Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 19 & 27 Library Visits

I forgot to post the list of books I checked out on May 19:

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson
Parenting is Heart Work by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
An Absolute Gentleman by R.M. Kinder
The Ghost Writer by John Harwood
Skin by Ted Dekker
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I finished The Lost Boy but none of the others yet.

Then yesterday I got 3 more books! LOL First of all Lindsey was out of books and her videos were due back yesterday, so I had to make a library trip. I had these 3 books on hold and they were in so I had to pick them up too:

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I'm currently reading Astrid & Veronika and, well, um, I don't care for it that much! Once again I read great reviews but it's not living up to what I expected. It started out okay, but by about halfway through I was wanting to stop reading it. But I really want to find out more about their "secrets" so I'll finish it. But I'm not loving it or even liking it all that much.

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 12 Library Visit Review

I finished these 4:

The Ghost Writer
by Philip Roth - As I said in an earlier post, the book called The Ghost Writer on my TBR list is actually written by John Harwood. I got the wrong book. :-) But it had great reviews on Amazon so I decided to give it a try. And try I did, but I couldn't get into it.

Consider Lily by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt - LOVED it! It had a few flaws, but overall it was great. 4/5

London Holiday by Richard Peck - Couldn't get into this one either.

Knitalong - Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larisa Brown and Martin John Brown - I love everything about knitting....I love reading about it, listening to podcasts about it, talking to others about it, thinking about it, and of course actually knitting. :-) This book was just "ok" for me though. 3/5

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 6 Library Visit Review

My review of the books I checked out on May 6:

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee - I was interested in this book since I have 2 daughters from China and I've been there twice. I couldn't get into it though, and didn't finish. I do NOT like Chinese food. :-) One time for supper, during our second trip to China, I had a donut and some french fries. :-) One time this was my meal while most of the rest of our group had the Peking Duck Dinner. The plate was about 8 inches in diameter if I remember right. In other words, this was not a big plate of food. LOL

The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan - I just skimmed this book. I have a hard time getting into this type of non-fiction book sometimes. This one is pretty long. It probably has a lot of good info I could use though.

A Child Call "It" by Dave Pelzer - Difficult book to read, left me with many questions. The author says questions will be answered in the next 2 books. I'm not sure if the questions I have are the ones he answers. I'll be checking out the sequels soon and find out.

The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer - I really enjoyed this book. (I know, not much of a detailed review, LOL!)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - I really wanted to like this book since it got so many good reviews. I'm not a fan of fantasy though, and I couldn't get into it. It started out okay and I thought maybe I could read this one. And maybe at another time I could, but right now I just didn't feel like continuing with it.

Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell - This book made me very MAD. The author goes along with a friend to China to adopt a child. The friend doesn't want the child from the very beginning and her attitude made me so mad, as if this wasn't a child's life, as if you "shop" for the perfect baby and if you don't get exactly what you wanted then you can just put her back. I admire the author greatly for loving this baby and eventually adopting her when they got back to the U.S., but I didn't agree with much of her assessment of China and some of her own attitudes. Also she was into mysticism and other things I totally do not agree with. A big part of the book is dreams that she was Chinese in a past life (if I understand that right - I skipped most of the dream parts).

A few other quotes that bothered me:

"The Chinese government insisted on thousands of dollars for a baby that someone had literally thrown away. What, or whom, was the money for, exactly?"

The author is referring to the $3000 orphanage "donation" every adopting parent is required to make. This money goes to the orphanages. I look at it as payment for all the things they did for my daughters up until we adopted them, and for the children who currently reside there. Sure maybe there are corrupt officials here and there who misuse the money, but for the most part, the money goes to help support the orphanage and the children there.

"I look at the label; it reads MADE IN CHINA. Isn't everything? They are exporting everything, including their unwanted girl babies."

I think that is a crass way to look at it and I don't agree with that attitude.

But at least she understood this much:

"Besides, I think, anyone adopting from China knows that sometimes you do not get the individual baby that has been promised to you; you don't choose. It is part of the deal to accept that there will be unknowns."

I could go on and on about the things I didn't like about this book, but it might be more appropriate on my adoption blog rather than this one. But if you want a good overview of what adoption from China is like, there are much better books than this one. One of these days I will post a list of my favorites.

Rating: 3/5

China Ghosts by Jeff Gammage - MUCH better than Forever Lily! I enjoyed this book. 4/5

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Haven't Done THIS in Awhile Either!

In fact, I don't think I've ever done this. What is "this" you ask?
I cried when reading a children's picture book to my daughter!

I could barely choke the words out. The book is The Forever Dog by Bill Cochran. It's about a little boy named Mike who gets a dog, Corky, as a puppy. He teaches and trains the dog and loves him as his best friend. "One day Mike and Corky made a plan. Mike told Corky that the two of them would be best friends forever. Anything and everything that Mike did, Corky would do with him. Forever. That was the plan."

After a few years, Corky gets sick and dies. Hence my tears. Maybe it was because my sweet dog was on my lap while I was reading? Maybe it was the adorable illustrations? Mike's sadness just did me in! And he is angry at Corky for breaking his promise about their "Forever Plan". In the end Mike's mother helps him see that Corky will be with him forever in his heart. Mike cries some more, tells Corky he's sorry he was angry with him, and the lets Corky "all the way into his heart. And it felt warm inside." What a sweet book.

Lindsey was out of library books so we made a trip last night to get more. The Forever Dog was one of them. Of course I couldn't go to the library and not get a few books for myself! I'm not done with my latest library pile, so I just got 4:

The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth (Oops! This is the wrong book. The book on my TBR list was written by John Harwood. I'll try this one anyway!)
Consider Lily by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt
London Holiday by Richard Peck
Knitalong - Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larisa Brown and Martin John Brown

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 6 Library Visit

I thought I posted this! I guess not. Here's the latest group of books I checked out:

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee
The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan
A Child Call "It" by Dave Pelzer
The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell
China Ghosts by Jeff Gammage

Report to follow when I'm done with all....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

April 18 Library Visit Review

Here are the library books I checked out a few weeks ago with my report on them:

Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn - Couldn't get into, didn't finish

Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson - Couldn't get into, didn't finish

The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook - I loved the storyline of this book, but sometimes got bogged down in the reading of it. One of the characters, now an old man, is looking back at the time when he was in high school and a crime was committed. Through these flashbacks you kept getting bits and pieces of what happened back then. This is obviously done on purpose to add to the suspense and mystery of it all. But by page 100 or so, I just felt like GIVE ME THE DETAILS ALREADY!!! I would sometimes get so impatient to get to the bottom of it all that I would skim parts of the book. There was one last twist at the very end that surprised/shocked me. 4/5

March by Geraldine Brooks - Really loved parts of it, bored with others, not nearly as good at Year of Wonders. 3.5/5

A Vineyard in Tuscany by Ferenc Mate - Couldn't get into, didn't finish

The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt - Loved this book! I'm looking forward to reading the other 2 books by these authors (although one of them got some bad reviews on 4.5/5

Gluten-free Girl by Shauna James Ahern - This book was pretty good. I'm not allergic to gluten or anything, the book just appealed to me. However I HATE to cook! This book would probably inspire most people to want to cook, but not me. :-) She certainly has a way of describing food. 3.5/5

After I checked these out, I also got Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Noble and Have You Found Her? by Janice Erlbaum. They were both holds that came in. Eat, Pray, Love was for a book club I am in with my 3 sisters, my cousin Lynn, and one other lady. If the book wasn't for the club, I would NOT have continued reading this book past the first few chapters. I didn't like the author at all and disagreed with just about all her beliefs and philosophies. I read the first 1/3, the part about when she in Italy. I skimmed the rest of the book.

Have You Found Her? is the sequel to Girlbomb that I read in early April. Despite the frequent use of the "F word" (I'm sorry but I just hate that word! It's so vulgar) and the disfunctional lifestyle of the author, I enjoyed Girlbomb. I liked Have You Found Her?just a bit better. The back cover promised a "bombshell" near the end and there definitely was one. I didn't expect it. 4/5

Monday, May 5, 2008

I haven't done THAT in awhile!

What is THAT, you ask? Read a whole book, cover to cover, IN ONE DAY. I often read a book in 2 or 3 days, but rarely in one. I could be wrong, maybe forgetting a book or two, but the last book I remember reading in one day was a non-fiction book called Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck - 406 pages. That was in June 2003, before I had the girls ('nuff said).

Even with the girls, I did manage to read Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark, yesterday. I read it on and off in the morning amidst the girls running around. Jay took them outside for awhile late morning and I read then. I read during naptime. Then I read from about 8:15 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. and I was DONE! Obviously I really enjoyed the book.

The first book I read by Mindy was The Trouble with Tulip, the first book in a 3 book "Smart Chick Mystery Series." I really enjoyed that one and the sequel, Blind Dates Can Be Murder. But then for some reason I could not get into the last book, Elementary My Dear Watkins. (My youngest sister, who has the same taste in books as I do, really enjoyed it so I'm not sure why I didn't.) She has one more series "The Million Dollar Mystery Series" that didn't grab me either. But I LOVED Whispers of the Bayou. I hope to read more books like this one from Mindy.