Friday, February 29, 2008

Sarah: Women of Genesis

This is the first book in Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis series, which also includes Rebekah and Rachel and Leah. It is actually the last one of the series for me since I read the others in 2006.

I think it is a good exercise to read about people in the scriptures as real people, with day to day lives, hopes and dreams, as long as you remember that it is just a fictional interpretation based on the Bible. The fact that Card and I share the same faith (and he's a North Carolinian) is nice, but I also love perspectives from other faiths such as Anita Diamant's The Red Tent.

Card chooses to portray Sarah as a strong feisty woman, deeply in love with Abraham. Sarah and Abraham do (gasp!) argue, since sometimes she has to tell it like it is while Abraham's head is in the clouds. Her devotion to Abraham's God is also an issue as she was raised to believe in a different God. However, her faith is strong and she always remains true. As you would imagine, her fertility struggle is a central issue and the portrayal of her relationship with Hagar was, for me, the most interesting plot line.

Thank you, momseguine, for recommending these. I have enjoyed them!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Book Sale

I love the Matthews Library. I love it so much that I pay to use it. I love my other library too, but they charge me $1 for a used paperback. I got all of these from Matthews for...wait for it...

80 cents

The Rule of Four and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil are both hardcovers (at a whopping 25 cents a piece). The paperbacks were 10 cents a piece. Only Light on Snow was a former library book. The rest were donated books that they decided not to put on the shelves. I've read The Rule of Four, but the rest are new to me. I'm excited!

Has anyone read any of the others before? Thoughts on them?

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Next Thing on My List

This is my book club's book for March. I was able to get it quickly from the library, and it was a quick and easy read. It was light and fluffy--what I would classify as chicklit.

The story follows June Parker, a 30-something who works for LA's Rideshare program. June is in a car accident with Marissa, whom she met at Weight Watchers, and Marissa dies. June barely knows the woman, but she feels tremendous guilt. June finds a piece of paper among Marissa's belongings that she had hoped to complete before her next birthday. She sets out to complete the rest of the things on Marissa's list and, in the process, finds herself.

All in all, I would say I liked it for the type of book that it is. It serves as a good reminder to live life with a purpose, but mostly it was just pure fun. Be aware there is a smattering of colorful words and phrases throughout the book, although it was certainly better than most books in this genre in that regard.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

123 Book Tag

I was tagged by Heather.

Here are the rules:
  • Find the book closest to you with at least 123 pages.
  • Turn to page 123.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the next 3 sentences.
  • Tag 5 people.
I was sitting in my library when I read this. So, I figure pretty much any book is fair game. And, I'm quite sure you have no interest in what Library and Information Center Management has to say anyway.

So, from Pride and Prejudice:

"I am not likely to leave Kent for some time. Promise me, therefore, to come to Hunsford."

Elizabeth could not refuse, though she foresaw little pleasure in the visit.

"My father and Maria are to come to me in March, " added Charlotte, "and I hope you will consent to be of the party."

Nothing earth shattering, but if you know the movie or the book, you should be able to place the part.

On to tagging: Lisa from Harper Hoorahs, Lynn, Andi (I won't be expecting Jane Austen I assure you), Kayla, and EABS.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Friday Night Knitting Club

Thank you Shanda for getting this book off my TBR list and into my hands! I read this one on vacation this weekend with my husband. It is the perfect light read for a long weekend.

The story follows Georgia, a single mother, who owns a yarn boutique in Manhattan. On Friday nights a group of women, old and young, come together in the store to work on their projects, and become friends. They see each other through life's up and downs, and despite their varied backgrounds, form a bond that can't be broken.

It was kind of obvious that this was Kate Jacobs' first novel. The beginning was a little rough, her transitions were not-so-smooth, but she told a good story and I was emotionally invested in (some of, but not all) the characters. And, if you happen to knit (which I don't) I would say you should definitely check it out.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Alchemist

This is our book club choice for this month.

I laughed.
I cried.
I loved it.

I even read the last 50 pages or so out loud to Dan and he loved it.

It's short, but powerful. A fable for our time.

Travel with Santiago to Egypt and see what happens....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Goose Girl

Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale by the same name, Shannon Hale has created a wonderful story that will appeal to both old and young. Princess Ani is thrust from the only home she has ever known and betrothed to a prince in a faraway land. A mutiny in the traveling party forces Ani to escape and hide her true identity. She becomes the goose girl to the king's geese and learns more about her inner strengths and powers.

This is one I would highly recommend. It's just a beautiful story with descriptions that make you want to go back and read the sentences twice. There are two other books in the series, Enna Burning and River Secrets, which are based off supporting characters from The Goose Girl.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Still Reading...

Sorry, it's been a slow week for reading. Lots of schoolwork, church work, activities with the kids, etc. However, I am reading Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl and I love it!

Did you get a chance to see Miss Austen Regrets? It has been my favorite thing on PBS so far this year. I loved the actress who played Jane. It just made her seem so real.

Also, go and check out Stephanie's The Written Word. She's running a contest for a free copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club. Just post a comment by midnight on Wednesday Feb. 13 and you are entered into the drawing. Stephanie writes great reviews, and this is a blog I recommend sticking into your Bloglines or Google Reader.

Monday, February 4, 2008


It's been awhile since I've seen Hamlet (and I don't think I've ever read all of it) so this book based on Ophelia was a fresh new surprise. Voted one of the best teen reads of 2006 on, the author takes what Shakespeare has given us about Ophelia and expands her whole story, filling in all the details about a noble life in Denmark.

I definitely loved the romance of the first half, but then the book had a few slow moments for me in the second half. However, it all ended up how I wanted it to. Being that this is Lisa Klein's only novel, I think she has a promising future ahead of her. A nice, relaxing, enjoyable read, suitable for high school girls on up.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

People of the Book

I had seen this book in the bookstore and read a few reviews from fellow bloggers, so I was happy I got through the queue at the library pretty quickly. Having not read Brooks' other books, I wasn't sure what do expect since those I spoke to previously had given Pulitzer Prize-winning March mixed reviews. But, the dedication to the book says, "For the librarians" and from there on out I knew I was going to love it.

I can't think of a way to describe it that will do the book justice. I've seen it compared to The DaVinci Code, but this is in no way and action packed thriller. It is a much more humanistic look at a fictional history of the real-life Sarajevo Haggadah. The chapters alternate between the modern-day book conservationist and the historical events that transpired which help unravel the mystery of how the book came to be in its modern-day setting. The librarian and genealogist in me definitely found the plot engaging, although sometimes I felt a little lost in the abundance of details.

I highly recommend this one and will definitely be adding Brooks' other two novels to my TBR list in the future.

Library Lovers Meme

I found this fun meme on Becky's Book Reviews. How could I resist an ode to my libraries?

How do you plan on celebrating Library Lovers month? By not getting too frustrated when I tell the librarian I have a book on my account that I didn't check out. I'm quite sure it is probably sitting safely on the stacks.

How often do you accidentally spell library as 'libary' when you're in a hurry? Thankfully this is one of those words that Microsoft Word automatically fixes for me. I am blissfully ignorant as to how often I might misspell it. And, being that I am getting a Master's in Library and Information Science, I have cause to type that word quite a bit!

What is the most amount of books you've ever had checked out at one time? At least 50. My library in Tampa let me check out an unlimited number of books. I got through the year 2002 by taking my kids to the library constantly. It was one of the only places I ventured out in public with my two babies.

What is the longest you've ever gone without visiting the library? When I was in high school in England I don't think I went to a library very often, although I do recall having a Crawley Library card. When I moved back as an adult, I did frequent the Crawley Library though quite a bit.

What is the biggest fine you've ever had? Well, paying for a brand new hardcover book that I KNOW I returned was definitely the worst. I try really hard to avoid fines, even driving out in the middle of the night to return books. Something really bugs me about paying fines, even though I know the money goes to support the library and buy new books.

When you go to the library, do you plan ahead and make a list? Or do you browse? I make a list and plan ahead for myself. But I usually stop for a minute and browse at the new books. For the kids, I usually have a couple of things in mind to get for them, but I spend time browsing too while they play.

Have you ever been shushed or hushed by a librarian? I really don't like librarians who shush. I'm sure my kids have been shushed, but I try and do the shushing myself so the librarian knows I'm aware they are being noisy.

What is the worst (against-the-rules) thing you've ever done in the library? Talk on my cell phone.

What's the worst thing you've ever done to a library book? My kids have ripped out pages and I've taped them back in without confessing. I did take in a DVD Jonah ruined and confessed--cost me $20!

Have you ever had a "favorite" librarian? Not really.

If you could change one thing about your library it would be... I just wish I were actually living in Mecklenburg County. I pay $45 a year to be a part of their system because it is bigger than Union County and quite cutting edge in the library world. PLCMC has been referenced quite a bit since I've been in library school. But Union County has the small friendly feel and the library queues aren't as long for popular books. So, I visit both of them every week.