than to Manufacture Paper Ones. Two days’ worth of diapers for one baby can be laundered in water equivalent to one flush of the toilet.

Don't get me started on the how Raw Sewage is a Public Health Hazard! If it goes in a landfill you are going to have problems! Raw sewage is dumped in landfill sites, breeding viruses and bacteria. As many as 100 viruses can survive in soiled diapers for up to two weeks."

"It Takes 20 Trees to Diaper One Baby in Disposables for 2 Years"

"99% Less Garbage is Generated When Cotton is Used
Single-use diapers will require over 500 years to decompose. Cloth diapers normally don’t enter our landfills since, after they are retired from the diaper service, they are used as rags until they disintegrate."

Diaper Service: Health Benefits
"You Will Know When Your Baby Needs a Diaper Change
Cloth diapers contain no chemicals and so it is easy to tell when a diaper needs to be changed. Super absorbent disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water, the same substance removed from tampons in 1985 because of the link to toxic shock syndrome. Chemical induced dryness does not make germs, bacteria and heat go away."

"Baby Boys Benefit From Wearing Cotton
Scrotal temperature is increased in disposable plastic lined nappies. Excess heat in the groin area of boy babies wearing disposable diapers may be a cause of the reduced sperm count among males in recent years... at least a 25% reduction worldwide... and could also affect the future testicular health of males in years to come. It is thought that disposable diapers heat up baby boys' testicles to such a degree that it stops them from developing normally. Diapers lined with plastic raise the temperature of the scrotum far above body temperature and can lead to a total breakdown of normal cooling mechanisms, according to a study from Kiel, Germany published in the Archives of Disease of Childhood.
The complete Kiel study can be found at"

"Less Rash When Cotton Is Used
In 1955, 100% of babies born in America wore cotton diapers and only 7% of them experienced diaper rash. However, in 1998, with 90% of American babies in disposable diapers, the occurrence of diaper rash increased to 78%.
Hour after hour and day after day for two years or more, your baby will be wearing a diaper. It's the most intimate and important clothing in a baby's life -- in constant contact with the baby's vulnerable skin over a super sensitive area of the body. "

-------------------This next part is from the Joy of Cloth Diapers article by Jane McConnel 1998 Mothering Magazine.
"Some will argue that in areas where water is scarce, disposables are the better environmental choice. However, carrying this argument to the extreme, we should be wearing disposable clothes, and using paper plates and plastic utensils. Washing cloth diapers at home uses 50 to 70 gallons of water every three days--about the same as a toilet-trained child or adult flushing the toilet five to six times a day. A diaper service puts its diapers through an average of 13 water changes, but because of the economies of scale, uses less water and energy per diaper than one laundry load at home.

Today, as a rule diaper services use biodegradable detergents not harmful phosphates. The waste water produced from washing diapers is benign, while the waste water from the manufacture of the pulp, paper, and plastics used in disposable diapers contains dioxins, solvents, sludge, and heavy metals.3 Chlorine bleach, whose manufacture is harmful to the atmosphere, is used in whitening diaper service diapers, but the environmental impact is far greater in the paper-bleaching process used in making disposable diapers.

Cotton, of course, is not without its evils. Conventionally grown, it is a major user of harmful pesticides. There are, however, several companies offering organically grown, unbleached cotton diapers as an alternative.

Ultimately, instead of getting bogged down in each side's scientific data, the most commonsense approach is to use commonsense. Weigh the impact of manufacturing and disposing of 8,000 paper-and-plastic diapers over the average diapering period of a child versus that of a few dozen cotton diapers, and decide for yourself which is better for the environment. "


I personally have been perfectly happy with the last 10 years of cloth diapering. Our diaper service was really the best choice for our family here in the Bay Area. I hope if you read this blog you will take a look at what you can do for the environment before your children are out of diapers. I think everyone can make a difference. IT really makes a difference in our garbage can overflowing or not each week! It makes a difference in to the Earth and it makes a difference to my family. Have fun researching more of the pros and cons of diapers!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Golden Compass Series (His Dark Materials Trilogy) by Philip Pullman

Okay, I read them, all three in the series (found out later there is a 4th and some extra books too, probably won't read those,)...AND I thought they were very good. I couldn't put them down. They were very imaginative and deep. I can see how the religious communities around the world would not like them because they really slam the whole God verses Satan theory in the Catholic church. BUT but the books are FICTION and take you to many different worlds. The other places aren't like the world we know and love. The book points out these kinds of complexities because we aren't all the authors made up fiction books. JUST like any other fiction book I have read. Fiction=not real life, an invented story. It isn't true, it is just a creative idea in someones head written down to share with others.

I do not recommend them for children even though they are about children or to catholics because he writes in an offensive way but I do recommend them to Fantasy/Fiction book lovers. They are a bit BROKEN. Especially since the whole good and bad is turned to a new definition in a new dimension of course. That is what is so appealing to me in a Fantasy/science fiction book, places and ideas you would never connect without someone else sharing them in a story type of way.

I do want to see the movie but I won't have the kids watch it. I'm glad I read them despite the whole controversy, bans and boycotts, which I mostly support because this adult book was being pushed on small kids. BAD. Plus the author is a nut and evil.(He didn't say very nice things about this intent in writing this book the way he did, directed at getting people to leave the church.) Too bad, he could have been more enlightening if he wasn't so full of hatred toward the Catholic church and closed to the truth of God's love. It still isn't a bad thing to write about Gods. All through history people have asked questions and speculated about what their parents and teachers have taught them. This isn't any different only more in your face.

Thanks for letting me borrow them Kim!
- His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman -- BROKEN

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

I was a little disappointed in these books...especially after a few very trusted relatives and friends said they weren't very scary or like other Vampire stories. THEY were scary and all Broken Books. I don't know if they were like other vampire stories because I try to avoid such things. What were you all thinking? I am a delicate person. These books gave me nightmares...but it didn't stop me from reading the second book or the third one...I am still a bit creeped out though. The author does have a compelling way of writing where I couldn't wait to see what would happen next...not exactly predictable because of the "catchy" Vampire theme, I think.

What really scares me more then Vampires and Werewolves is the fact that teenagers are so stupid. The mentality of these "scary romance" novels was so sappy and dripping with, she loves him, he loves her but then oh does he still love me if I threaten to leave or die or if I look at him wrong... gag! AND knowing that other teenagers are reading these and thinking they are real life, that is scary. If you don't believe me well then I am going to kill myself and then you will be sorry, boo whoo! Unbelievable, since when does threatening to kill yourself ever work? (I haven't tried it maybe they have something here).

*Spoiler alert*
Would you really want your teenager to be like the main girl in the story? Lying, sneaking out, having a boy sleep in her room every night, doing dangerous things behind your back like riding motorcycles without helmets and jumping off cliffs. Drinking cough syrup to help you sleep even though you don't have a cough. What kind of promotion for self medicating is that? The book portrays her as the sweet weird type special girl that just wants to be left alone, yet she can't seem to make friends and when she does all of them are so shallow she could care less about them. She falls in love with a Vampire and then almost dies a billion times. Then falls in love with a werewolf. Her life is such an addictive soap opera. Everything is turned around so that Good is bad and bad is good, the story twists it so you are cheering her on. In her world the Vampires are portrayed in a way so they seem like the underdogs stuck in our world just trying to be good despite the fact they have to kill animals to quench their thirst for blood. (poor mountain lions and bears) They have to lie, they are good at stealing cars (it was necessary for the greater good), they are sneaky and some read other peoples personal thoughts all the time (would you want him in your head?)

I know it is FICTION. The writer sucked me in most broken books do. I was rooting for the Vampire the whole time, the werewolf never really had a chance...until the end of the 3rd book when the oh so innocent human has to decide between the two of which she is trying to manipulate into killing her and having premarital sex, the other trying to get her to choose him because he hates the vampire...doing anything he can to win her kiss, even taking it by force...little to close to a rape victim to me...The vampire wants her to marry him, he doesn't even care if they elope.

Will I read the fourth book coming out in Aug.? well to be honest, yes. I really need to know if she becomes a Vampire too and how she deals with the whole bloody mess she has got herself into. Do I want my children to read these books and idolize the main girl or the other teenagers in this story. Not on your life!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

This was an interesting view into the life of a Geisha in Japan during the Depression and WWII. The book insists that Geisha were not prostitutes but what else would you call it?

Here is the definition for prostitution: the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money.

Well, hello that is what a Geisha does. I guess there can be different levels of promiscuous sex for money but Geisha's still get a lot of money for doing it even if it isn't with many many men but limited to 1 or 2 their whole life.

What I liked from this book was how a young girl sold into slavery and treated badly for so many years...really with no real future. She wouldn't ever have a family of her own or live by herself or get an education. YET she could still find hope in life and going on. She used her talents and resources to do the best she could to get where she "needed" to be. She had a goal and never let go of that despite obstacles in her way all along the way. She won in the end.

What I didn't like was that a society in general would have such a twisted view of what is wrong and right. Mistresses, Geisha entertainment, tea houses, drinking were like a normal in this time and in the life of wealthy men. What about family? What about honoring a marriage covenant and whole eternal perspective? It is very different then my view. The Japanese view seems to be missing some key points in the Saviors plan of happiness. I feel so sad for this traditional group of people so determined to earn a living through the breaking of so many commandments.

Sadly this book, though very well written and quite entertaining is BROKEN but also falls in to the HEALING category.

It portrays the Geisha in the story as the heroin in the end. She was the good person all along. BUT in reality she was sadly misled by her circumstances and living in a very small world surrounded by evil. AND what she did to the guy that loved her but she didn't love back was bad bad bad, the book makes it seem like it was the only choice she had and she was justified. I don't know what I would have done if faced with the same predicament but I hope I would do the honorable thing as best I knew how and not result to sneaky manipulations for my own gains.

Now, should I see the Movie (2005) or skip it? What do you think? Oh and I loved the funny part about the EEL and the cave, is that in the movie?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Classic...this is a re-read because to my surprise the kids didn't remember listening to it. I guess they were too young when we last listened to it. This time they had so many questions and listened so intensly. I like the part where she sees her little brother being left behind and she jumps off the boat to stay with him, sacraficing all to make sure he was okay. But the sad part is when he dies.
It was great re-read and now we are re-reading Number the Stars. Kind of weird to jump from Island girl to Europe when the Nazi's are taking over.

Whole Book

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Out of Nowhere by Ouida Sebestyen

This Book just doesn't quite do it for fact I don't even feel like writing a review. It was tedious and predictable...yep that is it. Don't read it unless you are out of classics and have nothing else to do for 4 hours.
Healing Book

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Well, honestly the more books I read by this author the less impressed I am. I just don't get why it was a Newberry book???

This was an unusual book, like most of the books he writes. It just didn't quite get deep enough to really grab you and teach you something...I guess a good word for this book is "shallow".

Skip it...
Healing book

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark

This was a bit different and mysterious. Also a tiny bit dry. It also received a John Newberry Medal. I don't know much about the ancient Indian people of Peru so it was interesting to have a little bit of history. I don't know if it is true or not. They worship the sun. It makes sense in the story, the sun gives life, light and grows the food...
The story is about a little boy. He is a Llama shepherd. He doesn't know what he wants in his life and feels something is missing. He goes on a little quest. He finds his answer and comes home. It took a whole book for that to happen and there are a bunch of riddles about the boys life spun all around the didn't really make all that much sense but it was a nice little story. I was confused about he time period but I found out later that is part of the whole plot...
Whole book

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rules by cynthia lord

Newberry Honor was cute. I cried in one part but it wasn't a sad book. The little girl makes friends with a boy in a wheelchair. They discover that they have a lot in common and can communicate. He has a word book that he points too and she is an artist. She sees that he needs better words and more color so she makes really cool words for his book with pictures too. Like: Awesome, Gross and Run...
She also has a very autistic brother. She is always trying to teach him what he should do and what he shouldn't not put toys in the fish tank and not to take off his clothes in public...
Anyway it is a cute book and I like the way the author uses the play on the rules...the girl discovers rules for herself. In life her friendships aren't always what she dreams they will be...she really finds her true self in ways she can't imagine...
Whole Book

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Joseph Smith the prophet by Trueman G. Madsen

And you were beginning to think I didn't read anything but Fiction. This was such a good book. I haven't read anything in a long time about Joseph Smith Jr. besides the stuff at church, just a quote here and a quote there. NOW this years manual for RS/Prsthd is The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church Joseph Smith! It is huge and will last two years...who wants to pack the book around for two years? Okay that is different story...if I didn't bring so much stuff for the baby and the kids and my calling then that book would be no big deal but it adds like 2 lbs to my scripture bag.

Truman G. Madsen has such a way of sharing his knowledge...he took history, which sometimes I find to be dry and boring but not useless, and he added the little details and blurbs from journal entries of actual people that were there with Joesph Smith. It added color to the retelling of brother Joseph's life. Plus his spiritual insights were amazing. He really looked deeper then just the surface of this man's incredible life. He tried to present ten characterizations of the prophets that are typical in Judeo-Christian literature.

Joseph Smith was a mighty prophet of God, in the latter days. His life was part of a bigger plan. He had a divine destiny to restore Christ's church here on the Earth. Building temples and receiving the keys to the priesthood alone is a huge feat but he also translated the Book of Mormon, received revelation, did missionary work, performed miracles with the power of God, had a family, faught off the adversary at every turn, was persecuted, tared and feathered, and one of the highlights...he saw God the father and his son Jesus Christ in the living flesh. It is awesome that he did all this and more in 38 years. He wasn't much older then me!

Whole Book. It was really worth my time to read it. If you would like to borrow my copy let me know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Aesop's Fables retold by Ann McGovern

Did you know that Aesop was a slave that lived in Greece over 3,000 years ago? Some have said he helped his master with wisdom and since this was admired most by his master he set him free. He also became the honored guest at many kings throughout his life.
Aesop's fables have become a part of our daily language and how we express ourselves. My favorite is "don't count your chicken's before they hatch."
Aesop never wrote any of these stories down. He told them to people who passed them on and 200 yrs. after he died the first collection of fables showed up. There are lots of versions of these tales and they are translated into many languages.
I think I am going to work on these wise words,..."Where force fails, patience will often succeed.". AND " When you try to please everyone, you end up by pleasing no one."

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

Oh so funny! I did not know this book has so much controversy surrounding it until I looked at the comments on Some librarians won't even let it in their libraries....does that make you curious and do you want to read it? Ha! Wait till you hear why...the story starts out with a little girl in a remote CA town Pop. 43 in the dessert. She is listening in on a AA meeting through a whole in the wall. Someone tells a story about how he found his higher power and it involved his dog almost dieing because he got bit by a rattle snake in his....okay here is the controversial word..."scrotum". When I read it I was laughing so hard. I didn't even think it was a bad word or something kids shouldn't hear. I was more concerned about the AA meeting with all the people addicted to things and how children would understand something like that.

Anyway, I thought the book was very thought provoking and I loved the way the little girl is trying to find her "higher power" and working through things in life, like being excepted by her guardian and dealing with the death of her mom. It was written with depth. There is a little boy that likes to get cookies from everyone and have them read him a story. He ends up being a key character. He is only five but deals with hard things in life too in his own child like way. The girl has a survival backpack with the best things for survival in there. She has little containers to catch bugs and she is always restocking her backpack to go with how she is feeling and what she thinks will come next in life. There are lots of special characters in the book that keep you on your toes, like the short cowboy guy that fries everything and the French guardian lady and the bus driver that is mean. Ilike her best friend the boy that ties knots all the time and I bet he will be President when he grows up.

I think it was a great Healing Book. Short read and worth it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Which High School Musical Character Are You?

I can't believe it. I didn't even answer any of the questions with things about Sports. Troy? I wanted to be the cute little music writer girl. She is cool.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Books Read in 2007

Well, I reached my goal to read 55 books this year. I actually ended up reading 65. Of Course now that I look back on the list there were about 7-8 children's chapter books. They count but the number isn't as impressive. What is impressive if the time I wasted on some of these books! Golly! I need to pick more books of deeper substance for 2008, I am living in a fantasy/fiction world!

Overall it was fun and I finished a few series and jumped on a few themes, like Black History/slavery, Women's movements in America and China, Jane Austen!, the The Great Depression and dust bowl area, Middle Eastern conflict (fictional accounts), Dragons, and quite a few classics! I am glad to say that I read mostly WHOLE BOOKS but sad to say that I read a few broken and just plain evil bent books for a book group, yuck.

Hooray! 2007 (favorite books in bold)

1)INKHEART by Cornellia Funke
2)The Anybodies by N.E. Bode
3)The Grim Grotto #11 by Lemony Snicket
4)The Dragons of Blueland by Ruth Stiles Gannett
5)Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
6)Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers by Jean Fritz
7)Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
8)Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
9)A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
10)Northanger Abby by Jane Austin
11)Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
12)Emma by Jane Austin
13)Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
14)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
15)Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
16)My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
17)Ultra Marathon Confessions of an all-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes
18)Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry
19)Because of Winn Dixie
20)The Sign of the Beaver
21)The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
22)Little Britches by Ralph Moody
23)Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
24)Onion Tears by Diana Kidd
25)Silent to the Bone by e.l.konigsburg
26)The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
27)Freedom Walkers The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman
28)The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
29)A Cricket in Time Square by George Selden
30)Special Men A LRP's Recollections by Dennis Foley
31)The Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice
32)A Final Farewell by Patricia Wiles
33)Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
34)The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
35)The Virginian A Horesman of the Plains by Owen Wister
36)The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes by James L. Ferrell
37)Abraham Lincoln the Great Emancipator by Augusta Stevenson
38)Four Perfect Pebbles a Holocaust Story by Lisa Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan
39)Beauty by Robin McKinley
40)Dyslexia by Paula Wiltshire
41)Incident at Hawk's Hill - A Novel by Allan W. Eckert
42)Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
43)Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
44)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Rk Rowling
45)Mansfield Park by Jane Austin
46)Dragonsong by Anne McCafferey
47)Under the Same Stars by Dean Hughes
48)Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey
49)Eight Cousins by Alcott
50)Gap Creek The Story of a Marriage by Robert Morgan
51)Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater
52)The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
53)a Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
54)The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
55)The 13th Tale by Diane Sutterfield
56)The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
57)Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
58)A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
59)Crime Files: for-Minute Forensic Mysteries by Jeremy Brown
60)The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
61)Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey
62)Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

63)Your Mother Was A Person: A Work In Progress by Louis M. Palmer
64)Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
65)The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter

This is the 2006 completed book list back in Jan. blog, just in case you are wondering what I read last year compared to this year.

Your Mother Was A Person: A Work In Progress by Louis M. Palmer

I love this book more then any other book I read all year! I don't know if maybe I'm a bit partial because I know the author but maybe that just made it all the more well rounded when I could hear the person reading it in their own voice as I read it.

This book was written by a friend in my book group in Castro Valley, CA. She is getting on in years and actually is almost the oldest person I know but she earned every wrinkle on her beautiful smiling face! She is a grandmother now and wanted to share some of her childhood memories with her own children and grandchildren. She took a community college writing class a few years back and had quite a collection of stories. One time at our book group she shared a few with us. They were some of the funniest and best stories I had heard in a long time. Everyone started to give her advice on how she could get them published. She kind of just humbly blushed and didn't pay any attention...but one of my Friends just didn't give up the idea. She and her daughter convinced her to give it a try. They worked long and hard to organize and make the cover and all the other things you need to do to get a book published, which I can't even imagine. Then just before Christmas they announced it was really going to happen and we could all pre-order our books. There is even a website:

I had to wait till after Christmas to get my copy because I was out of town, when I got back I was so glad when my friend called and said I could pick it up. I did right away and didn't put it down until I had read the whole thing!

I love it!!!!! I learned that you can't judge people from what you see now. Everyone has gone through so much and people you think you know actually have very interesting pasts and experiences that help make them who they are today. I loved the stories told from a child's innocent perspective. Like the movie star glasses and the doll that was so ugly, I loved the funny car stories as different people learned to drive. I think the saddest yet insightful story was one told later after surgery and how the drugs played tricks on the mind. The poems are refreshing and fun to read. I also liked the historical perspectives and information on the area in Southern Utah where most of the stories took place.

The book has inspired me to try to write some of my memories before they are gone and can't be shared again.