**"The Legend of Sleep Hollow" actually belongs to the Jan/Feb pciture collage.
Favorites in this group:
- Clarity by Kim Harrington
- Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
- The Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie
The acclaimed writer A.M. Homes was given up for adoption before she was born. Her biological mother was twenty-two-year-old single woman who was having an affair with a much older married man who had a family of his own. The Mistress's Daughter is Homes's ruthlessly honest account of what happened when, thirty years later, her birth parents came looking for her. Digging through each of her family histories, Homes delivers a twenty-first-century electronic search for self. Daring, heartbreaking, and startlingly funny, this is a brave and profoundly moving consideration of identity and family. (book's blurb)I stumbled into this book and once I saw the cover, well, that face ...cute but threatening! You can't tell from the picture much, but those piercing blue eyes promised to hurt me if I didn't pick-up the book. So I did.
On a stifling day in 1975, the North Vietnamese army is poised to roll into Saigon. As the fall of the city begins, two lovers make their way through the streets to escape to a new life. Helen Adams, an American photojournalist, must take leave of a war she is addicted to and a devastated country she has come to love. Linh, the Vietnamese man who loves her, must grapple with his own conflicted loyalties of heart and homeland. As they race to leave, they play out a drama of devotion and betrayal that spins them back through twelve war-torn years, beginning in the splendor of Angkor Wat, with their mentor, larger-than-life war correspondent Sam Darrow, once Helen's infuriating love and fiercest competitor, and Linh's secret keeper, boss and truest friend. Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman’s struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war. (book's blurb)This is an investment kind of book. You invest the time and heart and it will pay off. A technically tedious read for me but the perseverance to finish the book was worth it. A superb debut by Ms Soli. She captured a searing perspective of a historical event by telling the story through the fictional lens of a camera and heart of outsiders.
"He is not here, but is risen..." Luke 24:6It is Easter today and I am remembering our Lord Jesus Christ. This day designating a remembrance of the day He arose from the dead. Simply put, His resurrection gives us all the opportunity to live again after we die. Moreover, the atonement that preceded His resurrection rounds out the great plan of salvation. Our carnal or sinful ways can't hold us down if we choose to exercise the redeeming sacrifice that Christ paved for us. So, when we come to a point in our lives that seem hopeless, bleak, or even a point of no return; let's remember that Christ understands the agony and has paid the price to turn it around for us. There is a way. We sure have an awesome big brother!
It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other. Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, 'Where She Went' explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance. (book's synopsis)What a wonderful read, especially after a couple of not so good ones! I enjoyed the softness of this telling story. Using Adam's point of view this time around was an excellent choice. The tenderness that left you at If I Stay continued and expounded. You did not just discover where Mia went, but where Adam went as well. Then their chance meeting in New York would define the next step.
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love. (Goodreads)This is awful to say but the voice of the narrator helped to kill this for me! I'm not sure how to describe her voice. It was appropriately young but almost shrill to me and the change in intonation for drama was equally annoying. But I endured the 11.5hrs. Sorry, Ms Drew, it's just my ear ...nothing personal on you.
Every gift has a price . . . Every piece of lace has a secret . . .
My name is Towner Whitney. No, That's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time . . .
Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations, but the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light. The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction, but as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents." (Goodreads)
Another feast ... encompassing discussion for Fall of Man, Plan of Salvation, Atonement of Jesus Christ, Mission of Jesus Christ, and of course, Resurrection."For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."1 Corinthians 15:22
"A cast of characters as multicultural as fiction history can conjure. The clash of cultures: revulsion against female circumcision, American disdain of native culinary habits (dog-eating, bagoong) and even cultural artifacts (woven hangings, wooden saints) and the East-West divide on family values. Weaving the tribulations of being a mixed-race person into a technicolor tapestry, that is Robin Lim's fine achievement of biographical fiction. This work of "magical realism" strikes all the right chords. One is brought to tears and then laughter, and above all to a reflection on the "butterfly effect" as applied to the human condition: how acts of love or cruelty in the past, at disparate places, could have repercussions in the lives of people brought together by the tides of history." ~Edgar B. Maranan (book's back cover)Can you tell that my brother's in town from the Philippines? I had requested Filipino books from him and he brought me back three... Tall Story, the Filipino edition (I had already read the American edition just a few days before I received these books from him); this book; and one of Bo Sanchez's books that na arbor nang aunty ko (my aunt 'borrowed' ..she's going out of town and wanted a book to read on the flight and of course I was the only one with a book in my purse so there it went! I won't see that book for awhile.). Anyways, what a treat it has been to reminisce through the books. I want more!!
"What you want is not always what you get. Even when your wishes come true. Andi desperately hopes her long-lost half brother, Bernardo, will be as crazy about basketball as she is. But when he steps off the plane from the Philippines, she can't believe her eyes. She hasn't seen him for ten year, but even so, how did he get to be EIGHT FEET TALL? This eight-foot-tall boy is about to crash into her life with his size 22 feet. But Bernardo is not what he seems. Bernardo is a hero, Bernardo works miracles, and Bernardo has amazing story to tell." (book's blurb)I had high hopes for this little fat book and when I read this blurb (which doesn't do the book justice), it had me thinking that it was going to be just another run of the mill culture shock story so I braced myself for a disappointment. Then I began reading and it was a page turner! The warm characters and sweet storyline had me charmed, laughing, cheering, and fighting back tears ... the ingredients for an unforgettable heartwarming tale.
"Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker's Guide "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox - the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ball-point pens he has bought over the years." (Goodreads)I didn't get this! This sci-fi take perhaps was too deep and bizarre for me. Yes, there were some very funny moments using intellectual kind of sarcasm oppose to the slapstick type. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get me on the fan bandwagon. The names/terms were too outrageous for me to follow and the read itself gave me a sense of blah. I felt unhip .. in other words, stupid!
"When Sarah and her husband move to Pennsylvania, she takes a position helping Sylvia Compson prepare her estate for sale after the death of her sister. Sylvia is also a master quilter and offers to share the secrets of her creative gifts with the younger quilter. During her lessons, the intricate, varied threads of Sylvia's life begin to emerge." (Goodreads)If you like homely stories ...quilting, young and old ladies, history, etc. then you'll enjoy this book. A warm and rich story with interesting quilting tidbits. Also, Ms Moore did an outstanding job at narrating. You can distinctly separate the characters unlike some audio actors. Amazing!
"Set in New York at the turn of the century, the story centers on a young couple and the sacrifices each must make in order to buy the other a gift." (Goodreads)A great example of the power of short stories to move. This is a marvelous story of love. A wonderful reminder of the goodness in marriage ... or true lovers in general.