Friday, February 23, 2007

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo

Published in 2006. 200 pages.

This children's book - which is also a fabulous quick read for adults - was the "Great Reads for Girls" pick this month. I absolutely loved it, as I did DiCamillo's previous book, The Tale of Despereaux, which we read in the library group a couple years ago. Edward Tulane is a story about learning to love, about loss, and about redemption. Bagram Ibatoulline's illustrations are gorgeous. I highly recommend this book!

Here is the Edward Tulane website.


Small Change: The Secret Life of Penny Burford
by J. Belinda Yandell

Published in 2002. 150 pages.

This is one of my all-time favorite books. I've read it three times now, most recently having chosen it for our church women's group book club, which I hosted this week. All of the women in the club loved the book too!

Here is author J. Belinda Yandell's website.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein

Published in 2007. 397 pages.

The lastest of the Alexandra Cooper novels, this was an enjoyable read.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Recommended Read

Alyssa Goodnight just read the children's book Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley. She thought it was wonderful. I'm adding it to the "to read" list for my daughters and me.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

Published in 2007. 384 pages.

I love Carmen, Bridget, Tibby, and Lena! I can relate a little to each one of them (with Tibby being most like me in personality, then Carmen, then Bridget, and then Lena). I love their Sisterhood - and I celebrate the power that comes from women being together. I was very excited to read about "one last, glorious summer" for the traveling pants. And I did enjoy the book!

I did have a major disappointment, however, with the emphasis on the sexual relationships of the girls. When, in the first book, Bridget lost her virginity to Eric at soccer camp, I defended the book as being worthwhile reading for teens because Brashares dealt with Bee's subsequent feelings in a realistic manner. With the amount of sex going on in this book, however, I was sometimes uncomfortable - although I will admit that Brashares still doesn't paint all of it as romantic and "happily ever after." But it seems to me that she also is giving the message that by the time a girl is done with her freshman year in college, it's time for her to be having sex, with absolutely no suggestion that waiting until marriage is even an option. I particularly worry about younger readers of this series - eleven-year-olds like my daughter Sugar Plum, for instance - who certainly aren't ready for the kind of detail that Brashares provides.

On a positive note, though, I found the conclusion of the novel to be satisfying - though I will certainly miss these girls - and I was pleased that Brashares continued with the format of the previous books - switching perspective among the four girls throughout and inserting poignant or funny comments or quotations between chapters. Among my favorites of those are these:

  • Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before. -Steven Wright
  • It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. -Henry David Thoreau
  • In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. -Albert Camus
  • You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. -Aldous Huxley
  • Bouncing is for balls. -Tibby Rollins

If you've read any of the Traveling Pants books, I'd like to know which of the girls you identify with most.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich

Published in 2007. 164 pages.

I love, love, love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, which began with One for the Money in 1994, with the most recent last year being Twelve Sharp. Not a serious thought in any of them, but just plain fun! Plum Lovin' is a "Between-the-Numbers" novel for Valentine's Day, and I read the whole thing lying in bed earlier today. What a great way to spend a lazy Saturday morning!


You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled
by Parnell Hall

Published in 2006. 303 pages.

I have enjoyed Parnell Hall's lighthearted mystery novels since I picked up Juror in a grocery store in 1992. Juror is the sixth of the books in Hall's Stanley Hastings series, with the most recent being Manslaughter in 2003 (although the word is that Stanley Hasting is on his way back with Hitman due out this summer). The Puzzle Lady came on the scene in 1999. I actually liked Stanley Hastings more, but the Puzzle Lady seems to be enjoying greater success. You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled is the seventh book in the series.


Friday, February 02, 2007

Recommended Reads

I love reading blog posts about books! Not that I don't have enough to read already, but I have discovered a number of items to add to my "To Be Read" list. These are today's finds, courtesy of Melessa:

  • The Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Your Groove Back by Vicki Iovine
  • Before You Leap: A Frog's Eye View of Life's Great Lessons by Kermit the Frog
  • The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers by Carroll Spinney