Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Turn The Page ... Tuesday On A Wednesday

Series & Sequels

I am almost done with The Last Battle - it seems to be that I am having my own battle of time management (thus the Wednesday post!). It felt a shame to not wrap up my Narnia posts in 2012 so I decided to go ahead and give my thoughts even if I haven't completed to book.

And for the thoughts ... wow. It's quite frightening. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. Over the past years I have studied the Bible more and my knowledge (although still limited) has grown and I felt that reading The Chronicles of Narnia was such a beautiful accompaniment. I cannot wait for my children to read them. I think this summer they will be mature enough for me to pull them out and we read them together. I'm going to miss Narnia. The parallels to our world and own demise are uncanny ... but I would take a gander that was Mr. Lewis' whole point. If you haven't read this series - by all means do so. I'm pretty sure you will be glad you did.

Here is a synopsis of this book from Amazon:

"The last battle is the greatest of all battles
Narnia ... where lies breed fear ... where loyalty is tested ... where all hope seems lost.
During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge -- not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the king and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear in this, the magnificent ending to The Chronicles of Narnia."

After reading Paula's review of All Over But the Shouting & Ava's Man I had to read them. Right away. After a quick search on Better World Books I found what I was looking for and began the adventure of Rick Bragg's (as in Southern Living contributor) family. I also have The Prince of Frogtown waiting in the wings. Paula's post was enough to get me to pick up these books ... I can say you will not be let down either!

Bonus Books

My book club read Alligator Lake and I have to say it was an interesting story but at times I was annoyed by how much the main character was in her own head. I don't know if that makes any sense but I felt like her thoughts were sometimes repeated and beat to death. It was a fast read and for the most part enjoyable.

From Amazon:

"For the past decade, Colorado has been Avery's home--the place where she found refuge as a pregnant teenager, full of anger and shame, and the place where she chose to practice nursing and raise her mixed-race daughter, Celi. Now an invitation to her brother's wedding offers her the chance to return to Greendale and seek the long-delayed reconciliation with her family that she wants for Celi's sake. But will introducing Celi to the independent-minded grandmother whom Avery adores bring solace or heartache? Will confronting her cold, class-conscious mother, whose cruelty almost cost a young man his life, allow for new beginnings or confirm old resentments? And where does Avery begin in asking for the forgiveness of her youthful lover, who has been denied his child all these years? Most of all, Avery arrives seeking the answer to how Celi inherited a genetic disease that occurs only when both mother and father have black ancestors--proving that someone is lying about Avery's own family history.

As the summer progresses, Avery's return releases a Pandora's box of shocking discoveries--of choices made and secrets kept...and of deceptions that lie closer than she ever expected."

A friend lent me The Namesake; the same one who lent me Modoc, Expecting Adam, and Belong To Me. This book languished for awhile on the bookshelf and then the quilt began to sit in that I had my friends book for so long. For some reason the back cover synopsis didn't appeal to me buuuuut my friend had said it was one of her all time favorites. I caved. I was surprised. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be at all. I love when that happens. Step out of your normal "cultural" reading list. Pick this up. You will be surprised too.
From Amazon:
"The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves. The New York Times has praised Lahiri as "a writer of uncommon elegance and poise." The Namesake is a fine-tuned, intimate, and deeply felt novel of identity. "

Who doesn't love a free book - or an almost free book. For 99 cents you can pick up The Mill River Recluse  and have your heart broken by evil and but back together again by love. This would be a wonderful book to read this holiday season. As the old saying goes "you can't judge a book by it's cover" - well I'm not referring literally to this book's cover but to what the metaphor implies - look a little deeper at your neighbors - they might not be as nutty as you think (ok - maybe some - but not all!).
From Amazon:
"Disfigured by the blow of an abusive husband, and suffering her entire life with severe social anxiety disorder, the widow Mary McAllister spends almost sixty years secluded in a white marble mansion overlooking the town of Mill River, Vermont. Her links to the outside world are few: the mail, the media, an elderly priest with a guilty habit of pilfering spoons, and a bedroom window with a view of the town below.

Most longtime residents of Mill River consider the marble house and its occupant peculiar, though insignificant, fixtures. An arsonist, a covetous nurse, and the endearing village idiot are among the few who have ever seen Mary. Newcomers to Mill River--a police officer and his daughter and a new fourth grade teacher--are also curious about the reclusive old woman. But only Father Michael O'Brien knows Mary and the secret she keeps--one that, once revealed, will change all of their lives forever.

The Mill River Recluse is a story of triumph over tragedy, one that reminds us of the value of friendship and the ability of love to come from the most unexpected of places."

2013 Challenge 
It's hard to believe that another year of TTPT has passed. We began this reading journey in March of 2009 - I'm so glad you have come along for the ride. I plan to continue in 2013 with a new challenge; or rather, reviving an oldie but goodie. In 2011 the challenge was to read a book from your shelf that was gathering dust for every new book you bought. I have found that not only have I continued to collect books for my shelf but that my kindle also is being filled. Sooooo - I here by officially issue the 2013 Turn the page ... Tuesday challenge (that's where you insert the drum roll and trumpets):
Each month read a book that you already own (what we call a to-be-read or TBR) AND and book that is taking up memory on an electronic device.
Bonus - read a book that had been or being made into a move and then watch the movie!
If you are like me, I want to read the book before I go see the movie ... the book is almost always better (except for Big Fish - did anyone else feel that way? I remember reading the book and struggling through it. I kept thinking 'this would make a great movie' ... and I think it did.) But I digress...
What have you been reading?!



Sara said...

Well, my dear, looks as if you've been reading a lot, too! Great recs, as always!

Stacey's Treasures said...

I borrowed the Rick Bragg books from Paula this summer but haven't got them read yet. They should be next on my shelf. You have been busy reading!!!

Paula said...

Oh! I loved those Rick Bragg books and have recommended them to sooo many people! I've been missing in action from TTP for the past two months because of computer problems but hope to be back with bells on for the January reviews and the 2013 challenge (though I refuse to own an electronic reader, so nothing dusty in those archives!)