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Showing posts from October, 2015

Book Review: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

David is a complex man, a noble warrior, a musician and poet, the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and a prophet, according to the Bible. He is an important religious figure in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Even those who are not religious have heard of David's victory over the giant Goliath in the well-known Bible story. But who was David as a man and how did he rise from shepherd boy to king? In The Secret Chord , Geraldine Brooks brings this biblical figure to life, from his humble beginnings to his rule over Israel. I found her depiction of this man and his life to be engaging, but I found myself more intrigued by the life of Natan, the prophet who tells the story. He's just a boy when he becomes David's prophet, yet his abilities endear him to this man and their relationship is quite fascinating, despite the way it began. I did enjoy reading about David's complexity, though, from his brutality on the battlefield to his ability to render beautiful

Travel the World in Books Readathon

I had every intention of joining the Travel the World in Books Readathon but haven't gotten around to writing my introduction until now. The readathon started last Sunday and goes through October 31st. Here's a brief description of what it's all about: Explore countries and cultures other than the one where you live. Read as much as you can of books set in a different country or by an author from a different country. Read for your own pleasure or learning, read with your kids or both. Travel the world from the comfort of your own home and learn about different cultures. Expand your horizons and show publishers that #WeNeedDiverseBooks to promote cultural understanding and diversity in our reading. Support diverse authors and books. #TTWIBRAT I already finished one book that took place in Europe: After You by Jojo Moyes. Now I'm reading The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling for my book club which meets next week. That also takes place in

Week in Review and Readathons

It's Monday again. I had a fabulous weekend of reading. I read more over the weekend than I have read in the past couple weeks combined! It started with the 24 Hour Readathon . I managed to read for about 8 hours on Saturday and got through about 250 pages (I'm a slow reader!). My son joined me for a couple hours and read about the same number of pages. I will point out that he was reading YA and I was reading a Geraldine Brooks book that required a lot of concentration. By late Saturday night, I had started After You by Jojo Moyes. I only read about 50 pages on Saturday night before getting too tired to continue. I picked it up on Sunday morning and read another 200 pages! I'm almost done with it - made myself put it down at 1am since I had to work today! I didn't end up blogging much last week. I didn't even do a wrap-up of the readathon! But here are a couple links. Reviews and Blog Posts Blog Action Day: #RaiseYourVoice Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Today is the 24 Hour Readathon and my son and I are participating, at least for some of it. We missed the first three hours. We were busy watching my daughter play soccer and then we went for a 5K run since we have a race coming up in three weeks and really needed to get some practice! Now we're prepping to start reading at the top of hour 4 - 11am our time. I'm thinking I'll be making lunch during this hour, while reading my first book, since I'm already hungry! We had to get up at 7:00 for my daughter's game. Anyway, here are our answers to the introduction survey: 1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? North Carolina in the southeastern U.S. 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? After You by Jojo Moyes for me. My son is excited to start The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson. I got it for review but I think he's more excited about it than I am! 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Blog Action Day: #RaiseYourVoice

Today is Blog Action Day and more than 1,000 bloggers around the world are speaking out about this year's theme: Raise Your Voice! According to the Blog Action Day website: We all have the power to create the world we want to see when we raise our voices online. However, for many of our fellow bloggers, citizen journalists and writers, each post they share comes at great personal risk. 2015 has seen unprecedented attacks on those who publish their ideas online. This Blog Action Day we celebrate those heroes who raise their voice when faced with censorship, threats, and violence. We will raise our voices to defend their right to raise theirs. Banned books Since this is a book blog, I'm joining in the conversation from a literary standpoint. Throughout history, authors have been threatened and censored for telling their stories, whether they write fiction or nonfiction. Many would-be authors have been silenced by threats and fears. A couple weeks ago was Banned Books

Week in Review - It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday ~ for a few more hours at least! What are you reading this week? I attempted to do the FrightFall Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading last week but failed miserably so I'm not even linking up with a recap. I did finish a book, which I had already started before the readathon. And I reread a few chapters of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, since I was supposed to read something spooky. But that was about it. Oh well. There's always the Christmas readathon she hosts later in the year! Here's a recap since my last week in review (mostly focused on Banned Books!). Reviews and Blog Posts Book Review: Ready Player One Banned Books Week Kickoff Book Review: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi  Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Book Club Picks: Banned Books Book Review: The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo   Reading Since my last report, I finished reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I

Book Review: The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo

Mattie Wallace's life is not going so well right now. Single, pregnant and without a place to live, she's pretty desperate and worried that she's following the same path as her late alcoholic mother who fills her memories with regret. With news of a possible inheritance from a grandmother she never knew, Mattie heads to her mother's hometown, a tiny town in rural Oklahoma, hoping for some money to ease her troubles. What she finds is a mystery. Why did her mother, who was seemingly happy, suddenly leave this town many years ago? And how did she become the damaged woman that Mattie knew? The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo is filled with some amazingly realistic characters, and that's what generally draws me to a book. There's Fritter, a friend of Mattie's grandmother who gives Mattie a job at the library; Tawney, Fritter's great-great niece who is a bit of a troublemaker; Luke, the paralegal who lets Mattie stay in her grandmother's hou

Book Club Picks: Banned Books

Welcome to my Book Club Picks series. Last week was Banned Books Week and I planned to share some frequently challenged books that would work well for book clubs. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I didn't get a chance to write up my list. So now I'm extending my discussion about banned books into this week because I do want to share some titles and lists that I think you and your book club will enjoy. You see, books that are frequently challenged are generally filled with great topics for discussion, controversial topics, events and situations that get people talking. Note about the links below: Some of the titles listed below are Amazon Affiliate links. If you use those links to make a purchase, I will receive a very small commission but your price will remain the same.   Frequently challenged in 2014 Each year the American Library Association publishes a list of the most frequently challenged books of the previous year. So why not choose a book from the most

Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda is having a bad start to her freshman year at high school. None of her middle school friends will talk to her and most of the other kids in school hate her. Her grades are dropping and she's struggling to talk - to teachers, to her parents, to anyone. It all stems from the fact that she called the cops during an end-of-summer party, and ruined what was a great night for most kids. Not for her. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is another frequently challenged book that I'm highlighting for Banned Books Week. It appears on the top 100 challenged books of 2000-2009 . This is a powerful read. One that should not be banned, but rather handed out to every girl over the age of about 12. I plan to send my copy to my goddaughter, who is a sophomore in high school, if she hasn't read it yet. It is a must read for high school and college girls. Melinda speaks to the reader directly, pulling us into her heart and mind. She is struggling so much with the secret that she ha