Thursday, April 30, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:23 PM
Posted by Tina's Blog at 12:02 PM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I was quite excited to have her sign my copy of Al Capone and get a picture taken with her. Some people want to meet rock stars or athletes. Me? How about a children's author!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 5:28 PM
Monday, April 27, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 11:43 AM
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 6:38 AM
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Yesterday was my sister's wedding...we spent the day getting pictures taken, eating some great food, and congratulating the newlyweds. We were all very tired when we got home last night.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:22 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
First of all, the story is told by various narrators: Amelia, Sean, Charlotte, Piper, and Marin. Charlotte and Sean have two daughters, Amelia a teenager, and Willow, who is six and suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. Charlotte's best friend, Piper, was also her ob/gyn and the person who read the ultrasound when Charlotte was pregnant with Willow. Six years have passed and Willow has broken many bones in her short life. Charlotte and Sean have struggled financially and emotionally in caring for their disabled child and Amelia has often felt neglected. When the opportunity arises for them to file a wrongful birth lawsuit, Charlotte is persuaded - not because she wishes Willow had never been born, but because she loves her so much that she wishes for her to have some security in her life, something that could happen if she won a huge amount of money in a lawsuit. Piper is stunned when her best friend sues her for wrongful birth and much of the book is devoted to the aftermath of this decision. Marin Gates, who narrates chapters in this book is Charlotte's attorney. She had been given up for adoption as an infant, and despite a loving relationship with her adoptive family longs to know her birth mother. This personal struggle she is having also puts her at odds with representing Charlotte, as she is thankful her birth mother never had the opportunity to decide if she did not want to even give birth to Marin.
In true Picoult fashion this book contains a twist at the end. I agree with my friend, Kristin, who commented that the twist was unnecessary - and perhaps only written in because that is Picoult's style. There were several other issues I (and the others who read this that I know) had - the lack of involvement or awareness of Amelia and her problems seemed somewhat unrealistic, as did the whole premise of the lawsuit. Picoult loves a moral dilemma, and she has delivered it once again in Handle With Care. My Sister's Keeper and Nineteen Minutes still stand as my two favorites, and despite my criticism of this book, I did enjoy it, and she did keep me reading anxiously until the very end.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 7:29 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
If you can make it past that, which I don't think a lot of kids will, the story is wonderful. Murphy has written a middle grade novel about two friends. Joan has just moved to California from Connecticut and meets Fox (Sara) in a wooded area by her home. Fox lives with her father, a writer, and has constructed a story about a fox she sees in the woods, who she claims is her mother. While Fox knows her story isn't true, she likes it better than the reality: that her mother left her five years ago and she hasn't seen her since. Joan and Fox become friends, even though Joan is also friends with some other girls at school, too. Joan and Fox enter a writing contest together and win for their story, Wild Girls. The two attend a special writing school during the summer, where they learn writing technique and a lot about life and looking at things from many angles. Joan's own family life is stressful, as her parents continue to fight with each other, and her father continues to belittle them all. While Joan learns about subtext in her writing class, she is able to understand the concept when she sees how her father treats others as well.
I really felt like this book was so well written it could have won an award, but has flown under the radar and not received a lot of press. I have been told the paperback has a better cover on it, so am hopeful that it might appeal to some middle grade readers. While Murphy teaches her characters about subtext and writing, there were so many opportunities for readers to learn the same lessons, and this is one book I would enjoy reading again.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:12 PM
Monday, April 13, 2009
Posted by Tina's Blog at 12:49 PM
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I had high hopes for Easter weekend in terms of reading. We had an extra day off - no school yesterday- but we have been busy running around doing things. Yesterday morning started off with a long overdue trip to the post office to mail my godson's Christmas present (nothing like stringing things out a bit), then a visit to Target. Target was way too busy for my liking, but we managed to get most of what we needed and my two year old was only crying for the last ten minutes of this trip. Lunch, a visit to my husband's office so the girls could see Dad at work, some playing outside, then gymnastics class. After gymnastics, a stop at home for frozen pizza and then off to visit some friends before we rushed home to go to bed. Today has been about that busy again: Easter egg decorating this morning followed by lots of hunting, then lunch out with friends and seeing Hannah Montana: The Movie. Now we are at my parents for Easter tonight. Tomorrow we go to the in-laws, then church. So, I have read 10 pagesin a new book over this long weekend. I have managed to read a bit in my treadmill book, Honeymoon in Tehran, and my bike book: Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult. Hopefully I can find a few minutes to myself to get something read tomorrow afternoon. If not, at least I will have enjoyed the long weekend, the beautiful weather, and spending time with my family.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 3:12 PM
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Songs for the Missing tells the story of a family whose daughter, Kim, goes missing during the summer between her senior year of highschool and freshman year of college. While this could have been an overwhelmingly sad book, O'Nan writes the story in a more matter of fact way that doesn't create that type of emotion. Kim is an apparently normal eighteen year old girl: working a job to save money for college, hanging out with her friends and boyfriend. All the police and detectives find out about her is that she had tried pot and was sleeping with her boyfriend. Her disappearance takes place fairly early in the book so that we are left to wonder with her parents, sister, and friends what has happened to Kim. Months pass and eventually years as they all must go on with their lives.
While I won't say this is the best book I have read, I will say I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did. O'Nan managed to create characters so real that readers will wonder from time to time how Kim's family is doing years after she is gone and her story has ended.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 12:04 PM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Shh! I can't say that too loud! My husband and my mother have been telling me I have too many books for years now, and I have always answered, "you can never have too many books!" Mostly I believe that, but there have been a few times I have wondered. Like when we moved to the house we currently live in and every single friend who helped us looked at all of my books and had nothing good to say. And like last night when my daughter wanted to read a book that I know we own, but I couldn't find it no matter how hard or long I searched. We have been reading the Little House books and just finished On the Banks of Plum Creek. We have By The Shores of Silver Lake all ready and waiting for us. However, I brought up to my girls that there are a few years in between when Plum Creek ends and SilverLake starts that Laura didn't write about because they were so sad. This is when her brother was born and died. I told them how Cynthia Rylant wrote a book about this time period and they decided we should read that one next. What a great plan....except after digging through boxes of books I can't find it anywhere. This happens to me fairly frequently. So, maybe I should stop buying books....but I don't really think that is the problem. I think I should buy some bookshelves. This has been discussed with my husband several times without a lot of enthusiasm on his part. Since I don't plan to get rid of my books this seems a logical conclusion. I'll just have to keep working on him, and until he changes his mind, continue digging through box after box of books until I find what I need.
Posted by Tina's Blog at 1:07 PM
Monday, April 6, 2009
I have never read Perkins' work before, but enjoyed this book thoroughly.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Nafisi grew up in Iran. Her parents' relationship was interesting, her mother never having gotten over her marriage to her first husband, Saifi, who had been ill and died, leaving her a widow. Nafisi's father had affairs, which he let his daughter know about so she could help him conspire against her mother. While Nafisi never felt approval from her mother, her mother also helped her travel to London to continue her education, something she had wanted for herself but never received. Amidst the family drama, Nafisi also writes about the political unrest in Iran during her lifetime. Her parent were fairly affluent and held positions of some power, giving an interesting perspective to life in Iran. As one would expect after reading Reading Lolita in Tehran, literature played a vital part of Nafisi's life. The importance of reading throughout her life as well as her professional aspirations are two other areas Nafisi has included in her memoir. I have read some reviews that have wondered at the amount Nafisi reveals about her family, some which is not complimentary. As I was reading I tried to be conscious of the types of revelations made in this book and how they would be perceived by those she loved. While Nafisi may by painfully honest, I also felt as though she tried very hard to understand why her family behaved in the way they did. One such example is the relationship she had with her own mother. Nafisi and her mother's relationship was difficult at best and they fought often. However, Nafisi did acknowledge that her mother's mother died when her mom was very young and she never was given the approval she craved from her stepmother. This may not have made Nafisi feel better about her mother's actions toward her, but she was able to understand them.
This is the book I have been reading for the past few weeks on the treadmill. The true test of a book is if it is one that can actually make me want to run on the treadmill longer than I had planned. Things I've Been Silent About is a memoir that had me happy to lace up my running shoes and spend some time on the treadmill.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Gilbert awakens to his sister Lola reminding him it is April Fool's Day. Throughout the day Gilbert has trick after trick played on him. While he tries to play tricks on others, his friends are not as easily fooled as he is. Finally Gilbert announces to his friend, Lewis, that he has a great trick to play on him. From that point on Lewis pays close attention to everything Gilbert does, just waiting for a trick. The suspense nearly does Lewis in, and Gilbert's trick may be the best one of all.
I have few April Fool titles in my collection, so this is a great addition and one that appeals to a wide audience.