Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Giveaway 6

This weeks giveaway is going to be one of the books that I have already reviewed. Something that hopefully will happen more often as I read books to quickly to wait for Wednesday's to come around. Let's hope that I actually manage this.

So for a look at what I thought of this weeks giveaway, refer to the earlier post:
Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer

The copy I have is fairly used as it once belonged to the Denton Library, but it is still pretty good. Let's just say that it is well read.

Again, I think anyone interested in the Lizzy/Darcy story should give this book a try. Just leave me a comment if you wish to claim it as your own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bayou Brides

"After much sorrow, much joy. My dear Michel has built me a home. My long-lost mere is nearby. Comforte sleeps on my shoulder as I hold the pen. Life is full." -From the journal of Capucine LeBlanc (pp130, 256, 325)

 <<Sorry for such a small picture>>

Seeing as how this has been my second time to read this book, I would have to say that it is pretty awesome. I put it on the list thinking that I was delusional when I claimed to have read it a few years back, however I discovered, within a few sentences, that I had indeed read it before. And yet I couldn't put it down, because the stories are short, sweet, and even a little inspirational.

This book is a collection of four short stories, their common factors being a family and the home in which they all loved through the generations. Oh, and their undying faith in God. A faith that, while tested, has held strong through the hardships the members of the family encounter.
  • Capucine is ripped from her mother's arms during Le Grand Derangement. As her and her sister travel with the nun Sister Marie-Agathe they struggle to find their mother. Meanwhile, Capucine meets Michel LeBlanc, a fellow Acadian who catches her heart.
  • Josee Broussard is taken into the LeBlanc family when her parents die. On her 18th birthday Papa LeBlanc, in the tradition of the family, announces her betrothal to his oldest son Edouard who has kept his heart under lock and key since coming back from the war to find his true love had married another. Both must let down their gaurd in order to make their marriage work.
  • Nicolas LeBlanc comes home from the war to find a strange woman has stepped into his family's lives to help them through the trauma of loosing Nicolas's father. Not only must he accept the changes that have occured in his small home town, but also the help this woman is trying to offer him.
  • Justin LeBlanc is having to deal with an empty house as the last of his sisters marries and moves away. In the midst of considering moving away as well, Justin is confronted by an intriguing woman who envies the roots his family has that she has lacked.
Yes they are love stories, not only between the main characters of each story, but also between them and God. I believe the authors do a great job of weaving their stories together. Although I must say, the characters reunions with God are much easier than many I have witnessed, but they are sincere nevertheless. I enjoy reading these tales repeatedly and hope everyone else is given the chance to relax with them. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Peter Pan

"The difference between him and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe, while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing." -About Peter, Peter pan (p78)

I am so glad that I finally sat down to read this classic. This summer my husband and I are taking our son to see Peter Pan on stage, his first musical, and while I have watched the movie Hook only about a million times, I have never read or even taken the chance on watching Peter Pan! It is a sad but true fact. Now that I know the story and am eager to share it with young Jareth, I wonder what took me so long.

I remember picking up the Secret Garden a few years back and thinking to myself "This is a kid's book?" Well, when they were written books like Peter Pan, Secret Garden, A Little Princess were read by children, and after having read them as well as board books to my own child I have come to relize that we have dumbed things down for our kids, thinking they can't understand it. Why? Jareth is currently enjoying listening to Matilda at night, another slightly more difficult book, and he can't wait to finish it so he can listen to Peter Pan. And he understands it all if we let him!

On top of being slightly more difficult than today's "children's books", Peter Pan is more realistic, being about a boy who not only will never grow up, but is dead set on keeping it that way. He is offensive at times, playing right into the author's point of view of children being "gay and innocent and heartless" (p. 200) And they really are if you think about it, they only think as far as pleasing themselves most days. (Except maybe my most awesome little boy who considers me and my feelings as well). Peter is your typical boy, wanting to play make-believe, run around with redskins and mermaids, be treated as a king amoung boys, and never grow old. And what's so wrong with that? The author even knows that one of the biggest devises of the innocent is the ability to forget it all happened at the end of the day, allowing the child to keep the sense of wonder at every little thing in the world around them because it is constantly all new to them.

Of course my favorite character is Wendy who, when taken to the Neverland, automatically adopts the role of mother to all the boys; making the pirates, who also want a mother of their own, jealous. She has strict views on what her boys can and can't do, when they should go to bed, when they must take their medicine, and what she must do to ensure their continual happiness. But she is only a young girl, caught between childhood with all its make-believe and adulthood with all its responsibility. While she has a perfect mother who would do anything for her, she can't help but feel the need to grow up and do it all for herself, something girls feel far sooner than boys.

Again, an amazing book that takes a closer look at children. I loved it and hope everyone takes the time to read this one regardless if the child you have in mind is your own or the one you yourself used to be. After all, as the pirates who wanted Wendy for a mother remind us, there is a child in all of us.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Darcy's Story

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." -Mr. Darcy, (p. 255)

While I always enjoy finding new views of Pride and Prejudice, and I liked getting the chance to revisit favorite characters, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. The writing style did not flow nearly as well, causing me a bot of difficulty in believeing that this was truely Darcy's side of the story. It also seemed at times to be extremely repetitive with the author restating not only large chuncks of narrative but also whole conversations through Dracy as he remembers events that have already been told.

I can't be sure, but I had a sense of there being extra scenes placed in this book as well, such as more parties in which Darcy and Lizzy are given the chance to see one another. I am also sure that conversations were mixed around and inconsistant with the original, which I had a hard time getting through.

I know it seems that I have nothing but bad things to say about this book, but there were parts that I enjoyed being given the chance to read. Therefore I recommend anyone loving a chance to dig deeper into the story of Lizzy and Darcy give this book a chance. You might find it far better than I did.

The High King

This book is also to be listed at the Giveaway book for March 7th. Leave me a comment if you wish to claim this book as your own.

"A pebble can turn aside an avalanche," said Coll, "or a twig stem a flood."
"I daresay," muttered Fflewddur. "What happens to the twig or pebble afterwards I should rather not think about." -The High King (p. 168)
 Technically this book was not supposed to be on this year's list either (like The Hunger Games) but with it being the 5th book in a series that I very much doubt I will be able to get my hands on, I decided to take a chance and read it alone. While the copyright date is in the 60's and the cover art had me shaking in my chair in fear of a horribly slow "high fantasy", I was pleasently surprised to findmyself enjoying this old book.

Yes, I judge books by their cover. That is after all the reason they have cover art, to try and pull the readers into giving the story a chance. The cover art of this book says to me "Come stumble your way through a crazy tale that we will claim is high fantasy from back before fantasy had it's own catagory." And yet I only have 1 real complaint about this book: the narration/language. This is from a time when people already talked a bit differently than we do now, then you have a writen trying to talk from a different world altogether! The tone gets a bit through out of whack. I found myself stumbling through dialogue, eventually interpretting nearly everything said in my head as I read.

Other than that I was pleasently surprised to find myself moving along in the book, wanting to know what horrible event would next befall the companions fighting their way to enemy lines. And let me say, these poor guys never seem to get a break. There is plenty of action in the short novel.

Now, I did at times notice some similarities with another work of fantasy froma round the same time, and seeing as how I am not sure which came out when or if either author read the other, I managed to overlook them and move on.

The copy I have to give away is in surprisingly good condition for being so old. Only a few little teeth marks on the cover from mice. It also has an Auhor's Note about the book in the first few pages as well as an excerpt from The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis in the end. A list of other Newbery Award Model Winners (since this is one) can be found on the inside back cover. And that's all!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Hunger Games

<<Qoute to come when I get the book back>>
Yes, I finally picked the book up andread it. And yes, I only read the first one since I am technically not supposed to read any of the three books until next year when I tackle all the series books on myshelves. So just be glad I took the time to read this one when I have another 100+ left on this year's list. ANYWAY!

This book has been recommended to me by just about everyone I know and I finally sat down to read it with only 20 days left until the movie is in theaters. And I am ever so glad that I listened and read the book because it really was an incredible read.

When summing it up for a friend last night I told her "it's about these gladiator type games where a boy and girl from each district is made to fight until there is only one left. Then the night before the games the boy admits he loves the girl he has to compete with." She smiled and said how now she didn't have to read it because she knew what it was about. I shook my head, no there is more to it than that. And to be fair yes any body that has read more than a handful of books in their life will see the outcome from the start, but you still don't know what the ending is. This is a must read book.

Which points can I point out? All of them were amazing in this book. The story was great, the characters where relatable and you are drawn to love or hate whomever needs it, it is well written and manages to make the first person narrative work very well, and every part of the story keeps you wanting to read more.

I must say that I am excited to see how they make this one into a movie, and I hope like hell Hollywood doesn't botch the job. I also look forward to picking up the next two next year. These are a few books that will never find their way off my shelves unless it is for a short term loaning. I hope everyone gets the chance to pick these great reads up!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


"What follows is not difficult to understand; the concepts are basic - utterly effortless in their application. But the human spirit thrives on creating complexity where simplicity would do as well, and I have accepted that most people will close themselves to what I will say. Still, a few will understand. It is to them I most owe this story." -Douglas Cole, Discipline (p 8)

Well, where do I start with this book? How about to say that I really enjoyed it. The way in which this book is written makes the reader really think about each event as it happens. I was constantly wondering if every little thing had an effect on the loop in which the characters found themselves, or if the eveents had happened the first time or were slightly changed. It's an exsercise  in observance.

I must say the book is almost in 2 parts. (Actually it it divided into multiple parts, but that doesn't apply here). The first half almost reads like an autobiography, and with most of it being so mundane I found myself sometimes forgetting that it was actually a work of fiction. Only two scenes were bizarre enough not to be real, but even then the authors handles the suspinsion of disbelief so well I was made to shrugg it off and think "Yeah, that could have happened."

The second half of the book however is more unbelievable. But this does not take away from the story; in fact, I believe it made it better. Constantly you are trying to reconcile the man Douglas Cole becomes with the boy he once was.  And the complexity of the second half of the book keeps pulling you forward, constantly making you wonder what could possibly happen next to keep it all going.

I will say the ending seemed a little cut off. With 20 pages left I began to worry if it was the first in a series or if we were going to be left with millions of unanswered questions, much like the character of Douglas Cole is when it is all said and done. However, (like Douglas) the reader is left with a sense of peace with what they have been given. I only had one question and Gary and I having a discussion about the ending solved my curiousity.

SPOILER ALERT: (highlight the following for a little detail) <<My favorite part of the book is when Texas decides to secceed from the United States!>> A bonus was that nearly entirely the whole story took place in Colorado and Texas. Two of my favorite places on earth!

This book was wonderfully written, with an interesting plot and characters that pull you in and hold onto your attention. I would recommend it to anyone willing to take a leap into the unknown. You even get a little bit of a lesson with the subkects surrounding the plot as characters try to discribe aspects of the universe to Douglas. But it is well written, as I have said, and I believe the reader doesn't feel bogged down be the knowledge at all.

I hope many of you take the time to read this book, as it really is a good one! If you do, let me know what you think of it.

Back to Our Program

My computer was on loan hence why I have been unable to update the blog over the last week. However, now that it is back we will return to our regularly scheduled program.

Well, except for the fact that I am now reading a book not on my list for this year. It was actually going to be on next years challange list, but since I only have until the 23rd to read this first book, I figured I would give in and read it. Oh, right, I guess I need to tell you what I have picked up.

That's right, I have finally given into the craze, picking up what promises to be an amazing read! Once done with it I will get back to the books originally on my To-Read List.

Have you read this one yet? What did you think of it? If you haven't picked it up yet, why not!? Let me know!