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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

Harry Potter book #2, by J.K. Rowling, YR, 2000, 464p, large print, rating=5

"The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike..."  (Goodreads)
Time sure flew by!  I read book one of this series last November at the height of the anticipation of part one of book seven's movie debut.  I loved the first book and was sure to catch up by the time part two rolls around.  Yikes, it's around the corner!  And needless to say, I'm far from being caught up.  But that's okay, I'll eventually complete the series and then watch the film adaptations.  Yes, I have not seen any of the movies.  Honestly, I just didn't think it was my kind of movie.  Anyway, I'm sure that will change because I adore the series so far therefore I look forward to seeing its majesty in film.

Glad I stumbled into the large print of this book.  I found it to be an easier read for my aging eyes, but then the book's a bit heavy on the hands, oh well.  Anyway, another lovely read.  I am definitely understanding the mass hysteria that is the Harry Potter phenomenon.  J.K. Rowling is absolutely brilliant and I anticipate the next installments to be even better!  Such amazing imagination and flow to the adventures that befall Harry and friends.  It's absolutely fun!  Wild characters, exciting escapades, and twisty plots.  Totally scrumptious to my reading eyes!!

What I'm discovering so far is that Harry Potter, the character, is nothing without his supporting characters.  In fact, I think he's rather weak, but throw in friends, enemies, fantastic adventures and Harry Potter becomes amazing.  That's part of Ms Rowling's brilliance ...developing the characters already established and then introduces new ones that you will find essential and by book's end, a fixture to the series as well.  I'm at total awe of this author's talent to captivate. 

This is book two so this follows Harry Potter's second year at Hogwarts.  Usually, summer tortures with the Dursley's, then adventurous fight of survival at wizardly school year.  Fun, fun, fun!  Getting to the end was so worth it!  In general, the book could stand alone (it gives a generalized review of book one) and one could be satisfied, yet you can't help but want to know what the next years will bring.  Brilliant, I tell ya, brilliant!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #31

The bug's been hovering in my home for the past couple of weeks so sickness has been on my mind.  That said here's a couple of scripture passages that I'm pondering ...

  • "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."  James 5:14-16
  • "For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord;..."  Jeremiah 30:17
Fortunately, no major physical sickness going on but nice to know that I can call upon a priesthood for a blessing.  More importantly, I can call upon the Lord to heal for all types of wounds ... physical illness or spiritual struggles.

Good health to you all!! :)

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway WINNER

A huge thank you to those who participated in my Midsummer's Eve Giveaway.  I appreciate your follow here and on FB.  You are fabulous!!  Now, let's give a big ...
to LINDSEY (leebee...) !!!
Confrmed and has chosen $20 to Amazon

*Winner was chosen using the services of

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brief Reviews: On My Honor; Catch-22

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer, YR, 1986, 90p, rating=3
Newbery Honor

"Joel's best friend Tony drowns while they are swimming in the forbidden, treacherous Vermilion River. Joel is terrified at having to tell of his disobedience and overwhelmed by his feelings of guilt." (Goodreads)

I'm unsure of this book.  I see the power of conflict and moral issues being played out but I was left with the struggle of its brevity/ending/???.  Yes, I got depth by reading between the lines ... but something was off that I can't seem to pinpoint. 

In general, this is a good wake-up call and reminder for parents that teenagers are still children.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, AF, c1955, Playaway audio 2008, 20hrs, rating=3

"At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indicement of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is a tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive. " (Goodreads)

This was a hard read.  Satirical, bureaucratic subjects are not my strong suit.  However, Mr. Jay O. Sanders did a remarkable job at narrating as to give the characters distinct emotion and passion.  In that sense I was able to grasp the clever and intense points that Mr. Joseph Heller was conveying.  I laughed, I cheered, I got confused, and I was saddened ... after all, this was about war and using my widely used word lately, (war) sucks! ... people fight to survive ... people die.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"P.S. I Love You"

by Cecelia Ahern, AF, 2004, 375p, rating=3

"Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed."  (Goodreads)
I enjoyed the movie version of this book so I thought I'd revive the feeling by reading this novel.  Well, this is one of those rare cases that I adored the movie adaptation better than the book!  Right off the bat, things were different ... in the book, Holly had all the "letters" (though she had to read one per month) at once, while in the movie, she gets them monthly in the mail.  That set the mood for me, disappointment, because I liked the excitement of getting the letters in the mail version.  However, I was reading on in hopes that the sappy feeling I got in the cinema's adaptation comes.  Not fully.  Bummer!

Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't badly written.  It still had the element of hurt and process of healing that was important to pick up.  Being a widow and the desire to hold on as long as possible was simply understandable.  However, the movie take was just more moving and captivating.  Having the conditions of seeing the emotions, hearing the theatrical music, and getting swept by the drama that the motion picture projected was overwhelmingly more impacting than in the book.

Plus it didn't hurt that it casted a couple of my favorite hot men ...Gerard Butler and Harry Connick Jr.  And borrowing  Lightening McQueen's tag phrase, "Kachow!!!!"  (Yes, this 40+ lady is a kid at heart)  :D

P.S.  I love you hubby, don't you go dying on me!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brief Reviews: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; The Peach Keeper

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, AF, 2004, audio CDs, 13.5hrs, rating=4

A very impressive novel for a 23 year old (late teens when she actually started to write this).  A lot of insights, depth, courage, and sadness.  A crash course in racial and political tension in the South at probably its bleakest.  A roaring voice for the figuratively muted human soul. 

It sucks to grow up into adulthood and think that the ideals seem within reach but then you find out that you need to pass them on to the next generation and hope they finally get it right.

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen, AF, 2011, 273p, rating=3

Another Southern setting, but not nearly as heavy as The Heart is a Lonely Hunter!  This one was a quick brainless read that was a good time filler.  It had variety of characters in search for self-actualization.  An interesting mystery of family secrets coming to light.  An overall good book for leisure.

Go HERE for Goodread's synopsis of this book.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop in this blog giveaway hop!  I am Jinky and a fairly new bookworm (16mos).  As my profile indicate, I finally took up reading so as not to feel left out in book conversations with friends.  Before I knew it, reading and blogging became a fun hobby and something I can call my own.  Like many bloggers, from time-to-time life gets a hold of me and things begin to slow down or halt for awhile but I return as soon as I can.  Anyway, I'm an avid library user so a good 90% of the books I read I get from my local library.  Luckily my library has excellent selections and affords me to dabble into a variety of genres, but I lean more towards adult fiction/literature.  Feel free to take a look around and see if you'd like to become a follower. 

OK, for this hop, I'm giving away to one winner:   a $20 E-gift card to or choose books worth up to $20 from The Book Depository ... whichever is appropriate for you (remember to have a valid e-mail address; The Book Depository ships to your country). 


The rules and such:
*Must be a GFC follower and complete the form below to enter.
*Must also be at least 13 years old to enter.
*A winner will be chosen using the services of
*Winner will be announced in this blog (within 3 days after the end of contest) and will have 48hrs to respond or the runner up will be contacted.
*+2 extra entries for following me on Facebook, HERE.
*You will be under the honor code that you are indeed at least 13yo and a GFC and/or Facebook follower.
*Should you win, I will ask for your profile name then. 
*Dishonest entrants will be disqualified for this giveaway and future giveaways in this blog.

Thank you Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting this blog.  Be sure to stop by HERE for the list of over 200 bloggers participating in this hop.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #30

I'm thinking of my Heavenly Father today, so here's a scripture about what He has in store for us:

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

What a loving God!!!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes"

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, by Elanor Coerr, YR, 1977, 80p, rating=3.5  *SPOILER ALERT*

A wonderful and moving story of a young girl, Sadako, sickened with leukemia due to radiation effects of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, Japan in World War II.  Also relating the Japanese legend of folding 1,000 paper cranes to the gods for good health, which Sadako pursued.  She died before completing the thousand but her friends from the bamboo class completed the thousand in her honor and produced a compilation of her letters and journal to make a book they called Koheshi (where the author based this story) .  As her story became known, more friends were inspired to build a monument to honor her and all children who were killed by the atom bomb.  The monument was unveiled in 1958 which engraved a wish ... This is our cry, this is our prayer; peace in the world.

Sadako's story and symbol for peace is heartwarming (get your tissue box ready) but I don't think the author fully captured her story.  I was left saying ... "That's it?!".  I understand that this is a book for young readers but even then it wasn't personal enough.  It felt like the prologue and epilogue was the main attraction.  I sure would love to read Koheshi!!  ~By the way, there is a step-by-step guide of how to fold a paper crane at the end of the book.

On a personal note, this is a book I'm passing to my son who enjoyed making paper cranes along with his Cub Scout buddies for our local humanitarian group (who presented 1200 cranes to the museum for their exhibit. Their goal is to receive 92,785 peace cranes – one to represent each Japanese-American that was put in an internment camp during World War II).

I give the story 5 stars but the author's presentation a 2.5 stars, hence a total of 3.5 stars as a whole.  :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #29

Anger has been one of my biggest downfalls.  I'm a bit slower at it now than I use to be so I'm gettin' there.  Anyway, I thought I'd ponder what the scriptures say about the subject and so here's a few:
  • He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.  Proverb 16:32
  • Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry:  for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.  Ecclesiastes 7:9
  • A wrathful man stirreth up strife:  but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.  Proverbs 15:18
This one made me laugh ... only because I was thinking about how I am when it's that time of the month:
  • It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.  Proverbs 21:19
That's all for now.  Hope you're having a good sabbath.  ~Have a great week!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Brief Reviews: The Perfect Christmas; Kat, Incorrigible; What You Have Left

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber, AF, 2009, Playaway audio, 4hrs, rating=2.5

Cassie at 33yo was ready to settle down but where was Mr. Right?  No luck in dating so she turned to a matchmaker for help.  At a whopping fee of $30,000, she was serious and determined to jump the hoops required of her.  Then of course something predictable happens and a different route was taken.

This is a good book if you're in a cheesy mood ... a quick corny predictable read.  I suspect reading this during the holidays would put you in that mood and so this might be more entertaining then.

Kat, Incorrigible by  Stephanie Burgis, YR, 2011, 298p, rating=3

The cover set me up for a cute read and so it was.  Kat indeed had her sassy moments.  This was Anne of Green Gables meets Harry Potter but not near their caliber of greatness.  An entertaining read nonetheless ... whimsical, English, swashbuckling romance, and sisterhood.  Oh, I liked the step-mother's turn of character towards the end.

What You Have Left by Will Allison, AF, 2010, 210p, rating=3

Stumbled into this while on the hunt for the author's other book Long Drive Home.  My library didn't have that book so I picked this one up instead.  ~Pretty crazy cover, huh?  The baby's pretty high up!  When she falls back down she's 30 years older ... the time it took between when Wylie Greer dropped off his 5yo daughter, Holly, at his father-in-law's to when they saw each other again.  In between, there were stories of grief, reflections, racing, love, and understanding.  The dynamics of longing was center.  I found the book most appealing through Lyle's point of view.  This book was an overall good read.

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