Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Series & Sequels

I've been busy busy busy! I'm having a hard time carving out a bit to read but some how I managed - he he. You may remember that last year I read The Magician's Nephew (the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia) aloud to my boys and it wasn't received as well as I thought. I think they were a bit young (7 & 4 at the time). I however really enjoyed it and couldn't believe that it had taken me 39 years (yes, I just told you how old I am) to read it.  I couldn't wait to jump into the rest of the books. And then life happened and I read other books and forgot all about them until last month. Enter The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (the second book in the series). I couldn't put it down. Peter, Susan, Edward, and Lucy are just so delightful (yes, even Edward - don't we all have a bit of Edward in us?). I am in love with how C.S. Lewis weaves in symbolism from the Bible and our savior Jesus. I cannot wait for my boys to be a bit older to enjoy and understand on a deeper level what these books are all about.

In case you are like me and have never read any of The Chronicles of Narnia here is something from Amazon:

"Narnia ... the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter ... a magical country waiting to be set free.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they've been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch's sinister spell."

So you know I couldn't just stop at book two right?  I had to pick up The Horse and His Boy (book three). I had to chuckle when I read a synopsis of this book on Amazon:

"An orphaned boy and a kidnapped horse gallop for Narnia...and freedom."

That pretty much sums it up folks. Of course there is lots of nail biting moments and hair splitting scenes too keep you turning the page along with lots of talking animals. All the things that make a book great I say!

If you haven't read these classics - definitely add them to your TBR list. You are missing out if you don't ... and yes - I'm almost done with book four. I have to save something for next month!

Bonus Books
I had seen this book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet everywhere. I was too cheap to buy it either in paperback or on my Kindle. And then, finally our library began loaning digital books. Can I have a Hallelujah! A whole new world opened up to me! Free books on my Kindle!!!! A bit of heaven if you ask me.

Anywho - I digress.

I ~loved~ this book. The title's two adjectives 'bitter' and 'sweet' aptly describe the love story that plays out during WWII and how Asian immigrants were treated here in the United States. I love to read WWII books and although this story was fiction sadly the reality of prejudices and discrimination were very real.

Here's the Amazon clip:

"Henry Lee is a 12-year-old Chinese boy who falls in love with Keiko Okabe, a 12-year-old Japanese girl, while they are scholarship students at a prestigious private school in World War II Seattle. Henry hides the relationship from his parents, who would disown him if they knew he had a Japanese friend. His father insists that Henry wear an "I am Chinese" button everywhere he goes because Japanese residents of Seattle have begun to be shipped off by the thousands to relocation centers. This is an old-fashioned historical novel that alternates between the early 1940s and 1984, after Henry's wife Ethel has died of cancer. A particularly appealing aspect of the story is young Henry's fascination with jazz and his friendship with Sheldon, an older black saxophonist just making a name for himself in the many jazz venues near Henry's home. Other aspects of the story are more typical of the genre: the bullies that plague Henry, his lack of connection with his father, and later with his own son. Readers will care about Henry as he is forced to make decisions and accept circumstances that separate him from both his family and the love of his life."

My last book for this post is one of those that languished on my shelf for quite some time. Again, I'm not sure why. The Girl With A Pearl Earring (I think) ended up in my possession because I had read Girl in Hyacinth Blue (long before the TTPT days) and really liked it. This "girl" book did not disappoint either. It's an easy read that doesn't require too much mental capacity but also has a bit of 'grown up' spice but still is clean. Does that make sense? In other words - nothing trashy. I like that.

Here's the scoop from Amazon:

"Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model. Chevalier vividly evokes the complex domestic tensions of the household, ruled over by the painter's jealous, eternally pregnant wife and his taciturn mother-in-law. At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic. Still, Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist."

Heads up: If you are like me, you will spend some time googling Vermeer. Let me just go ahead and spare you a bit of time - Here's a link. It's cause I love ya.

So blogging literary friends ... what have you been reading? Series and sequels or not link below so we can add to our ever growing must read list ;-P


Paula said...

I have read all 4 of your books this month and loved every one of them! Good good choices!!

Debi said...

Hotel is on my to read list as Girl with Pearl Earring. I'm like you... too "thrifty" to buy it new! Thanks for linking me... I tried earlier (finally remembered!!) and you weren't up yet.

Sara said...

Ooooo! I love that Vermeer painting, and have wondered about the book for a long time. Thanks for all the good reviews, busy reader!

Anonymous said...

I read chocolate and its sequel and then fell so in live with joanne harris that I decided to keep going with everything I could find at the Library by her. I also started The sunday philosophy club series for while I sew and drive. Mildly interesting and fun. I have been reading a ton lately.

Stacey's Treasures said...

I have never read the Narnia books but do enjoy the movies. Hotel on the corner of Bitter and Sweet is one of my favorites!