Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Percy Jackson Series

by Rick Riodan

I really enjoyed this series.  It reminded me of the Harry Potter series, but with a twist of it's own.  I enjoyed the adventures that Percy and his friends took.  I wasn't going to read them at first, but since Nat has read them, and we have the movie from book 1, I decided... why not?  I also decided to read them, because of the kids.  We initially bought the books for them to read. 

I read these 5 books in between reading my other books for book club.  I think my favorite of the whole series would have to be the fifth and final book.  I think that the author had really ended the story well. 

I am now off to read The Lost Hero (Heros of Olympus), which is also by Rick Riodan.

The White Queen (The Cousins War #1)

By Philippa Gregory

Ok, I really enjoyed this book!  I really got to know the characters, learning, growing, being disappointed, and the struggles that they had.  I never would have thought that it would be this difficult to become, stay, and be royalty.  I now have to read The Red Queen, just to find out what has happened to the characters that I have come to love.

I found myself not wanting to put this book down.  Even though there is a lot of war in this book, the author has done a great job of telling it, and not being so graphic with it.  I love how they have to keep planning and since they are a new King and Queen, how they have to set up their court. I enjoyed reading that they are regular people, with a title, and how they struggle and have challenges.   

I enjoyed diving into the Medieval era.  This story is based on fact, but does have some fiction mixed in.  Would I recommend this book to read?  It all depends on the person I am talking too. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

by Dorothy Gilman

I read this one in June.  Ya know, I am not one really for mysteries, but I enjoyed this one greatly.  Mrs. Polifax has lived a great life and is wanting a change of pace.  She is widowed, and all her children are grown and out of the house.

She was getting bored with all of her community work.  She wasn't enjoying it anymore.  So, one day, she decided that she would go to DC and talk to the CIA.  Her childhood dream was to be a 'Spy' for the U.S.  Since she had no real obligations holding her at home, she went for it.  She has more guts that I would have had, that's for sure.

So, she went to the CIA, and ended up on an adventure of a lifetime.  Her first job was to go to Mexico and be a tourist.  Who wouldn't love a job like that? 

She is very bright and thinks on her toes.  Befriending those who kidnap her, who would think an old lady would betray them.  She never gave up hope, and her fellow character were a hoot as well.  Twists and turns - I would have never thought about, and they were great. 

I am really tempted to read the other adventures that she took and takes.    I am really glad that I have joined in this book club, I am reading books that I never would have even considered. 

Since joining the book club, I am now always on the hunt for another book to read in between our assigned reading. 


by Orson Scott Card

I know it has been a while.  I actually read Saints back in May.  It was a very good book.  I enjoyed and devoured it so much more than Peace Like a River.  It is based on my religion and it's background.  There are some parts that I could have done without.  I tried to put myself back in that time period (1800's and in England).  I can't believe some of the trials that they had to endure.  But, I do admire, Dinah Kirkham, the main character of this novel, on the way that she handled herself. 

It takes a lot of faith and courage to leave behind your home land, children, and husband to come to America.  She did this all on faith. She wanted to start a new life, new chapter, and she did just that.  She never forgot her children that she left behind (by choice, but not without a fight).

I am so glad that the church does not follow polygamy anymore... that is one topic I would have loved to be a part of at book club, but I missed it.  I am not sure if I would read this book again or not.  It is written by an LDS author.  There is some language (which I could handle), but some of the explicit details and scene, I could have done without. for sure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peace Like a River

by Leif Enger
click the pick to take you to Amazon

To tell the truth, I didn't really care for this book.  I have heard/read many rave reviews, but was not pleased with it myself.  It was like nails scrapping on the chalkboard just to get through the first half of the book.  Once half way through, it actually was pretty good.  Then, the end... it DE-railed. 

Now, I know some books go back and forth for sections for different characters, places, and so forth... but this one, it left a sourer taste in my mouth.  It was a sure let down from Unbroken.  Would I recommend this book to read... no, and I would never read it again either.  I think that I will donate it to the library.  Mind you, this is just my humble opinion, and remember, I have read/heard many rave reviews.

Peace Like a River was just not my cup of tea.  It all comes down to the writing style... it takes place as an 11 year old boy telling a story (which, I had to keep reminding myself of).  I know how story telling can get off track, especially when a boy is telling it (I speak from personal experience, as I have an 11 year old), but really?  I think it would have been better if, when he does break off from the actual story and heads down a different road, if he would break from the paragraph/section, have something telling the reader that the subject is changing, then go back into the story.  In this case, the writer never did, which made it harder for me to follow.

The story does take place in the '60's I believe.  I did enjoy and got to know the characters well.  I think my all time fave was Swede.  Rube, he seems like I boy I would want to know.  Davy, I so feel for him, he went down the wrong path, but was still sweet and warm hearted.  Their father, Jeremiah, had such faith.  He was a dedicated man and father.

Next review will be on Saints by Orson Scott Card

Friday, April 8, 2011

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

click the picture to take you to amazon
When I first heard that this was the book I was to read for book club, I was very apprehensive.  You see, this is not a book that I would have picked to read on my own. 

I could not find it at any of the local stores... they couldn't keep their hands on it long enough.  I bought it in a neighboring city, very weary just by the size alone, if I would even be able to finish it by the deadline.  I calculated how many chapters I would have to pull teeth to get through each day, and finally bit the bullet, and sunk my teeth in.

Now, I was going into this with very low expectations, I read the first chapter.  Ok, so far so good, then I went on reading the second.... by the time I put the book down for the night, I had already devoured five chapters...

I found myself enjoying this book greatly.  I started on a Monday and was done, sad to see the story end, all by Friday, just five short days.  I kid you not!  After my first day of reading, I told my beloved husband that he needed to read it when I was done.  Half way through the book, I told everyone I knew that they had to read this book.  Oh YES, it is that GOOD! 

I never really paid any attention in history while learning about WWII.  Unbroken gave me the opportunity to see just a portion of what it was like and gave me a quick history lesson.  I enjoyed how Heavenly Father made sure that Louie survived, He had a plan for him.  Now, I am ashamed to say this, but, I was mad at the Japanese for some of the things that were done to our POW's, but in the end, forgave because it is what 'had' to be done.  In a sense, Louie himself, showed me how to forgive and to love them once again. 

There are some parts that I wish I hadn't read, but, none that take away from the journey that Louis had to endure.  Oh, how brave he was, to have such a will to survive.  I think that his childhood gave him the strength and knowledge he needed to survive, to endure.  To be consumed by such hatred, vile, then turn around and forgive, that taught me a great lesson in turning the other cheek.

There is so much that I want to say, but am afraid too, for the risk of spoiling.  This is a book that I am going to be keeping on my shelf, and one day, even read again.

I was amazed!  I loved the way that Ms. Hillenbrand wrote.  I felt like I was right there with Louie, going through his journey right next to his side. 

This is a great true story about Louis Zamperini, a prisoner of War during WWII.

Here are some Interviews that Louis has done.
Louis Zamperini story 1 of 4
Louis Zamperini story 2 of 4
Louis Zamperini story 3 of 4
Louis Zamperini story 4 of 4

Laura Hillenbrand is also the author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Next review will be on Peace Like a River by Leif Enger