My Own Little Book Corner

Sunday, February 28, 2010

2010 Book Reviews - February

The Risk Pool by Richard Russo

A great book with wonderful character development. This is the type book that stayed with me after the last page was read. I think Mr. Russo does a great job of making the characters real people with flaws like we all have but also that tiny spark of goodness. This is one of my favorite books so far this year.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling

After hearing references to Harry Potter in sermons, I thought maybe I should read the series. I know it is a Young Adult series that caught on with the older crowd too. The style is definitely YA, but I did enjoy this first book. I enjoyed it enough that I was looking forward to reading the next one .....

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Reading this one right after the first book was probably not a great idea. The YA aspect really stood out to me. I almost felt as if I was re-reading the same story, just with a different set of circumstances. I've decided to try reading at least the next two, but spreading them out. After that I'll decide whether or not to finish the series.

Good to Great in God's Eyes by Chip Ingram

This is a book that I had already and then my "Bible study group" decided to use it for our study. This is the type book that doesn't necessarily have any great revelations but a lot of reminders and practical examples and challenges. The type thing that makes me think, but also calls me to put my faith in action. A good one.

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg

This book borders on depressing. It is the story of a woman adjusting to life after the death of her husband. I will say that Ms Berg would take me to the brink of depression, but then back off. It is a tender story of love - even after death.

Club Sandwich by Lisa Samson

This is book 4 for me from Ms Samson and I that's where I would rank it. It's a good story but I just never felt that connected with any of the characters. I also found it a little predictable and a little "surface" only at times.

Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon

Oh my! This is one of those books that grabbed me from the beginning and I held on. This is not my normal genre of book - there's a lot of suspension of reality, but there is something about the way Ms McMahon writes and the story she tells that made me able to do that. There is a lot of layers to this story and in some ways I think most of us can relate to a lot of the characters. As a sideline - my friend that lives in Erie, PA called me the weekend after I had read this and told me that she had just read a great book. It was not one she would normally read, but something drew her to it so she bought it and put it as the last one on the stack to read. I guess you know what book that was. Check this one out.

Bad Ground by W. Dale Cramer

I've read 4 of Mr. Cramer's books and this one is my least favorite. (There must be something about the 4th book.) I think that it is too "manly" for me with the story being set in a mine. There are some wonderful lines in the book and I'm glad I read it. I just don't rank it as high as his other books.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I had started this book last month, put it down and then decided to return to it this month. There were times I enjoyed this book and other times that I didn't. Some of the changes that Mr. Maguire makes to the story of Oz are easy for me to accept, others just don't fit. Since I really like the Oz story, it was a problem for me. We are going to see the musical in April. I hope I enjoy it more than I did the book.

Stone Cold by David Baldacci

I like David Baldacci. This is the third book in his series about the Camel Club. I enjoyed this one more than The Collectors. Well written, pretty believable and it kept my interest to the end.

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd" by Jim Fergus

Historical fiction story that is truly a fictional story set in a historical backdrop. The premise is that the US Government has agreed to exchange 1,000 white women for some horses to help assimilate the Cheyenne into the white man's world. This is actually a request made by the Cheyenne's. The story is told through a journal of one of the women who is a part of this exchange. It is an interesting peek into what life may have been like in a Cheyennes tribe. Worth the read.

The Tiny One by Eliza Minot

This is a story told by 8 year old Via about the day her mother died. Om the day of the funeral, Via is going back over the events of the day in her mind. It was just a normal day at school until her world caved in. Ms Minot does a wonderful job of telling the story in the ADD way that a lot of kids (and adults) think. One event or thought leads to another completely different event and through this we get a picture of life in the Revere's family and the relationship of Via and her mom. A sad, yet mostly fun story.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Exercising the Mind and the Body

I have never thought I'd like an audio book. I've listened to different audio Bible's from time to time and while I've liked doing that, I find myself letting my mind wander. Since it had been a while since I had tried listening to a book, I thought I'd give it another chance. I checked out an audio book from our library, downloaded it to my mp3 player and have been listening while working out.

I usually read a book while at the gym, but logistically that is not always easy to do. The book has to fit in the rack just right, I have to turn pages, I can't read when I jog, etc. So far the audio book has been a perfect fit. Plus I refuse to listen to it at home, so that gives me a little incentive to go work out. I think maybe I'm on to something.