Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From The Shelf TBR

I nabbed Fahrenheit 451 at a Big Read event many years ago. I actually loaned it out to my cousin before I even read it. She returned it in a timely fashion but up on the shelf it went. I finally pulled it down (when I realized that there was a movie) and read it (before I watched the movie). It's hard to believe that it was published in 1953; granted it was billed as a sci-fi- resist-the-power-book but here we are in 2013 and we are not too far off from what was "futuristic" in this novel. I was dismayed but also pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the book. I would definitely suggest you add it to your "classics" to-read list.

From Amazon:

"Internationally acclaimed with more than 5 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires... The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!"
On The Kindle TBR

Another book from Fitzgerald's Flappers and Philosophers book that has been languishing on my kindle. The Ice Palace did not disappoint. It was a short but delightful read. A one sitting read. Just up my alley these days since school has started back (I thought I was supposed to have ~more~ time - ha!). A sweet southern belle meets a yankee and decided that she wants to get out of town - how better than to marry someone to take you away. The story is based on a premarital visit with the future in-laws up north where it is cold, gloomy, and lacking southern charm. I was tickled by the main characters description of the 'brutal' weather and lack of a warm reception. I am a Virginian after all - a southerner at heart despite the fact that my parents were born and bread in NY (along with all previous generations up to the boat they arrived on). I could relate. Now, before I get any negative comments regarding North vs South - let me be clear - I love NY. The south is just ... different. Read The Ice Palace , you'll see.
From Amazon:
"The Ice Palace is a story of cultural conflict between Sally - a Southern woman and her Northern lover. Sally decides to change the slow routine of the South and join the North by engaging to Harry Bellamy. Will she be able to adapt?

Join F. Scott Fitzgerald as he examines the social and cultural differences between the South and the North throughout this story - The Ice Palace"
Book VS Movie
Oh goodness. How I wanted this movie to follow the book closely. I had read several reviews of Fahrenheit 451 and almost didn't watch it because so much was cut. So much that I couldn't imagine how the story could even be told without several of what I considered to be main-sub characters eliminated. I did end up being disappointed in that regard. Too much was hacked so that I felt for the most part (aside from the general theme of censorship and book burning) it was not what I had read. A few key scenes from the book were included but again - it was anticlimactic. They even changed the main characters wife's name! Now, with that said I would actually recommend the movie for different reasons. The main character's wife sits in front of a TV all day and night. It was funny to see this 1966 version of a "wall tv" - it looked just like what we have in our living room now. And the tv in her bedroom - looked similar to an iPad. Funny how we've evolved.
Bonus Books

 Ahhh. The last of my Sarah Agnes Prine books. I was sad to say goodbye to her. What can I say? The saga continued. The Star Garden did not disappoint. If you haven't already added this series to your must read - do.it.now.  Nuff said.
From Amazon:
In this stunning sequel to the tale begun in These Is My Words and continued in the beloved Sarah's Quilt, pioneer woman Sarah Agnes Prine is nearing bankruptcy. After surviving drought and the rustling of her cattle in winter 1906, Sarah is shocked when her son brings home a bride who was slated to become a nun. Meanwhile, neighbor Udell Hanna is pressing for Sarah to marry him. Then a stagecoach accident puts Sarah in the path of three strangers, who will forever change her life...."

If you've been hanging around here long enough you know I have enjoyed a few Susanna Kearsley books. The Rose Garden goes down as yet another. I love the setting. I love the characters. I love how she weaves the past, present, and future together . Once again, I did not see the ending. That makes me happy. I think I have it figured out and then - bam - I have no clue. I just loved this book. Don't walk - run to your library, computer, where ever and get this book.
From Amazon:
"Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time.

But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs.

From Susanna Kearsley, author of the New York Times bestseller The Winter Sea and a voice acclaimed by fans of Gabaldon, du Maurier, and Niffenegger alike, The Rose Garden is a haunting exploration of love, family, the true meaning of home, and the ties that bind us together."

 I am really starting to develop a complex regarding my link ups. I really think there is a conspiracy out there to get me. Now I cannot get Inlinkz to work. This is just making me fume. ok. deeeeeep breath. So much more to be worried about than a link. Just leave your link in the comments and I'll get you in the post. My apologies (again.).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From The Shelf TBR

Good old Alice In Wonderland.  Ben sitting on my shelf since high school. I'll let you guess how long that has been ;-) I decided to read this aloud to my kids ... I had forgotten quite a bit of the story and how - um - strange it was. My children loved the Cheshire Cat and loathed the caterpillar for smoking. I also have Through the Looking Glass but I think I'm going to read it first myself before I pull it down for my kids.

On The Kindle TBR
I had downloaded a copy of Flappers & Philosophers after I had read The Paris Wife and A Movable Feast. You could say I became a bit obsessed with all the characters that Hemmingway hung out with. True to form - I got distracted and forgot all about it. F&P is a grouping of several of Fitzgerald's short stories. I read The Offshore Pirate and loved it. I was totally surprised how it turned out - and loved it. It is typical of Fitzgerald - beautiful, wealthy, and idol sums up the main characters. An excellent quick summer read.
From Amazon:
"First published in 1920, it tells the story of a young woman, named Ardita Farnam, who is on a trip to Florida with her uncle, when her boat is assailed by “pirates”…"
Book VS Movie
So we had to go old school for Alice In Wonderland. I didn't want the kids to see the Johnny Depp version. I had heard it was a bit creepy. We streamed the original 1933 movie on Netflix which is still in black and white (it had not been digitally altered). My boys totally dug it. Note to self - more old black and white movies. For the most part the movie followed the book but the beginning was totally different; so much so that we thought maybe we were watching the wrong movie. It tickled me to hear the boys get excited at certain scenes that they liked in the book and when they were talking to the tv that they (the movie) had it wrong). I say watch this movie just for the sheer fun of it. They did a pretty good job considering the technology they had.
Bonus Books

After reading These Is My Words I just had to head right over to the library to get Sarah's Quilt. All I have to say is if you haven't gotten TIMW yet and read it - you better hurry up and do it because Sarah's Quilt is just and dag on good. I thought I might get sick of firery Sarah Prine but just the opposite. I was wishing I could have known her ... I will get to spend a little more time with her because there is a third book - woo hoo!

From Amazon:

"In These Is My Words, Sarah Agnes Prine told the spellbinding story of an extraordinary pioneer woman and her struggle to make a home in the Arizona Territories. Now, in this mesmerizing sequel, a three-year drought has made Sarah desperate for water. And just when it seems that life couldn't get worse, she learns that her brother and his family are trapped in the Great San Francisco Earthquake. A heartwarming blend of stubbornness and compassion, Sarah Agnes Prine will once again capture the hearts of readers everywhere."

 I read The Lace Reader while at the beach which was a perfect setting. The book is set in Salem, Massachusetts with a lot of action involving water, boats and a secluded island. Not exactly a beach setting but I could feel the ocean breezes and smell the water in the air - just as in the book - a nice accidental touch. This is another you should add to the list - it's a page turner with a bang at the end that unless you are a 'lace reader' or psychic I doubt you would have figured it out. It had me thinking back trying to put all the pieces together long after I had finished the book. Definitely a great read.
From Amazon:
"Brunonia Barry dreamt she saw a prophecy in a piece of lace, a vision so potent she spun it into a novel. The Lace Reader retains the strange magic of a vivid dream, though Barry's portrayal of modern-day Salem, Massachusetts--with its fascinating cast of eccentrics--is reportedly spot-on. Some of its stranger residents include generations of Whitney women, with a gift for seeing the future in the lace they make. Towner Whitney, back to Salem from self-imposed exile on the West Coast, has plans for recuperation that evaporate with her great-aunt Eva's mysterious drowning. Fighting fear from a traumatic adolescence she can barely remember, Towner digs in for answers. But questions compound with the disappearance of a young woman under the thrall of a local fire-and-brimstone preacher, whose history of violence against Whitney women makes the situation personal for Towner. Her role in cop John Rafferty's investigation sparks a tentative romance. And as they scramble to avert disaster, the past that had slipped through the gaps in Towner's memory explodes into the present with a violence that capsizes her concept of truth. Readers will look back at the story in a new light, picking out the clues in this complex, lovely piece of work."


    http://new.inlinkz.com//luwpview.php?id=303023" title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From the Shelf TBR
I had bought Give Them Grace some time ago and began reading it only to get distracted and never came back. I was so excited when my Sunday school class decided to read and discuss it! It certainly is a book one could read on their own but I found it great to bounce ideas off others in the class. Especially when you read suggestions and thought 'No way - this would never fly in our house' - I could express that in a loving Christ centered environment and have some blessed soul more experience than me say 'we tried this at home'. A great book that I highly recommend. We all could use a little more grace.
From Amazon:
"So many Christian parents fall into the trap of asking the law to do in the hearts of their children what only grace can accomplish. Armed with threats, manipulation, and guilt, they attempt to create change that only the cross of Jesus Christ makes possible. It is so encouraging to read a parenting book that points parents to the grace of the cross and shows them how to be instruments of that grace in the lives of their children. Paul Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries In our human attempts to raise good and godly kids, we often forget that God extended his best grace to us. We are not full of grace on our own; we desperately need his grace. Elyse Fitzpatrick and her daughter, Jessica, provide a great tool to guide parents down the road of gracious parenting. I commend it to you. James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Chicagoland Area; radio teacher, Walk in the Word Elyse Fitzpatrick continues her never-ending quest to churn out grace-filled, Christ-centered, gospel-saturated books. And now she s done it again with her daughter, Jessica, coauthoring this excellent parenting book! If you are a parent, get online and order your copy of Give Them Grace today! --Deepak Reju Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Families, Capitol Hill Baptist Church"
On the Kindle TBR
Oh oh OH!!! I loved this book! I cannot believe I let Minding Frankie sit on my kindle for so long. This is not an everyone is happy sweet book. There is a lot of conflict with the characters (within themselves and with each other) that makes this book that much more real. I liked that it wasn't tied up in a neat bow and everything is always ok. You really need to add this to your summer reads. It's that good - even with the drama.  Trust me. Oh and did I mention that it's set in Ireland so you will be dreaming with an Irish accent for a bit ;-)
From Amazon:
"Maeve Binchy is back with a tale of joy, heartbreak and hope, about a motherless girl collectively raised by a close-knit Dublin community.

When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she’s born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can’t do it alone.

Fortunately, he has a competent, caring network of friends, family and neighbors: Lisa, his unlucky-in-love classmate, who moves in with him to help him care for little Frankie around the clock; his American cousin, Emily, always there with a pep talk; the newly retired Dr. Hat, with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with; Dr. Declan and Fiona and their baby son, Frankie’s first friend; and many eager babysitters, including old friends Signora and Aidan and Frankie’s doting grandparents, Josie and Charles.

But not everyone is pleased with the unconventional arrangement, especially a nosy social worker, Moira, who is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it’s up to Noel to persuade her that everyone in town has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie."

Book vs Movie

Henry brought home this HUGE book one day after school and said "Look mom!". Well, I did. And I read and I loved it (and so did he). There is a reason The Invention of Hugo Cabret book won several awards. I just cannot say enough good things about it. Despite the fact that the age is listed for 8 and up - no matter - pick it up. It is a site to see and  read. There are beautiful black and white illustrations all throughout the book. Definitely a book you want to read ... and then see the movie ;-)
From Amazon:
"Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery."
Soooo ... if I didn't give it away in the book review - watch the movie. It is awesome. Nuff said.
Bonus Books

Some how I stumbled upon The Last Resort and it peaked my interest. I love when someone writes about their life - how they survived - dealt - endured - and came out on the other side - often realizing that the grass is not greener on the other side. Growing up in Virginia puts me about as afar away from Africa one can get where the book is set but despite that I really enjoyed reading about this family.

From Amazon:

"Thrilling, heartbreaking, and, at times, absurdly funny, The Last Resort is a remarkable true story about one family in a country under siege and a testament to the love, perseverance, and resilience of the human spirit.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Douglas Rogers is the son of white farmers living through that country’s long and tense transition from postcolonial rule. He escaped the dull future mapped out for him by his parents for one of adventure and excitement in Europe and the United States. But when Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe launched his violent program to reclaim white-owned land and Rogers’s parents were caught in the cross fire, everything changed. Lyn and Ros, the owners of Drifters–a famous game farm and backpacker lodge in the eastern mountains that was one of the most popular budget resorts in the country–found their home and resort under siege, their friends and neighbors expelled, and their lives in danger. But instead of leaving, as their son pleads with them to do, they haul out a shotgun and decide to stay.

On returning to the country of his birth, Rogers finds his once orderly and progressive home transformed into something resembling a Marx Brothers romp crossed with Heart of Darkness: pot has supplanted maize in the fields; hookers have replaced college kids as guests; and soldiers, spies, and teenage diamond dealers guzzle beer at the bar.

And yet, in spite of it all, Rogers’s parents–with the help of friends, farmworkers, lodge guests, and residents–among them black political dissidents and white refugee farmers–continue to hold on. But can they survive to the end?

In the midst of a nation stuck between its stubborn past and an impatient future, Rogers soon begins to see his parents in a new light: unbowed, with passions and purpose renewed, even heroic. And, in the process, he learns that the "big story" he had relentlessly pursued his entire adult life as a roving journalist and travel writer was actually happening in his own backyard.

Evoking elements of The Tender Bar and Absurdistan, The Last Resort is an inspiring, coming-of-age tale about home, love, hope, responsibility, and redemption. An edgy, roller-coaster adventure, it is also a deeply moving story about how to survive a corrupt Third World dictatorship with a little innovation, humor, bribery, and brothel management."

If that didn't peak your curiosity - here is link to a website ... they are working on a documentary.

My Life As Emperor was the very first book on my amazon wish list. After reading it I have no idea why. I found the cruelty and selfishness to be too much. I finished the book but barely. Sometimes it just happens, you hit a dud. Oh well.

From Amazon:

"In this chilling yet enormously entertaining tale by acclaimed Chinese writer Su Tong, a pampered and nave 14-year-old prince finds himself, suddenly and unexpectedly, named Emperor and placed in the position of lord and ruler over an entire nation. A boy of few talents and limited interests, he soon grows drunk on his own power and learns to wield an iron fist in dealing with subjects inside and outside the palace. Narrated in retrospect by the ex-Emperor, this is a mesmerizing story of cruelty and decadence, of concubines and eunuchs, of lethal imperial rivalries and royal court intrigue. Su Tong is one of the most celebrated Chinese writers today. The New York Times calls him "an imaginative and skillful storyteller." The publication of this book -- his first in almost ten years -- was an international literary event. His innovative, deftly constructed novels remain at the forefront of a growing body of work by a coterie of writers who have exposed new facts about China's past and posed vital questions regarding the country's future."

OH but to end on a good note ... or book ;-) Another must read ya'll!  These is my Words is awesome. The author did such a great job of moving the characters along - one calamity after another. I am looking forward to reading the other two books in the series but I think it's gonna have to wait until the boys are back in school. Only so many hours in the day ;-)

From Amazon:

"A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the author's own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the turbulent events, both joyous and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose. Rich in authentic everyday details and alive with truly unforgettable characters, These Is My Words brilliantly brings a vanished world to breathtaking life again."

WOOT WOOT! I've found a new linker thing a ma bob. Bye bye Mister Linky - Hello InLinkz!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Turn the Page ... Tuesday

From the Shelf TBR
After I had read Flowers for Mrs. Harris I tracked down a copy of  The Snow Goose and there it sat on my shelf. I had moved on to other books by the time it had arrived. Some things are worth waiting for though. This was such a bitter sweet book. It is definitely on my favorites list. Go ahead - see if your library has it or order a copy. You will be glad you did. Oh - and have the tissues ready.
From Amazon:
"This brief literary fairy tale of the dark, reclusive hunchback with a gift for love and healing; the timid country girl; and the wounded snow goose that brings them together is undeniably sentimental."
On the Kindle TBR
Well, I have to admit it. I never read The Red Badge of Courage in school. I promise I still got a decent education. Pinky swear. With that said, I thought I would "educate" myself and snatched up quite a few free classic books when I first went paperless. Needless to say I kept putting off reading a book about war ... and I read it too fast. I was eager to get on to something else that was enticing me. I didn't really enjoy it - despite the fact that the main characters name is Henry I didn't fall him or any of the characters. Truth be told, I don't think I gave the book a decent chance. After giving it some thought I realized I probably would have done the same thing in high school; some things never change.
"Henry Fleming, a private in the Union Army, runs away from the field of war. Afterwards, the shame he feels at this act of cowardice ignites his desire to receive an injury in combat a red badge of courage that will redeem him. Stephen Crane s novel about a young soldier s experiences during the American Civil War is well known for its understated naturalism and its realistic depiction of battle."

Book vs Movie
So after reading The Red Badge of Courage I was dreading watching the movie. I put it off until the last minute possible despite the fact that is only just over an hour long. The trailer I've linked to from YouTube is the actual movie I watched (I'm not sure if there are other versions). I am so glad I took the time and didn't just cave and give you all a bunch of excuses as to why I didn't have time to meet my challenge this month. The movie (for me) made all the characters so much clearer. They did such a good job of casting the roles. I felt so much more connected to the story seeing the soldiers and hearing them; definitely brought the story to life for me. I would highly recommend (re)reading the book and then watch this movie. If I had known this movie was so good I think I would have enjoyed the book a bit more.
Bonus Book

Oh how I wish The Last Block in Harlem was different. I finished this book only because I kept hoping that the promise of how the book began would find it's way back in the end. It didn't. It begins with such hope and determination and then spirals into dysfunctional relationships and down right strange and bizarre. I was so glad when this book was done.
From Amazon:
"All fire escapes lead back to the same block in Sugar Hill, Harlem- where kids run through hydrants and music blares from stereos plugged into lampposts. When a new resident (the story's unnamed narrator) notices the trash polluting the picturesque streets and tainting the block's beauty, he is spurred to action. However, his best intentions go awry when the clean-up brings media coverage that in turn, sets off a rash of evictions and ushers in an influx of new and affluent tenants. In an attempt to preserve his neighborhood, the tenant mobilizes a grassroots effort to improve the neighborhood from the inside out.

Realizing he has yet again polluted his reality with unintended consequences, his fight to clean up the block evolves into a quest to cleanse his soul. The choices he makes cannot change the past and the secrets that haunt him, but will alter the future for himself, his family...and the last block in Harlem."

Having two boys I really was interested in What a Difference a Mom Makes. I've read other Kevin Lehman books and usually end up laughing out loud while filing away a tid bit or two. This book proved no different. For those of you with young men under your care I would recommend this book. It is faith based but not one of those bang you over the head - just good sound writing and advise for those of us raising future men/husbands/fathers.
From Amazon:
"Every mom wants the best for her son. She wants him to succeed in life, to be a man of character, to find a good woman, to be a great dad. But sometimes boys are hard for moms to understand. Sometimes they're strange, annoying, and downright disgusting! Yet always they need a mother who is engaged and interested in them, because a mom is the most important person in a boy's life.

In What a Difference a Mom Makes, New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman uses his wit and wisdom to show Mom how to lay the groundwork that will allow her son to grow into a good man. Armed with Dr. Leman's expert advice and insight, Mom will gain an understanding of her boy at every stage, from that very first diaper change to the moment he leaves for college. Dr. Leman shows how to discipline a boy, how to command respect, how to let him fight his own battles, how to understand his sexuality, and how to weather the changes in the mother-son relationship as he grows up. Most of all, Leman shows Mom how to lighten up and have some fun along the way with that boy who will always have her heart."

For the Kiddos
The Cul-de-sac Kids  is another series of books that I have really enjoyed reading to my boys. They are written for kids ages 7-10 but I began reading these to them when John was only 5. There are over 20 book in the series so it has been fun working our way through them. These are faith based and it has been rewarding to see how my children react to the characters behavior - both good and bad - and their realization of their wrong doing and how to redeem their actions. A great series to also help reinforce our values here in our home. I would highly recommend.
From the authors web page:
"This is an exciting and lighthearted chapter book series for young readers that centers on the often humorous escapades of a group of endearing neighborhood friends. Nicknamed the "Cul-de-Sac Kids," they learn important lessons about friendship, teamwork, and faith through their adventures and mysteries."
I would look forward to seeing what you have been reading - always adding to my never ending list of wants to read! I am giving up on Mister Linky. Despite my best attempts my code is not working again. Please leave your link in the comments so others can get to your page quickly. I will also add you to this post with your link. I welcome any suggestions on another service to use for links. In the meantime ... happy reading!
Other TTPT posts:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From the Shelf TBR ~ and ~ On the Kindle TBR

Letters of a Woman Homesteader was a book that I had bought on my kindle app on my phone before I even had a kindle. As you can imagine it was quite difficult trying to read in that itty bitty screen. So I bought the book. And there it sat on the shelf for a few years ... even though I was enjoying the book in 2 inch increments ;-) by the time the book arrived I had moved on. Thanks to my challenge I finally finished it (I had to start from the beginning again) and moved right through ... on a much larger screen - ha! 
If you like to read how things were and stories of survival that have a bit of humor in them then definitely ad this to your list. Mrs. Stewart's letters (that is how the book is presented - copies of her letters) show grit, determination and a sense of self that was a must if one was going to survive the untamed country of the west.
From Amazon:
"After deciding that city life as a laundress wasn't for her, Elinore Pruitt, a young widowed mother, accepted an offer to assist with a ranch in Wyoming, work that she found exceedingly more rewarding. In this delightful collection of letters, she describes these experiences to her former employer, Mrs. Coney. Pruitt's charming descriptions of work, travels, neighbors, animals, land and sky have an authentic feel. The West comes alive, and everyday life becomes captivating. Her writing is clear, witty, and entertaining. The 26 letters are brief and tell about her life on the ranch in the early 1900s. The author frequently and unnecessarily apologizes for being too wordy; she begs forgiveness for many "faults," like being forgetful, ungrateful, inconsistent and indifferent, all without apparent cause. On occasion, language reflects the racial prejudice of the time. Many times, Pruitt attempts to portray the culturally diverse characters she meets by writing their various dialects as they sound. Kate Fleming's narration is as smooth as the writing, perfectly transitioning from one accent to the next. She reads with a calm, down-to-earth tone, which suits the writing well."
There is another free kindle book that I have on that ever growing list of TBR - Letters on an Elk Hunt by a Woman Homesteader which if it's anything like Letters of a Woman Homesteader I think I'll be in for a good read.
Book vs Movie

I had great difficulty tracking down Heartland (the movie version of Letters of a Woman Homesteader) to watch. I actually had to buy it used. Just to get a decent price. This isn't  best clip from the movie but it will give you a good idea of the beautiful scenery that is throughout.  As many times is the case, the book was better than the movie; however, with that said, I did enjoy the glorious mountains and picture of farm life.
Bonus Books

Oh boy oh boy. I really liked The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes. There are quite a few twists and turns and you are not really sure where you are going to end up. Just the way I like it. I had no idea where this book was headed. Some parts seem a bit - well - you scratch your head and say 'really?' but then you are pulled right back in and off you go ... lots to discuss for a book club I'd say!
From Amazon:
"In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.
CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth, and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies…"

I read Out of My Mind and immediately had my 3rd grader read it. Don't let the "age 10 and up" deter you. This is an excellent read for all. Henry and I had quite a discussion. He's such a good hearted kid and couldn't understand why some of the characters behaved the way they did. I have this book sitting on my shelf waiting for John to be old enough to read it. It's that good.
From Amazon:
"Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability."

For The Kiddos
The boys and I both have really enjoyed reading through The Imagination Station. This has been a great read aloud set for the different level of comprehension my boys are (K and 3rd grade). Drama and mystery abound - think Magic Tree House but faith based. The stories are based on actual events or people in history and two cousins are transported back in time and see God's hand at work. Win-Win if you ask me. The books are available on Amazon as well as the link provided. There is actually a 12th book due to come out in October ... and yes, I've pre-ordered it ;-)
And lastly, books I have not read yet but recently purchased (99 cents each as an ebook). The Trailblazer series is something that I think Henry will enjoy in a year or two and I will enjoy now ;-) They love reading on their kindle fires so I thought this was a good investment because you can load the books onto your computer and then transfer them to any electronic device. They even have specific files for printing/kindle/nook/iPad. Well worth the money if you ask me.
From their website:
"The award-winning TRAILBLAZERS are action-packed historical fiction novels introducing great Christian heroes. Each page-turning book portrays a significant period in a hero or heroine's life and ministry as seen through the eyes of a young protagonist. A page in the front of each book explains exactly what is fiction and which events and characters are historical, and a “More About” chapter at the end provides a brief biographical overview of the hero's life. We want kids to learn about pioneer missionaries and other important Christians . . . and have fun doing it."
So - what have you been reading? Don't be shy - I want to add to my TBR list! Leave me a comment and I'll add your link. (I'm so frustrated with Mister Linky - it won't work - again!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

From the Shelf TBR

Sometimes books that have been on your self for a bit ... well, they should have just stayed there. I wanted to like The Amateur Marriage but I just couldn't fall for any of the characters. Or the plot. I finished the book (it wasn't that bad) but it had so much potential in my mind. Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe it's because I'm in a happy marriage so reading about a not so happy and self centered married couple just don't thrill me. I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters. There lies the problem - not the context of the book but I just couldn't  root for anyone in particular.

Enough said. Here's what Amazon's got:

"Anne Tyler's The Amateur Marriage is not so much a novel as a really long argument. Michael is a good boy from a Polish neighborhood in Baltimore; Pauline is a harum-scarum, bright-cheeked girl who blows into Michael's family's grocery store at the outset of World War II. She appears with a bloodied brow, supported by a gaggle of girlfriends. Michael patches her up, and neither of them are ever the same. Well, not the same as they were before, but pretty much the same as everyone else. After the war, they live over the shop with Michael's mother till they've saved enough to move to the suburbs. There they remain with their three children, until the onset of the sixties, when their eldest daughter runs away to San Francisco. Their marriage survives for a while, finally crumbling in the seventies. If this all sounds a tad generic, Tyler's case isn't helped by the characteristics she's given the two spouses. Him: repressed, censorious, quiet. Her: voluble, emotional, romantic. Mars, meet Venus. What marks this couple, though, and what makes them come alive, is their bitter, unproductive, tooth-and-nail fighting. Tyler is exploring the way that ordinary-seeming, prosperous people can survive in emotional poverty for years on end. She gets just right the tricks Michael and Pauline play on themselves in order to stay together: "How many times," Pauline asks herself, "when she was weary of dealing with Michael, had she forced herself to recall the way he'd looked that first day? The slant of his fine cheekbones, the firming of his lips as he pressed the adhesive tape in place on her forehead." Only in antagonism do Michael and Pauline find a way to express themselves. --Claire Dederer --"

On the Kindle TBR

I snagged Bernice Bobs Her Hair shortly after I got my kindle and then let it take up memory for a few years. I really was tickled by this book. I loved how the characters were just that - characters! There's the manipulative pretty party girl, the attractive but dull girl, and the many boys who fawn over them as the book progresses. If you are looking for a fast and light read (and maybe a bit of revenge ... no spoiler here) add this to your list. It is a classic after all.

Book vs Movie
I was surprised at how much the book followed the movie. It was delightful to see the period clothing while watching the characters from the book come to life. I think this little bit was only 45 minutes long - well worth it!
Bonus Book
I am not sure how I stumbled upon Jack Rabbit Moon but I am sure glad I did. Everyone is so loveable ... or despicable. Right from the start you are rooting for 11 year old Marnie. She is a spit fire and not afraid of adventure. Actually, her adventures are what keep her away from harms way and the people she falls in love with (and vice versa) is definitely worth the read. This has been one of my favorite books this year.
Here's what Amazon says:
"Everyone longs to be precious. Eleven-year-old Marnie Evans is no different. She wishes on stars for parents who adore her, even though her family is dysfunctional. She also believes that jack rabbits and a boot-wearing Texas angel show her mysterious signs of things to come. To escape her mother's neglect over summer break, Marnie finds a short cut through the woods to Garner State Park. There she discovers yodeling cowboy ranger Rick Carpenter and his wife, Claire, who live on site. From buried boxes to colorful characters such as Bible-thumper, Shelby Love, and peacock feather man, Vaughn Conner, Marnie eventually finds what she's looking for along the banks of the Frio River. Don't miss the boat on this environmentally lush ride that explores the mystery of connection and power of forgiveness."


After I had read Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes I had to immediately scoop up a few more of her books (because I don't have enough to read already. right.) The Last Letter From Your Lover is totally different from MBY - which was pleasant - Moyes is an author that can deliver a good story with out feeling like you've already heard/read it before. This is another book that is high on my recommend list and I'm going to let Amazon do the description - I'm afraid I might give something away if I babble on ... just add it to your list - k?


"It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband. Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance. A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers."

So tell me folks - whatcha got that I can add to my never ending list of good reads ...

Monday, April 1, 2013

March Photo Scavenger Hunt

It's that time again! I got a late start this month for my hunt but I managed to squeak it out - not has creative as I wanted to be but ...



We had a late March snow storm.
I struggled with this one ... and then I looked out my window and saw the snow which looked so beautiful on the tree. Quite grand.


I must have been mad in the head to feed the boys more sugar. Recipe here.


That's how old he is now ... not for much longer though!


Another stretch of imagination but they sorta match ;-)


One of those spinny thing a ma bobs that I put in the boys Easter basket.


Really stretching it here for this one.


 The view from our back porch.
Still trying to convince the 6 year old to take the training wheels off. Maybe this is the year.


Where has it gone? 2007 wee ones to 2013 handsome (I'm biased) boys. Blink and they will be off to college.

I missed a few shots this month. Hopefully for April I will be able to get them all. Make sure you hop over to Sophie's to see what everyone else has captured. Thanks Sophie for hosting!

Hope you will be back for Turn the page ... Tuesday tomorrow! I'm optimistic that my link thing a ma jig is working this go round :-)