Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Mar 02

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Love Medicine was a really good book. It is Native American literature and it is filled with disjointed short stories, coming together, as a tribe would from all angles. The characters are strong and vulnerable, believable and the stories pull on your heart strings. This is a book with a message. In this book we read about two families spanning many decades, in a non-linear manner. This lends to the interconnectedness of the past, the present and the future. That is a main point, each generation affects the next and the last. And many more to come. This book tells of the Governmental “re-education” of the Native Americans by predominantly white people and religious organizations. It tells of subjugation, of the woes of reservation, of alcohol and stereotypes. It tells of the struggle to cope with forced assimilation while still trying to hold on to who you are, the culture you have always known and that of your ancestors—while not being given the option to stay the same. I do not want to give too much away but I would definitely recommend Love...

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Bout of Books!

Jan 07

  The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books 6.0 team I am joining in the fun this week! I could use the quiet time. =) I will commit to read more than I have been lately....

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Out with the old, in with the new…Reading Challenges!

Jan 03

So. Let me recap my reading challenges for 2012 before I announce my reading challenges for 2013. In 2012, I signed up for two reading challenges: The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge and The 2012 Chunkster Challenge. I will let you know how I did on both! I read 10/12 categories. I got stuck on Crime/Mystery because I am really rather a chicken and also can’t get into the weird detective novels. They always just lose my interest. I have to admit, I am just not good at taking others recommendations, particularly if I do not know this person and do not know their reading preferences. I also am not good at choosing books in this genre. I have to say both of these reasons prevented me from choosing a romance too. Also, I have an aversion to romance novels. =/ I know. Silly, but true. It really held me up. I hemmed and hawwed and ended up never choosing one of either. Tsk. Maybe, just maybe, I should join another this year and just allow someone else to choose these two for me. I also seemed to be lacking in the review area. I didn’t write many reviews 4/10. Tsk. Well, we live, we learn, we read but we forget to write about it. Thanks to Book’dOut (http://bookdout.wordpress.com) for this lovely challenge! =) Hehehe… onward, I go! I was derailed in my notetaking this year. I simply did not write down anything (or at least not much). So, I DID read many, many books and quite a few chunksters, but I just did not write reviews on them. Maybe this year I will be better! Success or not, it is a good thing to keep challenging myself! So, I...

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The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Aug 03

I am a huge fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafón. His characters are vibrant and deep. His story lines chock-full of intrigue, as if every page a secret lurks at just a turn. He also weaves many of his stories into a labyrinth of book love. In his books there is always a book store, a cemetery for forgotten books, a continuous thread of reverence for the magic of literature. The Prisoner of Heaven  does not disappoint! This book weaves the story of characters from two of his other books, The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game, revealing an intriguing history that may surprise avid fans of this three book set.   Christmas is fast approaching and Daniel Sempere is all grown-up with a wife, Bea, and a son, Julian. It is 1957, Daniel and his father run Sempere & Sons book shop in Barcelona. The shop is struggling. Business is waning but family is always the most important thing for all of them. Fermin Romero de Torres, a close family friend, helps out in the shop and he will be the key to secrets long since buried. Fermin is set to marry and all should be good but for a stranger who shows up unexpectedly at the bookshop, buys a very expensive copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo” and writes a message: “For Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from among the dead and holds the key to the future,” leaving a trail Daniel cannot help but follow. This message clearly upsets Fermin, but why? A trip down memory lane will take both Daniel and Fermin to dark and mysterious places testing emotional limits,  strengthening the roots of their friendship and raising more questions than can be answered. The deeper their search for truth, the more likely everything which once felt safe and cemented, will be uprooted. But there is no way to turn back now. No one is who he thought they were, or are they? People are more than a name. More than a profession. More than a station in life. But are they more than their past? The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is such an extraordinary book. I absolutely loved...

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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

Aug 02

This is the fourth in a series of four books: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Review) The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (Review) The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Review) The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (Review) Technically, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart is a prequel written after the trilogy (the first three above). This book tells the story of Nicholas Benedict as a child in the Stonetown Orphanage, or as it is currently called, “Child’s End” a nickname for “Rothschild’s End after the people who funded it originally. Nicholas Benedict is being shuffled from one orphanage to another. This new one is in Stonetown, later in the trilogy of the Mysterious Benedict Society, we become quiet acquainted to Stonetown and surrounding areas. Nicholas Benedict is nine years old and very precocious. Though, he doesn’t mean to be. He is extremely intelligent, insightful and observant. He is also plagued with narcolepsy triggered by strong emotions. He also suffers from terrible nightmares that often wake him panic-stricken in a cold sweat. To make his life even more awkward, Nicholas has a very bulbous nose that almost everyone notices immediately. The odds are stacked against him from the arrival at Child’s End. Here, he will face constant bullying, self-absorbed adults and mysteries he cannot ignore. He is ostracized and ridiculed but this doesn’t stop Nicholas from doing the right thing, time and time again. When hope has seemingly disappeared, Nicholas finds purpose in his struggle, discovering lifelong friendships and positive life views can thrive in any situation, no matter how dismal. Main Characters in The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict: Nicholas Benedict – A nine year old boy with keen observational skills, excellent deductive reasoning, a genius intellect, an extremely impressive vocabulary and a superb moral compass, Nicholas Benedict is the main character of this book. He has a photographic memory and can remember anything he reads. He is described in the book in the following way, “A tall skinny, towheaded nine-year-old with a whimsical mind, thread-bare clothes and an unfortunate nose. Indeed, his nose was so long and lumpy that it drew attention from his one good feature—his bright and impish green...

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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Book Three)

Aug 02

This is the third in a series of four books: The Mysterious Benedict Society (Review) The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (Review) The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (Review) The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (Review) The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner’s Dilemma is the third of four books by Trenton Lee Stewart. The first book review on The Mysterious Benedict Society is here — you should really read that review first, it has all the details of the characters involved and terms involved, this series has a lot of back stories which may make this review make less sense without the first one. (The other reviews you can see next to each one above).   New characters introduced in this book: Ms. Plugg — Another guard posted by the government. She likes the children and is dedicated to her job. She is a tough, stocky guard who had an oddly large and rectangular head “rather like a cinder block”. She remembers people’s names by giving them relevant nicknames in her head by their attributes or behaviors. She is loyal and steadfast in her duties. Mr. Covett S. Gaines – The newly appointed head of a new committee specifically gathered to deal with “all matters concerning the Whisperer.” Hertz — A new ten man…or at least new to us. He enjoys doing crossword puzzles with his gold pen, and is apparently afraid to touch the Whisperer. Described as swarthy and slight, with a birdlike face. In the third book of the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner’s Dilemma, the children and their families live at Mr. Benedict’s house. The children are enjoying how close they are to one another and to their families but are fast growing bored. Of course, it doesn’t take long for the excitement to begin. The Whisperer is being protected and Mr. Benedict is continuing to use it to undo all the damage done by his evil twin brother, Ledroptha Curtain. And Mr. Curtain is chomping at the bit to get his masterpiece back. He will go to any lengths to do so. He devises a devious plan to distract the children and Mr. Benedict but I won’t...

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