Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The All-Girls Filling Station Reunion by Fannie Flagg

This book was sent to me by my dear Aunt Mary and she was right, I absolutely loved it! It was one of those books that makes me sad when I near the end of it because I'm so enthralled with the story line and the characters that I never want it to end! It also had so many twists and a surprise ending. The plot alternates between two sets of characters that come together in the end. One set is a 69 year old woman named Sookie and her family who live in present-day Alabama, the other is an immigrant family named the Jurdabalinski's who live in Wisconsin during the 1940's. Sookie is a very sweet, very Southern woman, who unexpectedly finds out she was adopted as a baby and that "Winged Victory" (her eccentric mother) is not her mother at all. Through various covert contacts, Sookie discovers her mother was a WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots) during WWII, the first women in history to fly America's military aircraft. This is quite a surprise for kind, soft-spoken Sookie to be directly related to such brave women. As she discovers more about her past, Sookie is able to redefine her view of herself and gain the confidence she has always lacked.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Light Between Oceans

Hey! A blog post! It's been more than a year, but I just finished a book and wanted to write about it.

I had heard about this book, that it was really good, but had no idea what it was about. I love doing that, just reading something with no expectations. 

However, this book is about a baby girl. And I just had a baby girl. So it ripped my heart out. I cried so much! 

It's a story about a married couple, Tom and Isabel, who are keepers of a lighthouse on a tiny island off the Australian coast. Isabel has had three miscarriages and is just aching for a baby, they are all by themselves on the island and only go to shore like every two years or something. One day, just two weeks after she loses a baby at seven months pregnant, a rowboat washes ashore with a dead man and a baby girl in it. They bury the man, and clean up the baby, and Isabel convinces her husband to keep the baby and not report what happened, because they can just pretend it was theirs, since she came so soon after her miscarriage. 

But after a while, they hear a story from the mainland about a woman whose husband and baby were lost at sea, and that she is still holding out hope that they will be found. So now they know who the baby's real mother is, and have some hard decisions to make...I don't want to give away any more than that. But it is so good, and so heartbreaking! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chaos Walking Trilogy

This is a trilogy by Patrick Ness that I have started reading. I'm about half way through the second book. It's a science-fictiony type of series and it's original and interesting. It is written for young adults, so it's an easy read.

It's about a society that lives on New World as opposed to Old World. Settlers left Old World to start a new life on New World and when they arrive there are things they didn't expect. One of which is something they call Noise. The story begins in Prentisstown - a town populated by only men and named after Mayor Prentiss - following a young boy named Todd who is about to become a man by turning 13 in a few weeks. The Noise refers to the fact that all the men can hear each others' thoughts so there are no secrets among them. Or are there?

I really liked the first book, and the second is just as good. I just got the third one from the library last night so I will definitely read that when I'm done with two. The characters are well developed and lovable. The plot is intriguing and unpredictable, which is important to me. Some warning is required before reading it. It is action packed, so there is some violence and just a bit of language.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Invisible Wall


My mom lent me this book to read about a year ago, and for whatever reason I just barely got around to it. And now having read it, it just seems unbelievable to me that I let this book sit at my house not being read for so long! It did not deserve such treatment!

The Invisible Wall is the memoir of a boy named Harry growing up in England around World War I. It starts when he's about 4, and follows him to his early teenage years. He lives in a poor, working class neighborhood of row houses. And one side of the street is Jews, the other side Christians, and the "invisible wall" in the title refers to what might as well have been in the middle of their street. The Jews and Christians didn't associate with one another. They weren't mean or hostile, it was just as if the others didn't exist. 

When Harry is really little, only about 4 or 5, he unwittingly becomes part of a Romeo and Juliet-esque story with one of the older Jewish girls and a Christian boy. A lot of the book takes place on their street, with stories of what happened there, but he also talks about school and home and the synagogue. His angelic, wonderful mother is such an amazing and tragic character. She wants so badly for her children to have a good life, and it just feels so impossible. But she is so optimistic and believes that things will be better someday. His father is awful. He hardly ever speaks or looks at his children, and is hardly ever at home because he's out at the pub. I remember at one part the dad is talking to one of Harry's sisters, and he stands at the bottom of the stairs and yells up, "You!" Harry says his dad never called them by their names and I thought that was so sad.  He also talks about taking lunch to his dad at the factory, and how all the other boys were so excited to see their dads, but he was just scared. And then once they got there, the other dads went and hugged their kids and talked and ate lunch together, but his dad just stayed at his desk and waited for him to drop off the lunch, and never talked or looked at him. It's really sad.

Anyway, I don't want to say too much, because I think it's usually better to read something when you don't know very much about it. All I knew was that half their street was Jewish and the other half Christian, and I loved it. Also, sometimes books like this can be a little bit slow moving, but this is completely riveting. I couldn't put it down, I even took it to the gym with me and read on the elliptical. 

Do we rate our books? I don't remember, it's been too long since I've written. But if we do, I give this one 5 stars. It is wonderful.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Front Cover 

The description from Goodreads:
"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her."

This book is a fast read, because I really couldn't put it down once I started it. The main character (Tris) and her love interest (Four) have an interesting relationship. When comparing them to other well-known relationships such as Edward and Bella (strong and weak, respectively), Peeta and Katniss (weak and strong), it was interesting to see a character who thinks of herself as weak actually acting strong, and being interested in a character that made her see her strength. 

I also really liked the love story in it. It wasn't your typical romance, and I enjoyed that. 

This is the first book in a series of three, but the third is not written yet. I'm ready to start on  number 2!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This was an interesting novel for me. It's about a mother and her son who are held captive in a shed in the back yard of a man for the past 7 years. Jack is 5, and was born in Room, where he has lived his entire life. The story is told from Jack's perspective, which, I think, keeps it from being too intense as far as the abduction and sexual abuse goes.

As a mom myself, I was really intrigued by the ways that "Ma" kept Jack entertained and stimulated for 5 years. Even though they were trapped in an 11'x11' room, Jack was an active, decently educated little boy. They had PhysEd every day, and they worked on art projects, and read books. By the time they escape, he isn't too far behind kids his age, as far as education goes. The second half of the book is about their readjusting to "normal" life, which I also found fascinating.

Overall, an interesting read that really held my attention. I would definitely recommend this book.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Alchemist

Rich. Beautiful. Brilliant. It's amazing how a bestseller can so perfectly explain things about the Plan of Salvation and the purpose of life.