Saturday, November 29, 2014

Brief thoughts on A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle

So I read this a few months back and forgot to review it. Our teen book group wanted to read the first two books in the Time Quintet and we only discussed the first book. With A Wrinkle in Time, my views finally changed on the book and the group really liked it. A Wind in the Door stayed the same for me.

A Wind in the Door (Time, #2)

This book picks up a bit after A Wrinkle in Time. Meg and Calvin are dating and Charles Wallace has started school. Charles Wallace of course is having problems and Meg tries to talk to her old principal, Mr. Jenkins, who never really liked her. Her principal is taken over by Echthroi, evil forces basically. Meg manages to help Mr. Jenkins and she, Mr. Jenkins, Calvin, Charles Wallace, and a cherubim named Progrinoskes try to fight the Echthroi, especially when Charles Wallace becomes ill. Meg must embrace her fears to save her little brother and with this she must embrace loss.

Meg continues to mature as the series goes along and this book was a bit more complicated than the first. I liked some of the ideas, like those about the stars and about filling darkness with love to conquer the void. However I bogged down again at this book and did not get any farther in the series. Someday I hope to read past book two and finish the quintet. 3.5 cups of cocoa.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon check in

So far I have finished Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber and Midnight by Rainbow Rowell, the first short story in My True Love Gave to Me. Mr. Miracle was a very quick read and had the usual light-hearted feel of her books. Midnight was really good, but I love Rowell's writing style. I am only sad that this was a short story, I could have read more about Mags and Noel! Hopefully I can get a little more Christmas reading in, but I have a few other books that are begging for attention. We watched Miracle on 34th Street last night, our usual Thanksgiving tradition, so I am now in the mood to decorate for Christmas! I may do that as well today or at least clean the house so that I can decorate. Hope the challenge is going well for everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Spirit Read-a-thon

I am finally getting this posted. I am signing up for Michelle's Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge from November 24-30 and you can sign up at this link. I have several Christmas books I want to read. Hopefully I can finish one for this read-a-thon.
My reading list
Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
Bring me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr
Christmas, Present by Jacquelyn Mitchard
There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber
My True Love Gave to me: 12 Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins

Thanks to Michelle for hosting!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The 5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

This is hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict, but this is hosted on her Christmas blog, The Christmas Spirit, and you can sign up at this link.

I am going for Mistletoe level and will try to read three Christmas books. I will be reading  two Christmas books for the book clubs and I want to read at least one more Debbie Macomber Christmas book this year. I will also be doing Fa La La La Films and who knows how many I will watch, since we have already started watching Christmas movies at my house. :)
My reading list:
Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber
Bring me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr
Christmas, Present by Jacquelyn Mitchard
There's Something About Christmas by Debbie Macomber
My True Love Gave to me: 12 Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins
Thanks again to Michelle for hosting!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Club Book Reviews

With my new job, I know have to attend the book clubs for adults at all three of our locations. It is fun and I am learning to like adult fiction and nonfiction. I still prefer YA, but so far I have liked the book selections. The book clubs have taken up most of my reading and reviewing time, which is why I have not been as active on the blog lately.

Book Club #1 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Reader

This was an interesting one. The story is told by Michael Berg, who has an affair with Hannah, an older woman. The affair ends when Hannah disappears and Michael meets her years later in a trial. He must face his past and determine her future. I did not like the first half of the book very much with the 15 year old boy and his 36 year old lover. It was a bit unsettling. The second half of the book was better. I enjoyed thinking about the ideas of guilt and how guilt is measured and how we exonerate or condemn someone's guilt based on misconceptions about them. I think it also showed how literacy can change someone and how that person then views him or herself. This was a different sort of Holocaust story told from the view of the next generation and it shows how that generation viewed the past and present of Germany.

Book Club #2 The Peace-Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper

This was my first book by her and I loved it. The story revolves around two characters, Paxton and Willa and how their lives are not what they want them to be. Paxton is in love with a man who she thinks can never love her back and she is stuck living her life based on what others think. Willa is running from her past, both hers and her family's who were once wealthy in Walls of Water. Willa and Paxton's story is combined with a 75 year old secret shared by their grandmothers, Georgie and Agatha. The past and present collide in the Blue Ridge Madam, Willa's family's old house and the site of a suspicious death. The Magic Man who haunted Georgie and Agatha's past is back to reek havoc on Paxton and Willa's future. I loved this southern story with just a touch of the paranormal and a dash of romance. I can't wait to read more books by her.

I am reading Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah for the third book club and I am enjoying it so far. I am also excited, because I am supposed to be reading her books for Rachael's challenge, so I will finally have one finished!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

This is one of the books we chose for the Intro to Children's Literature class I am teaching this semester. I love how she ties in baking, magic, and family and creates a sweet story.

A Tangle of Knots

Cady is an orphan with an extraordinary ability. She can match any person to their favorite cake and bake the cake for them. Despite her great ability Cady has remained in the orphanage for years. Even with her talent for matchmaking, Miss Mallory cannot find the perfect match for Cady. In a world where most people have a special talent, Marigold cannot find hers. Her brothers have their own talents, but hers has not developed. Marigold's and Cady's lives combine when Toby adopts Cady. Miss Mallory sees it as a perfect match, but there is something about Toby that seems a bit off. When secrets from the past and a sinister person are brought to light, Cady may be in danger and it is up to her friends to unravel the knots of the past to give her a happy future.

I enjoyed the simplicity and sweetness of the story. It is a fantasy, but it has a realistic feel to it. All the characters were likable and I love how she let them tell their own stories and how the mysteries all came together in the end.

Favorite Character: Cady. She is loyal and good natured and you can't help rooting for her.

Favorite Quote: "It's the way we deal with what Fate hands us that defines who we are."

A nice read. 4 cups of cocoa!

R.I.P. IX Wrapup

lavinia portraitRIP9275

I signed up again this year for RIP hosted by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings and the beautiful button for this challenge was designed by Abigail Larson and you can view her site and other artwork at this link.

I managed to complete three books for the challenge:
Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (finished this Halloween night!)

Reviews are coming for these three. I did not manage to read a 4th book that fit the criteria this time, but I still had fun!
Thanks again to Carl and Abigail!