Happy February aka show.your.somebodies.you.love.them.month ;-)
Or as Rocky calls it "another Halmark holiday".
We're so romantic.
It sleighs me.
Anywhoo. On to the books!
Dancing On Broken Glass is what I would call an unconventional love story. I love how the author developed her main characters and gave them depth (and issues) that I have not experienced in another book.
From Amazon: "A powerfully written novel offering an intimate look at a beautiful marriage and how bipolar disorder and cancer affect it, Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock perfectly illustrates the enduring power of love.
Lucy Houston and Mickey Chandler probably shouldn’t have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They’re both plagued with faulty genes—he has bipolar disorder, and she has a ravaging family history of breast cancer. But when their paths cross on the night of Lucy’s twenty-first birthday, sparks fly, and there’s no denying their chemistry.
Cautious every step of the way, they are determined to make their relationship work—and they put it all in writing. Mickey promises to take his medication. Lucy promises not to blame him for what is beyond his control. He promises honesty. She promises patience. Like any marriage, they have good days and bad days—and some very bad days. In dealing with their unique challenges, they make the heartbreaking decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their eleventh anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything. Everything. Suddenly, all their rules are thrown out the window, and the two of them must redefine what love really is.
An unvarnished portrait of a marriage that is both ordinary and extraordinary, Dancing on Broken Glass takes readers on an unforgettable journey of the heart."
Yo! Adrienne says: Get your kleenex, some chocolate, and whatever comforts you and curl up for an emotional roller coaster that will make you glad that an author can dig deep and show big love. How's that for a run on sentence. I really, really loved this book. It made me mad, cry, and happy - sometimes all at once. I'm team Chandler all the way.
I've had I Capture the Castle on my to read list - for like - f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and .e.v.e.r. amen.
Cool fact: this was written in 1948 and the author wrote 101 Dalmatians.
From Amazon: "I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments."
Yo! Adrienne says: You must read this book (if you haven't already). It's such a funny clever read. Despite the fact that I have never experienced living in a castle and was born in 1972 in the U.S. as opposed to the 1920's in Europe I 'got this book'. The author does such a good job of brining the characters (and they are characters) that you can't help but laugh, scratch your head, and keep your fingers crossed for a pleasant outcome.
There is also a movie and I'm so darn disappointed that I waited too long and now can't watch it on Amazon Prime. Drats. The only way I can get my hands on it is to buy the DVD for close to $20 bucks. As Rocky likes to say "na ga da" - not gonna do it. Oh well. Maybe soon it will be back to streaming again. Sigh.
I am a part of a wonderful book club. We call ourselves Wine, Women, and The Word. We meet once a month to discuss, laugh, cry, eat, drink and most importantly share what we've learned (or confused us) from our assigned book. I look forward to this every month. The Prodigal God was on the docket for January.
Prodigal (according to Merriam-Webster): characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure, recklessly spendthrift, yielding abundantly
If you are unfamiliar with the parable of the prodigal son it's in Luke chapter 15. In a nutshell - one son (the youngest) squanders his inheritance (that he demanded from his dad while his dad was still alive and kicking) and the oldest son is appalled at his brother's behavior and follows all the rules. Tim Keller breaks down the story by helping us see what Jesus was saying - the father's love (as in the Father - God) - loves us with reckless abandonment. No matter what we have done - broken the rules or followed them to the letter (for all the wrong reasons) - He loves us regardless. He wants to invite us into a relationship with him despite our brokenness. He is our 'prodigal God'.
Yo! Adrienne says: This book is amazing. I had always focused on 'the mess of a younger brother' not realizing how the older brother was just as lost. The father welcomed them both with open arms despite how they both had hurt him. An amazing book that expands on the love story of our God who is a spendthrift of grace and love for us all.
I might be that last person in American. No wait. The world who has read this book. It's been on my list fo-ev-ah but never made it to the top. Thank you Angelina. You caused such a stir with all you left out I just had to get my grubby hands on it before I give you any of my money.
Can't even imagine.
I've read so many WWII books.
Survivors. Civilians. Polish. Jew. Christian. Soldier. Children. Fiction. Nonfiction.
You name it.
But I had never read of the Pacific.
There are no words.
Just incase you have no idea what this book is about (but I doubt it)
From Amazon: "In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will."
Yo! Adrienne says: um. If you haven't read it. Do. One of the greatest stories told. 'nuf said.
If you've been around here a bit then you know I like to 'screen' books for my avid (but young) readers. And usually what happens is I end up reading the whole series and have a mini book club with my kiddos.
The latest is for my "in the middle reader". Second grader reading waaaaay beyond his reading level but content? Gotta watch that.
In what I was hoping would not be a futile effort I stalked the youth section of our library - reading glasses perched on my nose. I meant business. Not to mention the fact that I can't read squat without them. I was about to give up hope and solicit the help of a librarian when Heros in Training caught my eye. Oh! And it's a series - as in - that buys me more time before I have to repeat a search for appropriate books. Seven books at this point. Perfect. I'll take them all.
This past Thursday was my trek to the library. At the rate John is plowing through these books I have about 2 more days until I must return with glasses in hand - ahem - on my nose - and begin the quest again. But don't loose hope for me. I found this great website In The Middle Books (that just happens to publish the Heros series) that addresses my plight. They have a whole slew of books for kids just like John (and Jill if you have one of those). You better believe I've compared their list to our library's catalogue and ready for the next few rounds. It should last me a month. ha!
In case you are interested in Heros
From Amazon: "From School Library Journal: Gr 2-4-This funny chapter book retells the story of Zeus, Cronus, and the Olympians. Many kids will already be familiar with Cronus, King of the Titans, who swallows his children so that they might never steal his throne. Zeus, the youngest of the Olympians, is smuggled out to a mountaintop sanctuary, and it is from this haven that he is kidnapped by some hungry, none-too-bright giants. Along their journey to Cronus, Zeus, who has always heard voices foretelling some great destiny, is helped by a number of mythological creatures. The voices and some strange clues he finds along the way lead him to think that the Olympians trapped inside Cronus are the key to his survival, even though he doesn't know the truth about who they are. This is a fun read, casting Zeus in the role of relatable kid, and there is a nice balance between his primary goal of survival and his sense of destiny and adventure. Drawings throughout illustrate particularly dramatic scenes, but for the most part, Zeus and his world are left to readers' imaginations. The story ends with him freeing the Olympians, who he is surprised to find are kids like himself. He agrees to travel with these new friends to find the rest of the Olympians, setting up the future of the series nicely. Share this title, and likely more to come, with those still too young for Percy Jackson's adventures.-Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City"
Yo! Adrienne says: I'm finishing up book 2 of the series trying to catch up with John. He is tickled that he has something to talk to me about and loves to ask "where are you now - I don't want to ruin what is coming up". John is very imaginative and despite the king eating the kids "fee fi fo fum down the throat here you come" - he thinks it's hysterical as opposed to scary. The story is written in a nonthreatening way and is so far fetched that he gets that it's not real. There is a character who pops in now and then (she's an oracle) and often has foggy glasses and mispronounced words that distort her "visions" - Titan giants now rule all of Earth's domains - oceans, mountains, forests, and the depths of the Underwear. Ooops - make that Underworld. Even this 42 year old had to giggle.
Now if you are new to TTPT don't be intimidated by all the books I have listed. I am still playing catch up from all the books that I read in 2014 - Oh how I wish I could read this many in one month! So join us if you've read one or twenty!