*I love animals, of most types- rodents and reptiles are a non-faves though.
*Reading is a love I have had since my first real experience with true literature- Uncle Tom's Cabin, when I was in 6th grade.
*I have a degree from Oregon State University in Spanish Literature, I am not using it whatsoever right now- but it will keep.
*Recently I have fallen in love with classics, and I can't seem to read current stuff as well as I used to.
*I love to bake, if I could bake all my meals I would- cooking I do because I have to.
*I own my own chickens, indian runner ducks, cats, dog, rabbit, and fish...I think that is all.
*I just ran barefoot yesterday for the first time, but I have run three half marathons with shoes on.
*I grew up in Spain as a missionary kid, I loved it then and I love it even more now.
*I have a husband and two boys- they are the very most special to me in all the world.
*I homeschool my boys (5 and 7) which is why I have neglected the bookie world in an extreme way.
* One of my favourite things to do is read classics and then watch ALL of the flick adaptations of that classic.
*My books are currently organized by color, which I love- but I am about to change it because it is as impractical as a pair of white shoes.
On book blogging:
*I have been a book blogger for over 3 years now.
*I mostly read fiction, now with a classics bent.
*I do not enjoy mysteries or thrillers no matter how often they are pitched to me.
*I love reviewing crafting books of all types- I love to be creative in my spare time!
*The best book I have read ever, well that is Jane Eyre. No question. I have heard I should try Villete as well.
I am sure there is more, but for now I won't give you more details than you can handle. What about you? Who are you? Tell me.
It has been so long since I've written a book review that I don't even remember how to type "book" anymore! Ha. No, not quite that long- but it has been embarrassingly long. I have still been reading quite a bit-but keeping it all to myself, as many times writing my thoughts up is not as much fun as reading!
I used to say Uncle Tom's Cabin was the ultimate story- but now I have been enraptured by a brit classic. Jane Eyre is so ravishing that I think I found myself drooling several times from leaving my mouth wide open in surprise. I was dumbfounded by what Bronte wrote from cover to cover. It is a story of love, of the truth of love- that it is not a passion or a movement of happiness, or a self-fulfilling experience, it is incredibly more than all of that.
Out of complete ignorance, up until now I had lumped Jane Eyre into an Austen group, clueless until my good friend said she thought I would like it. And she was very wrong. It is the best read I have ever had! Bronte spoke to so many little places in my heart.If you too have mistakenly included Jane Eyre into a silly-romancy-classic of a book group, you too are very wrong. From the first page there was a big difference in the quality of writing, the quality of the storyline...it is just so stinkin' good.
I'd hate to ruin such a book for you, but I will give you a little taste of its beauty. Jane is an orphan who is shuffled around and mistreated in many ways. When she gets a little older and is no longer of age to be a burden on her keepers she moves on to become the governess of a young girl. Jane is completely clueless as to what mysteries her life will unfold, she bears it all with courage, faith and as if a part of a higher class that would never claim her. That is all I will say. And it is a crime to leave you at that, but it would be an even greater crime to give you any more details.
What should I read that I will love as much as Jane Eyre? Oh, I wish there were some book , somewhere that I would love as much!!
- ISBN: 9780955881800
- Author: Bronte, Charlotte
- Publisher: White's Books
- Subject: Romance , Historical, Classics
- Edition Description: Trade Cloth
- Series: Fine Edition
- Publication Date: June 2010
- Binding: Hardcover
- Language: English
- Pages: 439
Author Ana Menéndez strikes again with a beautifully crafted and executed work of words. The Last War is the story of the photojournalist known as Flash and her correspondent husband Brando. Flash puts her dreams, plans and desires on hold for a long time without even noticing, to follow Brando around the world to conflict areas as a freelance photojournalist. When she lingers in Istanbul, entranced by the city and enjoying the tastes and sights of peacetime she is confronted with a mysterious letter incriminating her husband Brando in an affair. From that day her world turns a sour, she questions the validity their relationship, the truth of that letter, her husband and even herself. Could this be the one conflict her lens can't overcome?
I love Menéndez's writing, it is precise and defined, while still doted with description. It is the language of a confident author- but not overly so that she doesn't mind being vulnerable on paper. I did enjoy this novel, I love the stories of photojournalism wishing that one day I could be carried to far off places to capture moments on film in crucial times. I really felt Menéndez had familiarized herself with the life and work of a photojournalist and correspondent extremely well, so well that this novel acted as non fiction and I had to remind myself that it was not!!
If that sounds a little too dark, deep and not something you are interested in- I just have to say, it is all not what it seems. As in life our minds wander, our fears get the best of us and we sometimes begin to live as though life has crumbled from underneath us. Stunning twists and turns make The Last War just one more reason to snap up anything by Menéndez you see. It gets my award- a stellar five chicken book award, reserved only for the best of the best.
What is that clucking about?? You will just have to read it and you'll find yourself clucking about it too.
Title: The Last War
Subtitle: A Novel
Author: Ana Menéndez
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Subject: General Fiction
Publication Date: 2010
Here is my first attempt at what I am calling a Chick Lit Bouquet of Reviews. I could review them all on their lonesome, but what would be the fun of that?! Oh, and yes I do read chick lit and no- I don't need to make excuses for it. Today I am going to focus on Christian Chick lit, just because that is what I have been reading, and what I want to share with you.
A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist: Starting out in 1860, this novel is the story of Anna Ivey's journey west to escape her past but also to give her better chances for her future. What she doesn't know is that there is a man awaiting her who has paid for her to be brought over in a boat along with a load of women for the single men in Seattle. Joe Denton is that man. However he thinks that the woman is aware of this arrangement- little does he know that she has been lied to, as have the rest of the women on that boat about why they are being brought west!!
I enjoyed this Christian chick lit, it was endearing and I dove right in to the setting and premise- I mean who doesn't love a lumberjack!? A Bride in the Bargain is easy on the eyes, light on the emotions and it kept me reading, reading, reading! I recommend it for all you chick lit lovers, for sure.
The other books by Deeanne Gist I've reviewed: Deep in the Heart of Trouble
Beyond this Moment is the second book in the Timber Ride Reflections series by Tamera Alexander, and I knew instantly when I saw it that I wanted to read it. Tamera Alexander is one of my absolute faves as far as Christian chick lit (or historical fiction as some would call it) she really gets me every time. I read the first book in this series From a Distance last year and was itching to get my hands on this. There isn't much overlap, so you don't need to read the first to enjoy this one, however you get more background and I would recommend reading From a Distance first if you have the opportunity.
Beyond This Moment shows how life is formed from the littlest to the biggest choices we make, even when we don't know that we are making a choice. Dr. Molly Whitcomb arrives in Timber Ridge to be surprised by what she finds but it is fitting, as she herself is full of surprises as well. Will her secrets be too much for the old fashioned Colorado Territory to bear? Life is never easy, especially out in the rugged west with everyone against you!
I loved From a Distance (the first book in the series), and I loved this one too. Sure they are pretty predictable, somewhat far fetched and sometimes over-dramatic...but that is all part of the deal in chick lit, and actually for me the attraction. I can just sit and enjoy and love it- just cause. As far as chick lit (historical fiction) goes I believe Tamera Alexander is one of the best!
The other books by Tamera Alexander I've reviewed: From a Distance
Let them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd was one that I snapped up at the library the other day. I checked out a Sony Reader (e reader) just to see if it was my sort of thing and then went online and borrowed this tender little title from the downloads our lib has to offer. Oh, it was great (and now I want me a e reader)!!
This novel is the first of the French Twist series, Let The Eat Cake is a modern christian chick lit read that I consumed pretty much as fast as I would have one of the cakes on the front cover! For those of you that know me, you know that is QUICK as I am a sugar freak. Here is the short of it: Lexi Stuart has graduated from college with a degree in French, and really she is absolutely obsessed with anything France related. However her current job, translating labels from French to English in a cubicle just isn't doing the trick. When a meander into a little french bakery leads Lexi to dream of cooking a la French- she takes a step back to question what she is doing with her life. There is so much to live up to, standards to meet, people to please and that constant nagging question of: Will I EVER get married?
Loved this one too...yes I am a sucker for chick lit...really I am. Yet I think even if I weren't this one would have done the trick, or shall I say, hit the spot!? I think you'd eat it up! Give it a nibble.
What do you think of this Chick Lit Bouquet Reviews idea?? Do you have a favourite chick lit book to recommend??
Coop: A Family, a Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg
by Michael Perry (Author of Population: 485)
Michael Perry is just one of those authors, one of those gifted few, who after you read a couple of pages you feel like you are curled by the fire listening to a master storyteller that you could listen to all night long. His narration is honest, thoughtful- interlaced with humor and always well written anecdotes that make you think about how the world is and how it ought to be.
Coop is an excellent book, split between memories in which Perry tells of how life was during his rural childhood and the other half is a modern day city peeps meet rural narration, or what he is living currently. The reason the childhood memories are triggered is that Perry is a country boy gone citified and then he and his family move back out to the country all the memories of life as a farm boy emerge. I loved both narratives, I enjoyed them each for their own reasons. I admired his parents, who had more children staying with them than the old woman in the shoe! They had natural children, adopted others and took in many (MANY) foster children a high portion of which were handicapped in some way and required a lot of care. So they captured me by their simple and very generous nature. The current day storyline of Perry and his wife in so many ways they reminded me of The Husband and I that I just couldn't not completely love it. He is tender and honest in his rendering of his life living with a woman who longs to embrace life as it comes-naturally (even if he doesn't). His humor reminded me of how The Husband writes about me and it endeared me completely to them as a couple.
As much as this book is a rich narrative about chickens, pigs, cows, and country chores it is much more an honest approach to purpose and life. Perry takes the reader easily word by word gliding on hard work, pure talent, and a voice that rises off the print to help you pull up a chair and get comfy. Coop has become that one book I mention everywhere I go and am not embarrassed to be a shameless promoter of. Michael Perry is a literary ROCKSTAR!! (although I hear he ain't too bad at keeping a tune either!) Coop is a blessing to read no matter who you are, or where you are in life- it will shed new light on your earthy travels for sure. Entirely 100% recommended- it even gets my stellar five chicken book award. Ya just gotta read it, I tell ya!
Michael Perry will be on Blog Talk Radio with Book Club Girl on Monday, June 7th at 7pm EST
Michael Perry's website: Sneezing Cow
Subtitle: A Family, a Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg
Author: Perry, Michael
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Subject: Memoirs, Non-Fiction
Publication Date: May 2010
All of the proceeds from purchasing items using my link affiliations to Powell's Books go to Living Water International a charity quenching global thirst and preaching the gospel worldwide. You can also donate directly if you would like. Thank you!!
Last year I posted a review of My Little Red Book, and recently I was asked to offer a giveaway for this little gem of a book on my blog. "Of course!" I said, "I'd love too!" and that was that. What follows is my review which I originally posted in March of 2009- and after that and author video and the deets on entering this giveaway. You won't want to miss out on this opportunity, perfect for mother-daughter bonding!!
My Little Red Book written by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff is a conglomerate memoir of that sacred experience, which is a woman's first period. This splendid little anthology begins with the story of the editor getting her first period while on water skis in a bright yellow bathing suit, and moves from there to woman after woman, mothers and daughters, grandmas and aunts sharing their horrors, their joys and their stories of shame.
There is an account of a mother telling her daughter how amazing and symbolic this event is in their lives as African American women, she tells of how in the days of their great-grandmothers the beginning of menstruation marked a change from a girl to a woman. That day was feared as it meant that her slave value went up and therefore many times she would be sold away from her family to benefit the slave owner. I just couldn't shake that account, still can't.
Even now so many girls look upon the day of their first period with apprehension, fear, guilt, and shame however I find that this book is pioneer to change that. It is no Judy Blume and I thank God that it isn't as women are tired of learning about belted pads, which are so not happening anymore. The author wants this book to be more than just a collection of women telling their stories, but a breakthrough, a change in the way first periods (and periods in general) are perceived, and everyone's attitudes towards them.
On of my favourite stories in My Little Red Book is an essay by Gloria Steinem called "If Men Could Menstruate" (p. 114) it is over-the-top-funny and I just had to agree (not to her extreme, but still) if men did menstruate it would be a test of manhood, a time of the month filled with pride and glorification. What is wrong with us women!?! Not that periods are great, they really aren't that fun but we should see them as what they are, an amazing ability that we have to monthly remember our common bonds of womanhood, and well, that we have the god-given ability to pro-create!
I really enjoyed this book, it is a great resource to share with your daughter, I can't say that I would let her read every story (if she were my 12 year-old) as there is mature content in a couple of the stories, but it would be great to read through it together. My Little Red Book gets my full recommendation, it is spectacular in that it captures all the angles of a girl becoming a woman.
Personally though reading through this I feel slighted . No, it isn't anything wrong with the book, it is that I cannot remember really anything about my first period. I don't think it was that monumental, I wasn't apprehensive and I wasn't scared that I was dying. I don't remember it at all. I kept thinking throughout the book (and still) that there would be something to trigger my memory in one of the stories, I didn't find it. I can't even remember how old I was. I know I was around 12 or so, maybe almost 13 but that is a guess. My friends have told me of amazing dinners they go out to with their mothers, get their hair and nails done, get all fancied up and have a celebration of womanhood where they learn the importance of what is happening and how to handle it, and how to not be ashamed of who they are as women. That didn't happen for me, I bit my nails so getting them done was out, and I didn't like anyone messing with my hair or wearing fancy dresses. Oh, well!
Because the point of the book is to open women up to talk about their experiences, let's do it. If you are a women, what do you remember about this grand event which was your first period? Would you have wished your mom to make a bigger deal about it? Did she even know when you started?
To Enter the Giveaway of My Little Red Book:
1.) Comment on this post telling me your story (if you are a male, figure out something else interesting to tell me about).
2.) For an additional entry tweet about this giveaway and leave a separate comment (from the comment above) telling me you did.
3.) There are 10 copies of My Little Red Book available. For every 5 entrants I will add in another one of the available copies- up to 10 max.
4.) US/Canadian residents only, no PO boxes.
5.) This Giveaway is open through May 18th, I will select a winner on May 19th. Leave a contact email address, just in case you are a lucky winner!!
Chapter by chapter Brian Doerksen (the Award-winning songwriter and worship leader) tells of the songs that have changed his life, molded him and how his own lyrics have challenged him to be different-closer to God. I love worshiping, and enjoyed reading Doerksen's thoughts on leading people in, but mostly how he was brought to his knees to praise. As we worship God we are communicating with Him in a way that can transform us, therefore we are waging war, and we are to love the war this brings. We are to long to be changed by God each time we come before Him, each time he tells us something new.
True worshipers will love and do battle, followers of Christ are called to spread peace just as much as they are called to be in the forefront fighting a spiritual warfare. This walk of a worshiper is not just in worship, but in how one lives, how one serves and also how one fights to protect what is most valuable in life.However it is often when we are singing out of love for God he will show us an area on which to make war, a segment of our life that He is calling us to surrender. In that sweet place of complete immersion in Christ we are challenged to make those changes happen. I can't even begin to describe all the things that Make Love, Make War covers. It is a book that will beg change in you, bring you to a place of better understanding of Christ and of worship and help you understand the importance of taking up your sword and making war.
At the end of each chapter are a couple short paragraphs on learning to work with your own songs- write music and learn to worship Christ. I loved reading what this worship song writing guru had to say about songwriting. I learned something from each chapter, each section and I loved how Brian Doerksen challenged his readers.I recommend this to worshipers and worship leaders alike- there is no reason every follower of Christ wouldn't be challenged by this book, to be closer to God and aspire to be made more like Him through worship and communion. Great read!!
- ISBN: 9781434766823
- Subtitle: Now Is the Time to Worship
- Author: Doerksen, Brian
- Publisher: David C. Cook
- Subject: Christian Life - General
- Publication Date: August 2009
- Language: English
- Pages: 253
All of the proceeds from purchasing items using any of my link affiliations (Powell's Books or Toms Shoes) will go to Living Water International a charity quenching global thirst and preaching the gospel. You can also donate directly if you would like. Thank you!!
Author Todd Johnson weaves this novel together by southern twinged chapters, each of them focusing on the voice and impressions of five individual characters who get to tell their side of the story. Together it is a symphony, the sounds join to form the music of a full life. It is beautiful to see the impact each life has on the next and just how they combine and connect throughout the entire book.
The Sweet By and By is one of those that while it might not receive the hype that it truly deserves, it is written superbly and will draw the reader in from the first couple pages. The subject matter of the elderly, old friendships and family all meet up at the nursing home- that doesn't sound like it could draw in a young person it, right?? Well- I dare you to try it! I fell in love with these women and their problems and weaknesses just as much as with their strength and resolve. I admired them.
However it didn't necessarily start out that way. When picked it up, it sounded interesting but as I realised it was mainly about a couple older women living in a nursing home I was almost shocked to feel attached to them, yet I was. I can't relate, I don't understand them in so many ways, but somehow they warmed me into their circle, and it all felt real- like I couldn't leave them sitting there and not finish the story they had to tell. I am amazed that this book reached out to me how it did, and it blessed me the whole way through. Each page, each chapter all written with flawless prose enraptures even the less willing reader. I wish I could choose classics- this one would be on my very short list. I highly recommend this read, young and old alike -no question. Loved it.
Title: The Sweet By And By
Author:by Todd Johnson
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Subject: Reminiscing, Friendship, Older Women
Publication Date: March 2009
I'd like to work together to bless others, so I have decided that all of the proceeds from purchasing products using any of my link affiliations (Powell's Books or Tom Shoes) will be donated to Living Water International an organization quenching global thirst. You can also donate directly if you would like. Thank you!!
I have some very good news, my Orbis Terrarum Reading Challenge is starting up again really soon (soon as in 4 days from now)!! Please don't miss out, you will be incredibly bummed if you don't join in on the fun this year- this is our 3rd go at it! You could also host a mini-challenge if you want (email me for more information on that)
How to join?? The deets and the SIGN UPs for the Orbis Terrarum Reading Challenge here!!
Besides that I have to broadcast all over just how much I loved NurtureShock, it is the best child Studies/parenting book that I have ever read, it is by far an A+ I haven't read anything better! Head over to my full review of NutureShock. It will blow your mind and give you so much insight.
This week I shared my dreams of one day owning a One Room SchoolHouse, and how I think our children are missing out because our society is so age segregated. They aren't asked to interact with different age groups, therefore missing out on a whole chapter in their development.
PS. One of those buildings would also be an excellent home! One day I dream of buying one of these old one room schoolhouses and living in it (with an added loft for bedrooms and an add on bathroom of course).
Last but certainly not least, in my life right now I am training for a half marathon. We'll see how it goes, but since I am a reader and a runner and a movie watcher I have gleaned some excellent materials on running from several different sources. Weather you would like to be motivated enough to run twice a week, walk to work or as my friend says "run to eat" you should check out what I've read, watched and learned so far that has inspired me to get my butt off the couch! You might find yourself itching to bring those old tennies out for a jog!
That is what I have been up to this week, how has your week been?? Oh, and tomorrow is my birthday too- the big 3-0 and I can't wait!! Each year is getting better. Which has been your favourite age to turn so far?
This is the best parenting/child development book I have read ever!! I just cannot recommend this book enough. Every time I think about it I want to grab whoever is next to me and tell them that this book is so important and each individual who has any contact with children at all should read it. I wish you could see the full extent of my smile and how I was nodding up and down with my head like a car dash toy pretty much the whole way through NurtureShock. It is sickingly good.
There were several chapters that gave me the chills as I read them, one is the first chapter which is titled The Inverse Power of Praise, and subtitled "Sure, he's special. But new research suggests that if you tell him that, you'll ruin him. It's a neurobiological fact". Okay, so you can probably see where that is going-but the amount of research and time proved what I have known since day one with my boys. My oldest is very smart and educational success comes easily, however I have noticed that he is much quicker to give up than his younger sibling if he doesn't get it right the first time. That is a key of this chapter, that the way we praise our children makes a world of difference as to if they will quit or try until they get it. I can't tell you just how important this chapter is to me, especially since I am staying at home with the boys and we are homeschooling. The second I got this info I tried it and it is completely true- he started to be proud of how hard he was working and not give up as quickly!!
Another chapter (Chapter 3) Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race, subtitled "Does teaching children about race and skin color make them better off or worse?" was shocking! This one will BLOW YOUR MIND. Study after study shows that children DO notice racial differences even if their parents never mention it at all. What this does is it causes them to think that they aren't supposed to notice these differences either-but since they do notice they begin to think all sorts of negatives about why their parents don't want to discuss it.
This chapter as well proved to be completely true in our home. We have been around people of different races, they have friends with different skin tones so I figured-hey why cause distinctions where there shouldn't be any and thus ignoring the issue. I mostly did this because I really had no idea how to talk about it or what to say. Immediately after reading this chapter in the book I began telling the boys about different races, and that we needed to be sure to treat all people equal no matter if they have dark skin, light skin...and so on. Jackson's face lit up and he said, " I was wondering why all those men who play football looked like they have dark skin but I think they are just dirty-they probably smell bad too". I could not believe I was so naive as to think kids could figure out such a difficult issue without my guidance. I guide them in everything else! My negligence could have been really bad if I hadn't figured it out while reading this book. Kids will make guesses as to why others are different and without a parent's guidance they will generally make very wrong assumptions. Now I tell all my friends-"Don't hide race from your kids, they see it!". My kids are 5 and 3 and they noticed already. I now am an advocate for discussing race with children!!
Those are just two of the chapters in the book and you see how it gets me going!? The other chapter titles are:
1. The Inverse Power of Praise "Sure, he's special. But new research suggests that if you tell him that, you'll ruin him. It's a neurobiological fact"
2. The Lost Hour "Around the world, children get an hour less sleep than they did thirty years ago. The cost: IQ Points, emotional well-being, ADHD, and obesity"
3. Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race "Does teaching children about race and skin color make them better off or worse?"
4. Why Kids Lie "We may treasure honesty, but the research is clear. Most classic strategies to promote truthfulness just encourage kids to be better liars",
5. The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten "Millions of kids are competing for seats in gifted programs and private schools. Admissions officers say it's an art: new science days they're wrong, 73% of the time"
6. The Sibling Effect "Freud was wrong. Shakespeare was right. Why siblings really fight"
7. The Science of Teen Rebellion " Why for adolescents, arguing with adults is a sign of respect, not disrespect-and arguing is constructive to the relationship, not destructive"
8. Can Self-Control Be Taught? "Developers of a new kind of preschool keep losing their grant money-the students are so successful they're no longer "a-risk enough" to warrant further study. What's their secret?
9. Plays Well With Others "Why modern involved parenting has failed to produce a generation of angels"
10. Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn't "Despite scientists' admonitions, parents still spend billions every year on gimmicks and videos, hoping to jump-start infants' language skills. What's the right way to accomplish this goal?"
Again after I wrote all those out I thought, " I need to read Nuture Shock again!!!" Uh-oh! I really just can't tell you how much I think this book will blow you away. I didn't %100 agree with every single thing, but really about %99 of it for sure. I can almost guarantee that you will probably want to underline and pass this book around to your friends. It is the best parenting book that I have read ever. EVER. And captivating to read too- you will understand for the first time so many things that you thought you already knew. A MUST READ.
- ISBN: 9780446504126
- Subtitle: New Thinking about Children
- Author: Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
- Publisher: Twelve
- Subject:Parenting, Child rearing, Child Development, Children's Studies
- Publication Date:September 2009