Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Must Read Monday: Love

Discovered another new meme that's quite fun and clever .. Must Read Monday by Fans of Fiction.  Go HERE to join the fun.

The goal of this meme is to find those books others are excited about to add to your To Be Read list.
Instead of answering a question, you are basically creating intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?
On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).
When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.
It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

This week's category is love.  I chose Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.  A gem of a find.  Go HERE for blurb and my review.

Does cat and mouse romance pique your interest?
And in a YA genre?
So then you'll enjoy this book.

& hilarious!

Loving teasing Dash
Yet, Dash knows how to play along
'So he's up for the game.

Better pull out his
Oxford of English Dictionary, to
Keep things interesting.

Oh, Dash & Lily's antics sure makes this a
Fun read!

Don't wait
Any longer.
Rare is this a find.
Exciting and will put a smile to your face.
So run to the bookstore now and get this book!

SSMG Winner has spoken. Congratulations Ashley Holt!! Some mail giddiness can be yours if you claim your prize (Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, audio cassettes) within the next 48hrs (an email has been sent to you).

Thank you to all those who participated.

I change my mind again.  I'll keep this giveaway on Wednesdays, so come back then for the next SSMG book giveaway.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #47

Several days ago I got to visit a 93 year old woman in a nursing home.  She's quite lucid for her age (comparatively her memory is probably better than mine!). In our conversation she had mentioned that she was ready to die.  She proclaimed that she's not scared to move on because she had read the scriptures and felt comfort.  She stated that she felt good about the time she has spent on earth and looking forward to the next adventure.

That conversation got me thinking about death, so it is today's pondering topic...

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."  Psalm 23:4

Fifty years from now I hope I'm able to say the same thing that my dear friend said ... but just in case I don't have that long, I shall turn to this verse for comfort.

Happy sabbath and have a great week.  :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Know Me Better #4

"Know Me Better" is a meme hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. She will pose 5 questions off her author interview list each week to answer and invited other bloggers to do the same (link yourself or find participants HERE).

Here is this week's questions and my answers:

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
My paternal grandfather.  He died when I was about 1yo.  Sure would like to have gotten to know him.

Chocolate or Vanilla?
No contest.  Chocolate of course!

What do you do in your free time?
Read or blogging. :)

What movie are you looking forward to this year?
I still haven't seen The Help ... waiting for it to go Redbox.  I don't go out much.  :(
**Oh, waiting on Breaking Dawn of course! :D

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
Spontaneous but I want to be a planner. 

If you participate in the fun, don't forget to leave me a comment so that I can visit you and get to know you better as well. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sharing Some Mail Giddiness Giveaway #2

I get all giddy when I receive a book in the mail!! Hence, I thought I'd give you an opportunity to experience some giddiness too by offering a chance to win a book from my once-read books. This will be a weekly giveaway so come back each week ..maybe one will catch your fancy!

Here's how to enter:

  1. Must be a follower of this blog.
  2. U.S.A. address only.
  3. Leave a comment providing a way to contact you (email, blog addy, Twitter, FB).

That's it! Contest ends 10/30/11 11:59 PST. Winner announced next Monday (changing SSMG to Mondays starting next week). ~Good luck! :)

Here's this week's book (actually, audio cassettes):

(go HERE for blurb and my review)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SSMG Winner has spoken.  Congratulations Jessica @frellathon!!  Some mail giddiness can be yours if you claim your prize (Testimony by Anita Shreve) within the next 48hrs (an email has been sent to you).

Thank you to all those who participated. 

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for another SSMG giveaway.

See you then!  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale"

by Ramona Wray, YA, 2010, 242p, rating=4
*Won this book way back in May from Emi @Oktopusink ...finally got to reading it.  Thanks again Emi!
Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life. So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed. (book cover)

That ending was kick-donkey!!! It's the reason that I gave this book a 4 stars because prior to that things weren't looking so great.  There was so much teasing that I found myself saying, "Tell me already 'cause you're looking at 2 stars!". 

So did the ending make the tedious read worth it?  Not exactly because I'm not very patient with certain things, therefore I would have liked less beating around the bush.  That said, I would tell you (those impatient like me) to skim or get the gist of the story and then savor the last 50 pages ..the twist was incredible!!

What and when is your next book Ms Wray?  I'll look out for it because this book made me happy and I want to be happy again!!  :)

Must Read Monday #1 and #2

Discovered another new meme that's quite fun and clever .. Must Read Monday by Fans of Fiction (go HERE to link yourself or find participants).

The goal of this meme is to find those books others are excited about to add to your To Be Read list.

Instead of answering a question, you are basically creating intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?

On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).

When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.

It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god).

I'm playing catch up so this post is for #1 (dystopian) and #2 (paranormal):

       WhaT would life be
   like if tHere was
     no lovE, color, or

           ThIs was the world
in this noVel.  A society
    of samEness.
          A tRue must read!!

~by Lois Lowry

            The first of the
         TWilight series by
StephenIe Meyer.
         A Love triangle story
             Involving vampires, werewolves
            Go read
           tHis if you haven't already.
           iT's better than the movie!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #46

Nope, my computer isn't fixed. It's going to the computer shop tomorrow. Looks like it caught a virus and wiped out quite a chunk of my hard drive. :( ... My hubby's a dear and letting me have a moment with his computer. :)

There is this little  mansion near where I live that is situated in an odd place.  One would not think one was there.  It is hidden among somewhat deep in the midst of ordinary houses.  This got me thinking about the scripture in John that mentioned mansions...

"In my Father's house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you."  John 14:2

Pretty cool.  I get to live in a mansion after all!  Well, at least I'm trying to be worthy to get to heaven.  :D

Let's go claim our mansion!  Hope we're neighbors so we can hang out and talk about books all day long. :)

Have a FUNtastic week!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"The Mouse and the Motorcycle"

**My computer is having hard drive problems.  I've lost all my document and picture files ... and probably a lot more (these two are what concerns me at the moment).  Anyway, I'll freak out about it more later I'm sure, but in the meantime I am able to get into the Internet ... so I better get this review in before my computer dies completely!!  ...oh by the way, I only have a back-up copy of my pictures, everything else lost will stay lost unless my dear hubby can fix my computer.**

by Beverly Cleary, YR, 1965, 158p, rating=3.5

"Pb-pb-b-b-b. Pb-pb-b-b-b." With these magic vocables, Ralph the mouse revs up a dream come true--his very own motorcycle. Living in a knothole in a hotel room, young Ralph has seen plenty of families come and go, some more generous with their crumbs than others. But when young Keith and his parents check in to the hotel, Ralph gets his first chance to check out. He has always fantasized about venturing beyond the second floor, maybe even outside. Curiosity overcomes caution, and Ralph must have a go at Keith's toy motorcycle. Soon, the headstrong mouse finds himself in a pickle, when all he wanted was to ride a motorcycle. Lucky for him, the boy understands how it is. When he discovers Ralph in his thwarted attempt to abscond with the toy bike, Keith generously encourages the rodent to ride. He even teaches him the simple trick of starting the motorcycle: "You have to make a noise... pb-pb-b-b-b." The subsequent situations Ralph motors into require quick thinking and grownup-sized courage.  (Goodreads)

A charming little book about a curious mouse named Ralph, a boy named Keith, and of course a toy motorcycle. Together they have an awesome adventure of fun, danger, and friendship.  A Stuart Little -kind of fantasy story.  So if you like that movie, you will also enjoy this book.

I can totally see young children being on pins and needles and cheering while reading (or being read to) this book.  Action packed, children style.  Overall, a solid clean children's book.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Are You There God? It's Me Margaret"

by Judy Blume, YR, 2001, c1970, 149p, rating=4

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she's anxious to fit in with her new friends. When she's asked to join a secret club she jumps at the chance. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if she's normal. There are some things about growing up that are hard for her to talk about, even with her friends. Lucky for Margaret, she's got someone else to confide in... someone who always listens.  (Goodreads)

During my short reading spurt back in late grade school, Judy Blume books were the books I read most.  I found the girlie stories to be relatable, adventurous, and fun.  I recall learning one particular thing that I know my mother would have never discussed with me.  That became my first experience in the power of books to educate.  Keeping that in mind, I will discuss that thing (and other uncomfortable things) with my daughter in due time or else she may pick up a book that might teach her incorrectly. 

Okay, now for this book.  Well, this was certainly a girlie story.  A bit of a look at what pre-teen girls think about and go through.  Namely, boobs, boys, social classifying, and menstruation.  Ms. Blume added a bonus by adding God into the scenario.  A really lovely and innocent book that young girls would be able to relate, women would find nostalgic, and men would get a glimpse at the stories behind the maxi pads, bra shopping, and secret meetings.

By the way, the mention of God was not to favor a specific religion but served as an outlet for Margaret to voice out her wishes and concerns.  Having parents from different faiths provided Margaret the conflict to wonder about the basis for an organized religion and whether she should commit to one.   This then introduced the involvement of grandparents and their strong set ways.  That whole three generation family relationship engagement was a subtle way of looking into the dynamics of religion.  It wasn't faith bashing but rather an honest view from a young mind.  Well done Ms. Blume!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"A Monster Calls"

by Patrick Ness, YA, 2011, 205p, rating=5

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting— he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd— whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself— Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined. (Goodreads)

If you're looking for a book that will touch your soul, look no further!  Books like this is the reason that I love to read!!

An absolute exquisite book.  I expect multiple book award recognition.  In fact, tell me how I can nominate and vote and this will be my pick.  It's that great.  Seriously, if your heart still beats, you will be touched.  Really, don't miss out on this book.  A true must read.

It's times like this that I wish that words come easily to me.  I've been mulling over giving this book a proper review for three days now and I am stuck!  So, I simply have to be content with the proclamations above and just direct you to three excellent reviews that pretty much articulated what I would have liked to have expressed:

Adam @Roof Beam Reader
Chachic @Chachic's Book Nook
Tina @One More Page

Know Me Better #3

"Know Me Better" is a meme hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. She will pose 5 questions off her author interview list each week to answer and invited other bloggers to do the same (link yourself or find participants HERE).

Here is this week's questions and my answers:

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Go back to the past to change one big mistake I did ...

Jing, Jinx, Jinxter

What was your favorite children's book?
Don't recall the influence of books when I was little so, none.  But now, I'd say Anne of Green Gables.

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
I'm Wonder Woman so that would be bonding my bracelets or being away from Paradise Island too long. ;)

Hot or Cold?
Definitely cold!  I can pack on more clothes when it's cold ... when it's hot, let's just say it's illegal to go buck naked in public!

If you participate in the fun, don't forget to leave me a comment so that I can visit you and get to know you better as well. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sharing Some Mail Giddiness Giveaway #1

I get all giddy when I receive a book in the mail!!  Hence, I thought I'd give you an opportunity to experience some giddiness too by offering a chance to win a book from my once-read books.  This will be a weekly giveaway so be sure to come back each week ..maybe one will catch your fancy!

Here's how to enter:
  1. Must be a follower of this blog.
  2. U.S.A. address only.
  3. Leave a comment providing a way to contact you (ex. email, blog addy, Twitter, FB, etc).
That's it!  Contest ends 10/24/11 11:59 PST.  Winner announced next Tuesday.  ~Good luck! :)

Now for this week's book:
Go HERE for blurb and my review

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Full Dark, No Stars"

by Stephen King, AF, 2010, large print, 754p, rating=4

A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.

Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.

A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage. (Goodreads)

This was a page turner!!  A psychological thriller with characters that could very well be me or you.  An average run of the mill person faced into a traumatic situation, then the inner psyche goes bananas.  Here, Mr. King tackles four scenarios.

A very intriguing read but because it is dark, be prepared to feel a bitter after taste.

Here's my brief take on each story:

1922:  An otherwise decent man that just ended up having one too many screw loose.  Interesting storyline and drawing characters.  An overall feel of seeing an episode from The Twilight Zone TV show.

The Big Driver:  I found this to be the most disturbing of the four stories.  That kind of violation always gets under my skin.  But Tess did something totally different from the norm.  A vendetta story that turned very ugly!

Fair Extension:  Clever title and the shortest of the four novellas.  I did not like Harry.  A very selfish man but he made a profound point in the end about human fairness  ...awful but some people believe it.

A Good Marriage:  This one enthralled me.  Darcy found out that her husband lives a double life.  Twenty seven years together and she had no clue.  What should she do now?  Leading up to what she ended up doing was a nail biting read.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Killing Me Softly"

by Maggie Shayne, Secrets of Shadow Falls #1, AF, 376p, rating=3.5

The Nightcap Strangler, who terrorized the town of Shadow Falls sixteen years ago, has finally been executed. Case closed. Until Bryan Kendall's lover is murdered in the notorious killer's unique style and the rookie cop stands accused. Has someone committed the perfect copycat crime…or was the wrong man put to death.

A continent away, Dawn Jones hears that her first love has been accused of murder and knows that only she can help him. But to do so, she'll have to face the very fears that drove them apart.

Together they'll work to uncover secrets someone's willing to kill to keep, and renew a love as dangerous as it is inevitable. And their best lead is the girl found dead in Bryan's bed, reeking of the whiskey poured down her throat before her killer squeezed it shut.

A killer who thinks that Dawn, too, could use one last drink… (Goodreads)

Two or three months ago a co-worker and I got to talking about books.  She proceeded to tell me about this book series.  It sounded too violent so I wasn't crazy about reading them.  Days later we ended up doing a bookswap.  She lent me this book and I lent her Ted Dekker's Thr3e.  Well, needless to say I sat on it for quite a long time.  Then finally I picked it up last night and read it straight through (thanks to my husband who ended up taking care of the kids all night). 

This was a gripping thriller!  Not too descriptively violent or gory after all.  The only kill joy for me was the fact that my co-worker had told me who the killer would be ... in her excitement to brief me on the book!  Had I not known I probably would not have guessed correctly!  The twists and turns made for quite a goose chase.  Oh well, it was a fun read nonetheless.

If you like crime mystery thrillers with an added element of the paranormal, then this might be right up your alley.  Warning though, this is an adult fiction so it contains adult content .. violence and steamy romance. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #45

Today's scripture came to mind from the closing hymn we sang in church today, Secret Prayer by Hans Henry Petersen.  A lovely hymn and so I wanted to share the scripture that may have inspired the song:

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."  Matthew 6:6

A sincerely and humble prayer to God is quite a blessing/benefit (boon) and heaven reaching as suggested in the chorus of this hymn:

" May my heart be turned to pray, Pray in secret day by day, That this boon to mortals giv'n  May unite my souls with heav'n."

Happy pondering and praying my dear friends!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Get Organized the Clear & Simple Way"

...Reclaim Your Home, Your Office, Your Life by Marla Dee, NF, Self-help, 2007, Playaway digital audio, 8hrs, rating=3.5

Thousands of professional organizers have been trained by Marla Dee, Founder of Clear & SIMPLE and creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Systems. Now you can get inspired and bring this seasoned expert's skills into your home for less than the cost of a consultation!
Restore freedom, order, and clarity to your home, your office, and your life. Follow the unique Clear & Simple Systems which will transform your experience of getting organized from stressful and overwhelming to fun and simple:
  • SEE IT, MAP IT, DO IT --organizing systems for success
  • S.T.A.C.K.S --"step by step" guidelines to getting it done
  • The ART of letting go --clutter clearing made easy
  • Simplify your life -finding peace amidst the chaos
  • Reclaim your home --10 tips for creating beauty, order, & serenity
  • Stake your claim --10 tips for creating an office you want to work in
  • Powerful Paper systems --freedom from the piles
  • Freedom from guilt --honoring the "time of your life"
(book cover)

This was an interesting self-help book. It provides more than organizing the tangible clutter but also of mind and body. I was inspired and empowered to tackle my cluttered home.

I started with my kitchen sink and countertop and do I feel great! There really is something to a clean and uncluttered area. Oh, and I've been doing pretty good at maintaining it too!  So I then undertook my kids' bedrooms.  I had sent my kiddos to their grandma and spent the entire afternoon to declutter (got through one room and did the other the next day).  At this point the general areas are clean and simplified.  There are just things that were sorted to an organized pile to later then find a home.  It was quite a workout and seriously overwhelming!!  But it was a great start.  ~Thanks Ms Dee!

In sum, a decluttered surrounding can bring about a happy life.  I'm looking forward to being ecstatic!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Know Me Better #2

"Know Me Better" is a new meme hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. She will pose 5 questions off her author interview list each week to answer and invited other bloggers to do the same (link yourself or find participants HERE).

Here is this week's questions and my answers:

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I recall looking up to my aunts as they were getting ready for work and fell in love with the white dress uniform, especially the nurse's cap.  So, I wanted to be like them and become a nurse.

Black or White?
Black.. it hides the rolls better! :)

Favorite Food?
Almost anything with eggplant.

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
The services of an army of maids to clean every inch of my house!! 

Print or Ebook?

If you participate in the fun, be sure to leave me a comment so that I can visit you and get to know you better as well.  :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Risky Business"

written by Nora Roberts, performed by Gabra Zackman, AF, 2010, p2006 (Goodreads says p1986?), Playaway digital audio, 7hrs, rating=3

Liz Palmer runs a dive business in the quiet tranquility of a Caribbean island. Tranquil, that is, until a routine trip over the reef reveals the body of her newest employee - diver Jerry Sharpe. But when his brother, Jonas, shows up asking questions, Liz can't see how she can help. She barely knew Jerry. Then someone breaks into Liz's apartment, intent on her murder. Liz realizes that she is already more involved in Jonas' quest to unravel Jerry's murky past than she wanted to be. And now Jonas and Liz will be drawn into a dangerous criminal underworld that could cost them both their lives... (Goodreads)

If you like romance stories with a hint of mystery and danger then this might be for you.  The vacation setting was a nice treat as well.  Plus, the narrator did a wonderful job at performing this novel.  She gave distinct feel to the characters.  As far as storyline, it had its good and not so good.  The concept was interesting but the nine lives of Liz and the not so smart villains made the read a bit "unrisky".  In other words, the mystery part wasn't so intriguing.  However, the romance part was nice to hear since I'm a sucker for second chances.  But oddly enough, I wasn't crazy about these particular couple.  Overall, a decent read. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Help! Still Having Following Problem

It must be my computer setting or something!  I wanted to add a blogger to my Reading List but since she didn't have the GFC widget on her blog, I couldn't add her directly from her website.  So I had to try to add her through Dashboard/Add on Reading List.  The above message showed up. 

Does anyone know how I can follow through GFC a blogger that doesn't have the GFC widget?

Thank you again for any help.  :)

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard"

by J.K. Rowling, YR, 2007, 111p, rating=4

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter. (book cover)

I'm reminded again of the awesomeness that is J.K. Rowling!  Of course, wizard kids would have fairy tale stories for bedtime just like the Muggle kids.  Why not?!  So clever Ms Rowling!!  And so this book encases five such wizard fairy tales for us Muggles to enjoy. 

"The Tale of Three Brothers" I vaguely recall was mentioned in one of the Harry Potter books but this time with a bit more detail and wonderful commentary by Albus Dumbledore (the same goes with the other tales).  I have only read the first four books of the Harry Potter series so I'm not sure if the other tales show up on any of the installments (as you may know, I have bad memory!).  Anyway, my favorite was "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" ..tragic but love the moral analogy.

Ms Rowling did the illustrations as well.  Goodness, it there no end to her talent?  I hope not!  Plus, proceeds from the sale of this books goes to Children of High Level Group which Ms Rowling chairs.  So cool!

Thank you Annette for bringing this book to my attention.  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Buddha in the Attic"

by Julie Otsuka, AF, 2011, 129p, rating=3

In six unforgettable, incantatory sections, the novel traces their new lives as “picture brides”: the arduous voyage by boat, where the girls trade photos of their husbands and imagine uncertain futures in an unknown land . . . their arrival in San Francisco and the tremulous first nights with their new husbands . . . backbreaking toil as migrant workers in the fields and in the homes of white women . . . the struggle to learn a new language and culture . . . giving birth and raising children who come to reject their heritage . . . and, finally, the arrival of war, and the agonizing prospect of their internment. (Goodreads)
Actually in eight sections, this short novel described the journey of mail order brides from Japan to America sometime after World War I.  Not told from one voice but of "we" (first person plural).  The telling of the story in such a matter gave a generic-varied view of their experiences.  Basically not at all what the picture brides had expected of their husbands or America.  Their hard pilgrimage was a collective disappointment but they persevered nonetheless and bore children that became Americanized.

In the beginning I was really feeling for these women.  The hardships were awful.  But the "we/us/some/others.." tendered a hint of whiny tone by the middle of the book.  As if indirectly someone was pointing fingers.  That gave me an awkward feeling.  Yet, I liked the book overall.  It was poignant.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #44

This week's scripture comes from part of Christ's conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount.

"Enter ye in the strait gate:  for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  Matthew 7:13-14

For a bit more clearity, this is what is said in the Book of Mormon:

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is fone God, without end. Amen.  ~2 Nephi 31: 17-21

Happy Sunday and have a great week!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"I Am David"

by Anne Holm, YR, 1965 English, 1963 Danish, 239p, rating=5
*Originally published under the title David in Denmark.  Later published in the United States as North to Freedom and then later made into the movie I Am David.

David's entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly concentration camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world. But when he is given the chance to escape, he seizes it. Sensing his enemies hot on his heels, David struggles to cope in this strange new world, where his only resources are a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark. Is that enough to survive? (book cover)

Finally!  A superb book landed in my hands!!  I was completely mesmerized and utterly clinging to the story's journey, especially on the last 10 pages.  I tell ya, David would be a great poster boy for integrity.  I loved his character development.  Too good to be true as he may be, the walk of his life was a message of love, life, and prospect.  Brilliant! 

I agree with The Horn Book, "Read it, read it!".  Be warned though, brace your heart.

My quote-ables:
"I don't know anything!  How can I stay free when I don't know what everybody else knows!  I don't even know what's good to eat and what's poisonous..." pg 38

"In the camp, thinking would have made life unbearable, but when you were free, it was necessary..." pg 54

"God of the green pastures and the still waters, I am David and I choose You as my God!  But You must please understand that I can't do anything for You, because I've always been in a wicked place where no one could think or learn or get to know anything, and so I know nothing about what people ought to do for their God.  But the David Johannes used to talk about knew that even if he couldn't see You, You were there and were stronger than any men.  I pray You will help me so that they won't catch me again.  Then perhaps I can gradually find out about You so that I can do something in return ... I am David, Amen." pg 68-69

"Johannes said that when you very much want something you haven't got, you no longer care for what you have got.  I'm not sure that I understand, but I suppose he meant that things are only worth having if you think they are."  pg 83-84

"But he would have to do it on his own; since he had not found anything he could do in return, he could not go on asking God for things --it would be greedy, and God might very soon grow tired of a boy who was always frightened and could never do anything for himself."  pg 94

"God of the green pastures and the still waters, please don't help me.  I want to do it by myself so that You'll know I've found something I can do for You ... I am David.  Amen."  pg 106

"Joy passed, but happiness never completely disappeared; a touch of it would always remain to remind one it had been there.  It was happiness that made one smile, then.  He would always remember that."  pg 113

"Politeness is something you owe other people, because when you show a little courtesy, everything becomes easier and better.  But first and foremost, it's something you owe yourself.  You are David.  And if you never allow other people to influence what you're really like, then you've something no one can take from you --not even they."  pg 121

"It's horrible and wicked ... and no one has any right to take other people prisoner.  Everybody has a right to his life and freedom, and anyone who takes them away has lost his own right to be a human being."  pg137

"The way you spoke was a reflection of how you thought, and that could not possibly have anything to do with whether you were a tramp or whether you had somewhere to live and had many things of your own."  pg 169

"All suffering has an end, David, if only you wait long enough."  pg 194

"Johannes had once said that violence and cruelty were just a stupid person's way of making himself felt, because it was easier to use your hands to strike a blow than to use your brain to find a logical and just solution to a problem."  pg 201

"Never let me hear you say it's someone else's fault.  It often is, but you must never shirk your own responsibility ... You can't change others, but you can do something about a fault in yourself."  pg 211

"... So one could get something for nothing after all?"  pg 234

Friday, October 7, 2011

Help! There's a Cap to Following

Whaaat?  There's a 300 blogs to follow limit on Blogger's Blogs I'm Following (Google Friend Connect) Reading List.   Please say there's a way around this.  I certainly intend to follow more bloggers.  Do you know how I can follow more than 300 bloggers through GFC on my Reading List?  I really do not want to unfollow anyone.  I'm so sad.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Know Me Better #1

"Know Me Better" is a new meme hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  She will pose 5 questions off her author interview list each week to answer and invited other bloggers to do the same (link yourself or find participants HERE). 

I try to be cautious when it comes to personal details about me or my family but I want you to know that there is a real person behind the Wonder Woman so I will let my guard down a little bit. 

Here is this week's questions and my answers:

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
These days it's rocky road or moose tracks.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Hmm, this is a hard one.  I don't really have a favorite.  I love food so I eat all the traditional breakfast foods, but usually I like rice with a Filipino- meat & vegetable- dish pinakbet.

Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl, though I'd like to be an early bird.

One food you would never eat?
Off the top of my head, I'm thinking snails ...bugs in general!

Skittles or M&Ms?
Definitely M&Ms ... I'm a chocolate girl!!

~I know.  I'm quite an exciting person!!  :)  ..By the way, should you participate, be sure to leave me a comment and I'll be sure to head on over and visit you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Once Upon a Time, There Was You"

by Elizabeth Berg, AF, 2011, Playaway digital audio, 9.5hrs, rating=2
...a beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis.
Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common—nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron.  When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other.  (Goodreads)

The beginning left me saying, "Oh no!".  Irene knew on her wedding day that she shouldn't marry John but she went ahead and married him anyways.  One could say that it was cold feet.  But, several years later they did divorce and lived thousands of miles apart.  Then only to find themselves together again because they're 18yo daughter was missing.  So they had to deal with each other while they wait for their daughter's return. 

I was alright with the read up until the abduction.  That whole scene and the aftermath just didn't make sense .. Sadie gets abducted, placed somewhere, abductor leaves and says he'll come back later with someone, days pass and no one returns, then police finds her, Sadie calls her boyfriend, marries him, and then calls her parents.  From there the book continues to work on relationships ... now including Sadie's mother-in-law. 

I can't seem to put it into words but to say that this book was screwy and just okay.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

by Ann Brashares, YA, 2005/p2011, audio CDs, 6.5hrs, rating=3.5

Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.....the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants---and the most memorable summer of their lives---begins.  (Goodreads)

Sisterhood is a powerful word in that it suggests a bond and so it was for the four main characters in this book.  Having been friends from early childhood, this particular summer was their first to be apart.  Understandably some anxiety was felt so when they stumbled into the extraordinary pants, they couldn't help but believe in it's magic to help them have confidence.

Friendship is a wonderful thing and this book portrayed good examples of its diversity and resilience.  These four teenagers had their rough moments and in each other they found strength and courage to see them through.

Nice, comforting, and moving.  Many teenagers will be able to relate.

WINNERS of Banned Books Week Hop

Thank you to all of you who were able to participate in the Banned Books Week Hop.  I appreciated your thoughts and views.  Hip hip hooray for freedom to read!!  Of course, many many thanks to those of you who entered my giveaway and became new amigos (followers).  Welcome to my small corner of the book blogosphere.  I hope you find it a pleasant place to visit. 

Okay, now on to the winners.  Using the services of, let's congratulate ...

Prize #1 (Banned books) goes to Karen P
Prize #2 ($10 Book Depository) goes to Sara Riouch
Prize #3 ($10 Amazon) goes to Andrea Williams

An e-mail has been sent to you and you will have 72hrs to reply and claim your prize.  If not claimed, a new winner will be chosen.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Above and Beyond"

by Sandra Brown, AF, 2008/p2004, Playaway digital audio, rating=4

The letters Kyla sent to her husband, Sergeant Richard Stroud, stationed a world away, spoke of a love that stretched across the ocean and held the young couple together. But when tragedy ended their marriage too soon, Kyla was left a widow with a newborn son. And Richard left behind only a metal box filled with his wife's declarations of love.
Trevor Rule had been Richard's best friend. Returning home from military duty, he carried with him the letters Kyla had sent. And with each one he read, he fell more in love with the gentle, passionate woman who had penned them. Now he needed to convince Kyla of his feelings, and that they both had the right to be happy, to move past the tragedy of Richard's death. (Goodreads)

The brief introduction was a grabber (military husband dies in duty, pregnant wife at home, husband's military buddy badly injured, clinging to life, reads wife's love letters and falls in love with her)!  My ears were definitely glued to the earphones.  Then not too long into the story, Trevor had to be a louse and lied to Kyla from day one.  Not a good way to start a relationship so I didn't see a good ending.  I was not liking Trevor's selfishness and brazen deceptions.  But, the sensuality was alluring and then, I can't believe the ending!  It took me for a loop.  Talk about perspective.  I was narrow minded until Kyla's friend, Babs (not sure of the spelling since this is an audiobook) pointed out a different picture ..or rather it was the same picture but a bit more insightful.  Gotta love friends for putting it out there!

I was listening to this book with moral ears so I almost missed hearing the message can make you do things the unconventional way.  As much as I wasn't liking the deceit, this book was passionate and I'm now bummed that it's over.  Well done Ms. Brown.  I'm looking forward to reading more of your books.

This was quite a sensual book.  Generous in description of love and passion.  I admit, I was stirred.  That said, I would recommend this novel only to adults.  ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2 Mile Walk and Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #43

I have a lot of catching up to do.  I took the opportunity to walk with my BFF at the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes yesterday so with that and other things, I didn't finish the banned books week posts and reads.  Hence, don't be surprise if BBW turns up this week.

By the way, my friend raised $720!  Woot, woot!!!  Sorry no pictures, I look horrible!! .. Okay, maybe for privacy too.  But the image above was my participant number that was pinned on my back.

Okay, now for the Pondering the Scriptures Sunday:

Something to consider passing along to the youth in your life:

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband..." Proverbs 12:4

Template by:
Free Blog Templates