Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review of Imperfect Birds

Synopsis in a Sentence: A teenage girl, Rosie, spends the summer rebelling and exhibiting teenage angst against her mother, Elizabeth.

My Thoughts:
Wow, can I just say how much I completely hated this novel? Haha! Harsh, yes, but I have to be honest! This was truly one of the worst books that I have EVER read. Where do I begin in order to explain just how horrible it was?

Well, first of all, it had absolutely no plot. The entire book takes place during the summer before Rosie's senior year of high school and it's basically about her being a parent's worst nightmare. I suppose I might recommend this to the parent of a teenager in order for them to feel glad about what THEIR teenager is like, but that's about it.

Probably the worst part of this book, though, is that there's no redeeming quality or theme to it. Rosie's behavior finally deteriorates to the point where Elizabeth needs to send her to a youth wilderness camp for out of control kids. While there, Rosie seemingly learns nothing about how to improve herself and doesn't even come to an awareness of what got her sent there.

I kept waiting for something exciting, or even just interesting to happen, but it never does. There's nothing here to be shared or learned except that this book made me dread my future children becoming teenagers one day haha!

This book had has a beautiful cover, an intriguing title and was seemingly about the complexities of a mother/daughter relationship. However, in reality, it ends up only being a boring portrait of an incredibly spoiled and smug teenager.

Having said all this, though, I have read that author, Anne Lamott, has written such wonderful and witty memoirs, such as Traveling Mercies. I'm willing to read one of these and give her another chance, but I'll never read another one of her novels.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.
Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.

My answer:

I love reading history books, you are not alone!! I think it's important for people to read about others doing interesting and great things so that they can be inspired and encouraged by them. Also, they say that learning about history helps us not to repeat the mistakes of the past!

Right now, my hubby and I are listening to 1776 by David McCullough on audiobook. It's fascinating to hear a detailed, true-life account of the Revolutionary War. I kind of feel like history books are like fantasy books...they really take you out of your own life and mind and truly transport you to another place.

So overall, not my favorite genre, but one that I definitely indulge in now and then :).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reviews of two non-fiction books

Hi friends! Sorry I haven't posted on here in awhile...the last couple of Summer weeks here have been busy! Hope all of you are enjoying August!

Lately, I've read these two non-fiction books, and they were very quick, interesting little reads!
Faith Journey Through Fantasy Lands was an e-book, which I read on my Nook. The writer, who is the head of some religious education programs, lives in Dayton, OH where is which I am originally from! In this book, he analyzes the Christian themes behind the three most popular fantasy stories ever written: Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. I love reading anything that has to do with any of those stories, and so I thought I'd give this one a try! It was a little bit repetitive, but it also hit on a lot of deep truths about these fantasy stories.

B.O.O.B.S was a compilation of stories about women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in multiple stages. As my mother suffered with and eventually became a survivor of this disease, I have always been eager to read about other women's experiences. This book definitely puts a human face on this horrible illness. The bravery of these women illuminates how hope and friendship can turn something terrible into something that can be survived and that can even bring blessings.

Give them both a try if you're in the mood for some quick, thought provoking non-fiction!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
I'm currently reading a book called B.O.O.B.S by Ann Kempner Fisher. My mother had breast cancer at a young age, and so I'm always interested in reading about other women's experiences with this disease. The title stands for: A Bunch of Outrageous Breast Cancer Survivors!

I recently finished reading The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. A book about food and friendship!

I think I'll read a few Nicholas Sparks books next...I know he's had a few new ones out in the past couple of years. I'm in the mood for some sappy romance!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review of The School of Essential Ingredients

Synopsis in a Sentence: A group of varied people come together to learn about cooking and life in this slim novel.

My Thoughts:
This was such a sweet, charming little book...I liked it better than I thought I would! The owner of a small, intimate, and quaint restaurant, Lillian, gives cooking lessons every Monday night to a group of eight people. The group's lives end up intertwining during the course of this novel.

We learn about Lillian's history and love for food, as the novel unfolds. Each chapter is dedicated to the other members of the group and we learn about what is going on in each of their lives. Every Monday night, Lillian has the class members create a new dish and I was excited each time to read about what they would make! My mouth was definitely watering during this book!

What I loved most: The dishes that the students create are not simply about food...they end up having some symbolism for the character's lives as well. For example, the creation of a spicy tomato sauce ignites a romance between two of the characters! Several foods remind Lillian of her mother and her childhood. I love the idea of food having meaning to us and impacting our lives, rather than just something we consume every day!

What I liked least: A few of the characters were a little bit boring, perhaps, and many of them had cliche type dilemmas. The book wasn't very unique I guess, but it was a charming, fast read and I loved the descriptions of all the food and what it ended up meaning to the characters as I mentioned above!

3 stars

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers...

I'm currently reading The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. A sweet, charming and slim little novel about an eccentric group of people whose lives intertwine when they all take a cooking class together.

I recently finished reading Blackveil by Kristen Britain. I can't wait for the next installment in this fantasy series, but it probably won't be out for another 2 years! :(

I think I'll read a couple of non-fiction books mother is a survivor of breast cancer and I like to read about other women's experiences with this type of cancer. There is a book called B.O.O.B.S by Ann Kempner Fisher which looks promising.