Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review - The Santa Club - Kelly Moss





Review:  It took me about five minutes to read this little book.  It is the perfect gift to give to a child who is asking about Santa especially around the age of 5-10, they can read it themselves or you can read it with them.  My kids always ask about the age of 7-8 and we tell them ‘Yes’ and that those who do not believe in Santa do not receive gifts from Santa.  That keeps them from spreading around what they suspect, especially if the gifts from Santa and the gifts from mommy are wrapped in the same gift paper.

This book is full of colorful drawings and words of wisdom about Santa, God, Jesus and those who give to others.  It tells kids that ‘Yes’ there is a Santa and exactly what a Santa does and how they can now become a member of the Santa Club and give to others.  The last page is an official card of entry that you can fill out and place a photo of the new inducted Santa. 

I recommend this book to parents with kids who want to know and even just to sit on the shelf for when you are asked ‘Is there a Santa?’  This would make a great gift for that child age 5-10 and a special keepsake they could even give to their kids at the right time.  It is a hard question to answer, I didn’t want to say yes and have them think I lied to them later, but then I didn’t want to say no either.  This book will help with that question and leave the child with a wonderful answer that they can now tell younger siblings ‘Yes’ to.


Publisher: Published July 1st 2011 by Palmary Press

ISBN: 0982134010

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 32 Hardback

Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  The publisher was looking for reviews.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent by The Cadance Group.

Synopsis: A delightful book with captivating illustrations, The Santa Club transitions your child from receiving gifts to experiencing the joy of giving. With sensitivity, faith, and love, The Santa Club tackles the serious question, "Is Santa Claus Real?" To be read with your child, this wonderful book not only answers that sometimes "dreaded" question but it also addresses the questions of why Santa comes at Christmas and who was the first Santa. The Santa Club is a wonderful parenting resource and a stunning children's book, and is sure to become an annual family favorite.
Author Biography:  Kelly Moss is a writer, entrepreneur, and most importantly wife and mother of three kids now 21, 20, and 18. The Santa Club book came to be after her first son asked the question, Is Santa Real. By way of her loving mother-in-law, Bertie, Kelly was given the story that you now see as The Santa Club Book. Through this book, Kelly desires to give other parents the solution to the old age problem of a child asking, Is Santa Real.  When not writing Kelly is CEO of JoeBro Records and a national speaker on the “Gift of Giving”, “How to be a stage parent your child can be proud of”, and “How to find an agent without getting taken.”  In 1996 she started the Connecticut Chasers, which won the Best New Program for the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress. She has two sons who are professional actors living and working in Los  Angeles, and an adoptive daughter from Kazakhstan. She splits her time between Henderson, Nevada and Los  Angeles, California.

Other Reviews:
Sweeps for Bloggers  Giveaway on this link


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review - Indelible - Kristen Heiitzmann


Title:  Indelible


Review:  I enjoyed this book, it was fast paced and interesting with the different characters in this small mountain community.  I’ve read Indivisible by this author and this book brought back some of the favorites from that book and wove them in with the new characters of this book.  Her writing is easy to read and flows well, making every page an enjoyable journey.


The ‘bad guy’ wasn’t as scary as the last book, but the drama between the key players was better this time.  Emotional turmoil and abuse form the base of some characters and it is up to them how they handle it in the end.  She is a Christian writer, so prayer, Christian values and God play heavy in this book.  This does not distract from the mystery or the story in anyway.  Loss, pain, regret, finding forgiveness and redemption with others and with one’s self keeps you turning the pages.   Selfishness and selflessness play a large part in the story also. 

This book made me think about my life and about what I have to give to others and to myself.   What do I value and how to I show that value to others?  I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery wrapped around a story of finding love even when you don’t think you deserve it.


Publisher: Published May 3rd 2011 by WaterBrook Press

ISBN: 1400073103

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 336

Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  Requested this book from Blogging for Books.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent by the publisher.

Synopsis: In a clash of light and darkness, the tenacity of love is illuminated.

When Trevor MacDaniel, a high country outfitter, rescues a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, he can’t foresee the far-reaching consequences of his action, how it will entwine his life with gifted sculptor, Natalie Reeve—and attract a grim admirer.

Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.

Drawn by the heroic story of the child’s rescue, a twisted soul sees Trevor as archangel and adversary, and threatens their peaceful mountain community—testing Trevor’s limits by targeting their most helpless and innocent.

Author Biography:  Kristen learned to read at age four in the sit-on-the-floor school her father taught at home. That was the start of her love affair with stories. Skipping kindergarten, she went to first grade at five and dove into learning with a passion. In elementary school, she wrote and illustrated her own miniature books and the highlight of the week was the mile and a half walk to the book mobile.

A bit of a tomboy, she and her brother played numerous make believe games of cowboys and Indians. She played the Indian because the toy bow really shot arrows (a distinct advantage over caps.) Other early interests were catching frogs and exploring, playing baseball and football, and any form of art she could put her hand to. She studied violin from age seven to seventeen, taught herself piano, guitar, recorder and tambourine.

Of her three main interests, art, music and writing, she chose to study English at the University of Colorado and thrived on Creative Writing and Literature classes. She married her husband Jim, and turned her energy to building a family. They have four children whom they have home schooled for all or most of their education. Kristen is a music minister with the ecumenical covenant community People of Praise.

Once she realized the stories in her head were truly a calling from the Lord, she made writing not just a passion, but a ministry. She has written seven historical fiction novels as part of the The Rocky Mountain Legacy series and the Diamond of the Rockies series. Most recently, she has written seven contemporary fiction novels: Twilight, A Rush of Wings, The Still of Night, Halos, Secrets, Unforgotten, and Freefall.

Writing is not only a passion for Kristen, it is a commission, her way of sharing the themes of grace and forgiveness and dependence on Christ. She believes God gave her a voice, and she joyfully uses the talent for His glory.

Other Reviews:






Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday in my Mailbox


Whats in your mailbox?  Here's what was in ours when we returned from vacation.  Also a few on Kindle for review. Have you read any of these?
Sent for review

Sent for review


A book blog hop win
 Sent for review
 Sent for Review
 Sent for review
 A book blog hop win for Cenneidigh
 Sent for review
 A blog hop win
A blog hop win

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On vacation and reading


On vacation with the Kindle and I have to say that it is the best
way to pack a load of books.  Thin compact and I 
have at least 120 books ready to read...
each book starts where I left off the last time
and WOW I love this thing.
 So much lighter to pack then the real books.
 I wish I wasn't afraid I would drop it in the tub...I love reading in the bath.

A library at my fingertips.  Mine is filled mostly with free
Kindle downloads and books sent for review.
If you haven't tried one of these you need to find someone who has one and borrow it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Recap of the Week

We are on vacation and reading when we can...
here are the reviews we posted this week.  What did you think?
What did your read this week?  Thanks for stopping by.
Happy Reading All!







Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monday musing -on a Thursday - College Drop-off

  We are on our way home from driving out to Utah to drop our oldest off for his first year of college at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT.  I'm a bit teary about the whole thing, but he is very excited about meeting his room-mates and getting started on the next chapter of his life.

   Its a long drive, about 24 hours, we will not be seeing him again until he flies home for Christmas, I think that is the hardest part for me.  I will definitely miss my son.  My husband and I are both alumni's and seeing how the campus has grown will be fun, along with hearing about the things he is doing and the friends he is making.  Now I just hope he learns to study!  Please.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review - After The Party - Lisa Jewell



Author: Lisa Jewell

Review: Having been born just inside the M25 and spent a lot of my under 21 years living in England in general, I really enjoy books about British 30 somethings. I end up reading a lot of chick-lit because of it, but quite a lot of it is quite good. So I had high hopes when the publisher asked me to review After the Party, that I immediately went out and read “book one” in the series Ralph’s Party. Ralph’s Party details the lives of the inhabitants of 31 Almanac Road as their lives intertwine. Some relationships founder and break apart and ultimately true love is found and the Jem and Ralph set off on their cosmic romance. (quick review 3.5 out of 5 – mainly because as a first book the writing needed a little tightening, a problem Jewell has solved over her many books)

So here we are eleven years later and how has the fairy tale love for the ages gotten on? Unfortunately it has stagnated a bit and gone off the rails. This is what I love about this book, the deeper look into the romance. At the end of Ralph’s Party you feel a great love has been achieved and close it the book very satisfied. Typically you never take the time to ponder just how such a love will endure. I guess I always just assume that it will go on without a hitch. But imagine if Kate and Leo survived the Titanic and you meet up with them 11 years later – “How bout the bloody King of the World take out the trash!” That is what After the Party explores, and for the most part this is virgin territory in a contemporary romance.

The high Jem and Ralph have been riding since they got together has produced a couple of kids and careers, but it has not managed to take them to the next step in their relationship. It has not got them married. Because they have come to face the wall all successfully married people have to climb, they must stop being two separate people who live together and become one; a couple comprised of two halves that are all in. They must become fully committed to each other and leave the aspects of single life behind (both good AND bad). When you can put the needs of the other (your spouse in this case, or more specifically the relationship, the family) above your own you can defeat the world. But it is very important that both partners fully commit to form a bond that will last.

If you are not willing to do this it becomes very hard to withstand the vicissitudes of life as time goes by. Otherwise you are just existing on goodwill, magic, and duct tape and that only holds for so long. Ask any couple who have been married a few years, especially ones who have added kids to the mix if this is true. Because magic can only hold out against a few real fights and if you are in a relationship with any substance you are going to have some fights. The national divorce rate attests to this fact.

Jem and Ralph have hit this wall and their relationship is beginning to slowly crumble from within. After the Party takes an in-depth look at a couple in crisis, makes you really care for them, and navigates that delicate path to a resolution. Well worth the read to anybody who is or hopes to be in a relationship. Plus for all you Ralph’s Party fans, all the major characters are revisited and updated, so no loose ends to frustrate you either. Finally a personal sign of what I thought of the writing itself, Lisa Jewell will be put into the rotation and I will devour her backlist over the next few months.

Publisher: Atria Books

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 445 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4516-0910-3

Quick Review: 4 Stars out of 5.

Why I Read it: The publisher was looking for reviewers and this looked interesting.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent by the publisher.

Synopsis: It’s eleven years since Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary first got together. They thought it would be forever, that they’d found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple.
Then two became four, a flat became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn’t quite so simple any more. But through it all Jem and Ralph still loved each other, of course they did.


Now the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart. And in the chaos of family life, Ralph feels more and more as if he’s standing on the sidelines, and Jem that she’s losing herself. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become momentarily distracted - but maybe it’s not too late to recapture happily ever after …
Author Biography: Lisa Jewell (born 19th July 1968, Middlesex, London) is a popular British author of chick lit fiction. Her books include Ralph's Party, Thirtynothing and most recently 31 Dream Street. She lives in Swiss Cottage, London with her husband Jascha and daughters Amelie Mae (born 2003) and Evie Scarlett (born 2007).


Other Reviews:

FYI:




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Tour - Book Review - The Memory Palace - Mira Bartok


Title:  The Memory Palace

Author: Mira Bartok

Review:  I have lived with and worked with Schizophrenia, I spent over two years managing apartments and working in group homes with the mentally ill while in college.  I managed a home later with developmentally delayed individuals along with several mentally ill clients who lived on their own and only needed daily or weekly visits.  And yet I still cannot imagine living with this day in and day out as a child who knows nothing else.  Life with a parent who is schizophrenic has to be one of the most scary things to happen to a child.  You learn how the world works by example and if your only example sees things, hears things and reacts to things that aren’t really there how can a child deal with that?

This book is filled with heartache and yet triumph that these two women were able to rise above their upbringing and become productive adults after all they went through with their mother.   A crazy mother and no stability in everyday life causes problems and the idea that they cut of contact with their mother for over 17 years is OK by me.  What else could they have done in this situation?  In my opinion; Until you live their lives you have no place to judge their actions.  

The reason I gave the book 3 ½ stars was that I felt some of the story was confusing and long winded in parts and yet interesting in others but to short and condensed to really get a feeling for her struggle.  My heart goes out to Mira and the struggle it was to be with her mother and without her.  Guilt over lost time with her plays hugely in this book, but what was she to do?  There is only so much a person can handle and I think she paid her dues.  She focused the book on her life and the struggles, not on blaming her mother or God for that matter.

I cannot figure out who I would suggest this book for, maybe everyone, but it was an interesting story that broke my heart at times and I hope the best for the author and her family.

Publisher: Published January 11th 2011 by Free Press

ISBN: 9781439183328

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 336

Quick Review: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read It:  The publisher was looking for reviewers,  it sounded interesting.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent by the publisher

Synopsis: “ People have abandoned their loved ones for much less than you’ve been through,” Mira Bartók is told at her mother’s memorial service. It is a poignant observation about the relationship between Mira, her sister, and their mentally ill mother. Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, beautiful piano protégé Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room. She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well, but as her mental state deteriorated, Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped, murdered, or raped.

When the girls left for college, the harassment escalated—Norma called them obsessively, appeared at their apartments or jobs, threatened to kill herself if they did not return home. After a traumatic encounter, Mira and her sister were left with no choice but to change their names and sever all contact with Norma in order to stay safe. But while Mira pursued her career as an artist—exploring the ancient romance of Florence, the eerie mysticism of northern Norway, and the raw desert of Israel—the haunting memories of her mother were never far away.

Then one day, Mira’s life changed forever after a debilitating car accident. As she struggled to recover from a traumatic brain injury, she was confronted with a need to recontextualize her life—she had to relearn how to paint, read, and interact with the outside world. In her search for a way back to her lost self, Mira reached out to the homeless shelter where she believed her mother was living and discovered that Norma was dying.

Mira and her sister traveled to Cleveland, where they shared an extraordinary reconciliation with their mother that none of them had thought possible. At the hospital, Mira discovered a set of keys that opened a storage unit Norma had been keeping for seventeen years. Filled with family photos, childhood toys, and ephemera from Norma’s life, the storage unit brought back a flood of previous memories that Mira had thought were lost to her forever.

The Memory Palace is a breathtaking literary memoir about the complex meaning of love, truth, and the capacity for forgiveness among family. Through stunning prose and original art created by the author in tandem with the text, The Memory Palace explores the connections between mother and daughter that cannot be broken no matter how much exists—or is lost—between them.


Author Biography:  Mira Bartok is an artist and writer living in Massachusetts. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been noted in The Best American Essays 1999 and other anthologies. She is the author of over twenty-eight books for children and author/illustrated of the New York Times bestselling memoir, THE MEMORY PALACE, published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster Mira also runs an online resource for artists iraslist.blogspot.com. You can listen to Mira interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

Other Reviews:







Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday in my Mailbox

We received all of these books
for review in the last two weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Birthday David!!!



We are getting older, but I hope that also means wiser.  
Happy Birthday to my blog and life partner.  Love you.  Lisa

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recap of the Week

This is what we read this week, what did you and what did you love and hate
about the books you spent time with this week?

Thanks for stopping by...
Happy Reading.



All are available at Goodreads swap.  Check out my short story thanks Lisa

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review - The Leopard - Jo Nesbo


Title: The Leopard

Authors: Jo Nesbø

Review: I cannot begin to express how excited I was to find this book for sale, used, and in America!! I was browsing the shelves at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama while on vacation (yes - Vacation). I found this as well as two other books that were not even available here in the states yet. This one still isn't. Obviously someone in Europe bought it for travelling and left it on the plane - yeah for them and for me.

We once again return to screwed up but obsessively dedicated police detective Harry Hole of the Oslo (Norway). He has given up the work and is living in Hong Kong, drunk and addicted to drugs. Unfortunately the police back home have a murderer they can't get a handle on, and Harry is their go to guy for the truly tough cases. The Oslo police force would just soon be done with him, it's just that he is extremely good at cracking these cases.

He returns to battle a particularly violent killer with a seemingly random victim selection procedure, their is also a lot of political in-fighting in the police force. As usual Harry doesn't give a flying duck, he just wants to solve the puzzle with his kick ass style. From Hong Kong to Norway to Africa, Nesbo takes you into the mind of a troubled man, and the sociopath he is tracking.

Nesbo is one of the great ones who let you know why Nordic Noir is so hot right now. Gritty crime unraveled one secret at a time. The irony of these books was how far removed the Nordic states were from this fictional world of violence. It has been a extremely tragic time in Norway as one terribly sick individual has made it a reality.

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Copyright: 2009 (2011 translated)

Pages: 611

ISBN: 978-1-846-55401-8

Quick Review: 5 Stars

Why I Read it: I began with the Nordic books with Henning Mankell. Loved them so much I found Nesbo as I expanded to other writers from that area.

Where I Obtained the Book: Bought it at the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Author Biography:
Jo Nesbø was born on March 29, 1960. He is a Norwegian author and musician. As of September 2008 more than one and a half million copies of his novels have been sold in Norway, and his work has been translated into over 40 languages. Nesbø was born in Oslo, Norway. He graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration with a degree in Economics. He was a stockbroker before deciding to become a writer.

Other Reviews:

FYI:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review - Josefina's Sin - Claudia H. Long


Title:  Josephina’s Sin


Review:  This story is beautifully written and flows well,  and yet it made me sad to think that is the way women were treated for generations and yet in some countries they are still treated so poorly.  Rape is a crime and yet it was looked upon as the woman’s’ fault.  Why would that ever have been thought of?  Well the men did make and uphold the laws for too long, thank heaven women have rights now.

Some parts are quite graphic and may turn a reader off to the book, but if you let it the story will sweep you up drawing you in and keeping a tight hold even after the reading is done.  Josephine is a character full of life and yet she wants something more, I think she got a bit more then she bargained for in the deal.  Her husband wants her to do what will make her happy because he loves her.  He loves her and yet if she is not available for her “Wifely duties” then he feels no problem going to another willing body.   Why is it ok for a man to sleep with other women when he is married and yet not ok for the women to do the same?  I hate double standards and the way it is defended in history is disgusting.  It is either right for both or wrong for both. 


I read the book in less then three days and the ending was rewarding and worth the wait, I feel for Josephine and the need she has to confess to gain redemption, but what’s done is done.  Only more pain and loss can result in her honesty.  Telling the truth is sometimes not the best for anyone, including yourself. 

Why I only give it 3 1/2 stars is because I thought the book was heading towards a certain direction, but it never really made it, in my opinion.  Education for all is necessary as is freedom of expression and I think that was the message of this book, but it got lost in all the deceit and sex.

History, torture, injustice, immorality, adultery, abuse and love fill the pages of this book.  Love for her husband, love for her sons and love for the life she has and hopes to keep and get back at the same time.   A longing from years before once fulfilled only brought heartache and loss, a good lesson for anyone I think.  Think about read this book, you will learn something about history and maybe about yourself in the process.

Publisher: Expected publication: August 9th 2011 by Atria

ISBN: 145161067X (ISBN13: 9781451610673)

Copyright: 2011

Pages: 336

Quick Review: 3 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Why I Read ItAtria asked if we would review this book.

Where I Obtained the Book: Sent from the publisher.

Synopsis:  A passionate debut novel about a wealthy landowner’s wife whose life is turned upside down when she visits the Spanish Court in 17th century Mexico.

A thrilling and passionate debut about a sheltered landowner’s wife whose life is turned upside down when she visits the royal court in seventeenth-century Mexico.
When Josefina accepts an invitation from the Marquessa to come stay and socialize with the intellectual and cultural elite in her royal court, she is overwhelmed by the Court’s complicated world. She finds herself having to fight off aggressive advances from the Marquessa’s husband, but is ultimately unable to stay true to her marriage vows when she becomes involved in a secret affair with the local bishop that leaves her pregnant.

Amidst this drama, Josefina finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the intellectual nuns who study and write poetry at the risk of persecution by the Spanish Inquisition that is overtaking Mexico. One nun in particular, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, teaches Josefina about poetry, writing, critical thinking, the nature and consequences of love, and the threats of the Holy Office. She is Josefina’s mentor and lynchpin for her tumultuous passage from grounded wife and mother to woman of this treacherous, confusing, and ultimately physically and intellectually fulfilling world.

Author Biography:  Claudia H. Long is a practicing attorney in Northern California. She wrote her senior thesis at Harvard University on the feminism of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and revived her passion for Sor Juana when she wrote Josefina's Sin. She is the mother of two children, and lives with her husband.


Other Reviews:


Publishers Weekly

Kirkus

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review - Sideways on a Scooter - Miranda Kennedy



Title: Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India



Quick Review: 3.5 stars

Review: It took me quite a while to come to terms with this book. While it was quite readable and I liked the author (which is not necessarily required, but very helpful in a memoir), something just did not click with me. At first I figured it must be because she was so young, and usually young people have no place writing a memoir. But Ms. Kennedy was actually living a pretty interesting life in a country I am quite curious about. Kennedy was a freelance reporter living as a single (western) woman in India.

I eventually figured it out, the story has no narrative. While the author moves to India and slowly adjusts to the culture and customs, and makes friends with several locals before eventually returning home, there is no sense of accomplishment. Typically a story will have a purpose, and a memoir especially will demonstrate some climax that makes the telling of a life story a worthwhile trip. It would be like How I Met Your Mother ending the series without ever showing us Ted meeting his wife. An enjoyable show to be sure, but we would feel let down with the experience.

That said the book was filled with interesting side trips and tidbits that made the read interesting. My favorite thought was the statement on arranged marriages. They are like starting with a pan of cold water on a low heat; it will eventually build to a passionate boil over time. Westerners insist on the rolling boil before you marry someone and that has nowhere to go except to cool off. Given the divorce statistics of a typical western marriage as compared to an arranged marriage I must agree they have a good point.

I also learned just how impossible it is for a single woman to get her own apartment in India with it generally accepted that any female wanting to do that must be a whore. This is not just one or two bad, old fashioned landlords; it is pretty much universal. The author had to lie that she had a husband and he would be joining her later. Another cultural belief is that cats are generally considered evil and as such are avoided whenever possible. I asked a few of my Indian coworkers to confirm that which they did.

Finally I found the back and forth on the caste system fascinating. I was reminded in part of how we Americans are always trying to separate ourselves from each other with the belief one is superior to the other. Like the way southerners are stereotyped – just think about the last time you heard a southern accent – what did you immediately think about the person? It seems in India they have a whole cultural segregation that is understood and passively enforced by everyone. Interestingly a person’s financial status is not enough to bridge the gap between classes. Her maid was of a higher class and thus she had an attitude that defied her job status.

You should definitely read this book if you have an interest in India as the side stories a worth it. But if you are looking for some sort of life lesson or accomplishment by the author then this book misses the mark. On balance I would say this book is worth reading, but do not move it to the top of the to read pile.

Why Did I Read It?: I generally like a good memoir and I like books about India.

Where Did I get it?: Sent to me as an ARC from the publisher through Goodreads.

Publisher: Random House

Copyright: 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6786-2

Pages: 352

Synopsis: When twentysomething reporter Miranda Kennedy leaves her job in New York City and travels to India with no employment prospects, she longs to immerse herself in the turmoil and excitement of a rapidly developing country. What she quickly learns in Delhi about renting an apartment as a single woman—it’s next to impossible—and the proper way for women in India to ride scooters—perched sideways—are early signs that life here is less Westernized than she’d counted on.

Living in Delhi for more than five years, and finding a city pulsing with possibility and hope, Kennedy experiences friendships, love affairs, and losses that open a window onto the opaque world of Indian politics and culture—and alter her own attitudes about everything from food and clothes to marriage and family. Along the way, Kennedy is drawn into the lives of several Indian women, including her charismatic friend Geeta—a self-described “modern girl” who attempts to squeeze herself into the traditional role of wife and mother; Radha, a proud Brahmin widow who denies herself simple pleasures in order to live by high-caste Hindu principles; and Parvati, who defiantly chain-smokes and drinks whiskey, yet feels compelled to keep her boyfriend a secret from her family.

In her effort to understand the hopes and dreams that motivate her new friends, Kennedy peels back India’s globalized image as a land of call centers and fast-food chains and finds an ancient place where, in many ways, women’s lives have scarcely changed for centuries. Incisive, witty, and written with a keen eye for the lush vibrancy of the country that Kennedy comes to love, Sideways on a Scooter is both a remarkable memoir and a cultural revelation.
Other Reviews:




Author: For five years, Miranda Kennedy reported from across South Asia for National Public Radio and American Public Media's Marketplace Radio. From her base in New Delhi, she covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other major stories across Asia.

She wrote extensively about women, caste, and globalization in India, and her stories have appeared in publications like The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Nation and Slate Magazine. On returning to the US, she moved to Washington D.C. to work as an editor at National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday musing - short story look.

I've read lots and lots of books and so I decided to try my hand at writing.   WOW!!! that is much more difficult then I ever thought....Good Job Authors...writing is not easy.  I really appreciate a well writen book now that I've tried to write my own.   I've written 3 books and a short story so far and they all need major editing, they took awhile and I stopped many times discouraged about where the story was going and the fact that I was lost in my own creation.  Writing is not for the faint at heart or maybe we are not all cut out to be writers.

I'm going to include my short story in one of the blog pages for anyone who may be interested in reading it...if you do read it I would love a comment, you can email me if you feel it is too constructive to leave on the page.  Thank you for coming by today and happy reading.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quote of the month - August


No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. 
 - Confucius

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recap of the Week

What did you think of this weeks books? 
 What did you read this week?  Thanks for stopping by...Happy Reading. 
 Fabulous Faces and the Butterfly Cabinet are available on Goodreads swap.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie


Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


Quick Review: 5 stars

Review: In my effort to read the banned books of my time I picked up Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary. It has been getting a lot of press lately with parents trying to get it pulled from school. What interests me the most is the book is usually on the optional reading lists at the schools, yet these busy body parents feel it is their duties to control other parent’s kids instead of just managing their own.

Anyways, Junior is a slightly awkward Indian growing up on the rez and going to the rez school. Being quite intelligent he is without challenge at the school, and in his life, but goes along because that is just what Indians are supposed to do. Get along to get along. The tenuous balance is upset when he gets his new math book and realizes it is the same math book his mother used in school; literally the same book. He decides that enough is enough and he breaks free of his cultural prison and starts attending the local public school 20 miles down the road. An all white (i.e. Indian free) school.

What follows details how a community overcomes its prejudices in accepting an outsider, and more importantly how an outsider gives up his prejudices too. Also he must confront his past when he is considered a traitor to his race, his people. Alexie tells a powerful story of how we passively accept the roles assigned to us from birth and never realize our true potential. For Junior that is to be an Indian on the rez, but the concept is true for all of us. What is holding us back? Is it uncool to do well in school? To try? Or to do math or science as a girl? To be friends with the socially awkward kids? To be nice?

This is a fantastic book for the preteen Middle School age kid to read. It will help them in their transition into adulthood right at the time when they should be questioning what their role in life will be. So why do certain parents hate it so? The best I can figure are the following three things:
1. He mentions he likes to masturbate (go figure – a teen boy who masturbates)
2. He occasionally swears.
3. And this is the kicker, after he has been disowned by his best friend and community, and lost several important family members in rapid succession due to alcohol; he becomes very angry at God. In doing so he draws a cartoon in which allusions to Jesus farting is made.
Based on what is just a few sentences in a phenomenal book you have some whack jobs trying to get it banned as if it was a guidebook to becoming a profane, masturbating Satanist. Can’t have the kids reading that. Of course people who make this argument have never actually read the Bible because all that and worse is found in its pages.

Why Did I Read It?: I would like to say I did it because it is a National Book Award Winner (2007) but t hat would be untrue. I read it because people were trying to ban it. As with all these sort of books I found these concerns to be unfounded.

Where Did I get it?: My Local Library


Copyright: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01368-0

Pages: 230

Synopsis: In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live

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Author: Sherman Alexie is the author of twenty-two books, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, War Dances, winner of the 2010 PEN Faulkner Award, and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, a PEN Hemingway Special Citation winner. He is also the winner of the 2001 PEN Malamud Award for Excellence in the Art of the Short Story. Smoke Signals, the film he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers' Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. He lives with his family in Seattle, Washington.

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