Friday, February 23, 2007
OK, now that I am officially hooked on my current reading challenge, I find myself wanting to push it to the next level. I just joined the Banned Books Challenge of Pelham Public Library (Canada). I committed to reading two books from their very interesting list of recommendations. I found myself laughing while I pondered what to read... as I have read many titles from their Banned Book List of 2007! So exactly why are some of these titles challenged or banned? Well, I guess I will just have to read a few to find out!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey is the first novel for the author. I picked it up at my local library because Sakey is scheduled to do a talk there in March about his novel and writing process. I really enjoyed this story and found it to be a real page turner! The story line is basic and real life, with lots of twists and turns to keep it interesting. Details in the beginning of the story are brought to life in later chapters and make you pay attention to them. He names each chapter with words that can be found within the chapter, and often the words take on a new meaning when you read them. I especially liked how he handled the main character's growth throughout the story, allowing Danny to see the past as it really was and then realizing that he needed to take full responsibility for changing his future. The premise of The Blade Itself is two fold: one, how far would you go to protect your future and those who are important to you?; and two, how do the monsters from your past continue to haunt you and what will you do about them? Danny's monsters are his former partner, Evan, and the life they both had seven plus years ago. Danny has developed a new life for himself and Karen, the love of his life. But past monsters don't disappear and Danny needs to do what he has to do to protect others and deal with the monster Evan.
Monday, February 12, 2007
This weekend I picked up a quick read that has been sitting on my shelf since August. I found it recommended in another blog that I visit occasionally and ordered the book. It's a small book with powerful words. Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray by Barbara Bartocci is the perfect pick-me-up for busy people like myself who are always trying to find ways to slow down long enough to add more prayer time to their lives. I always say I don't have enough time in a day to get everything done; but prayer and time with God is not one of those "things" that should fit into one's day, it should just be part of living the day out to the fullest. So how do I add more time to my day? I don't need to because Bartocci gives very basic ways to take the time that I already have and make it prayer time. As I read the book, I found myself saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" The size of the book is convenient for a person to keep it tucked in a purse, in the car, or on a small shelf in any room of the house so that you can refer to it often and continue to add more ideas when you need them. My favorites include: #2. Pray with your snooze button, #18. Say the Count-to-sixty-avoid-a-fight Prayer, #52. Drink and Think, #60. Make a red light contrition, and #85. Restart your day. I look forward to picking up this book more often!
Friday, February 9, 2007
The Loop by Nicholas Evans centers around the arrival of wolves in an area under wolf management in Montana that also happens to be prime ranch country. The usual list of characters are included: the powerful rancher, the poor rancher, the wolf biologists and "bunny-huggers" (I love that term), and the unsuspecting families and friends that must live with all these people. The story is very good and the balance of ranchers vs. wolves is not completely one sided. Throw into the mix a young female wolf biologist from outside of the area and you now have a story of personal struggles, love, life, and death. The word loop is shown in all its definitions, from the meaning of coming full circle to the meaning of a snare used to trap wolves. I especially enjoyed watching the blooming of the young son, how he overcame his struggles of low self-esteem and how he found strength to move forward in a life that was not dictated by his charismatic father. Every now and then a discovery would be made about a character that would change my mind about the direction of the storyline. Overall, I very much enjoyed the book and some of the thoughts it provoked about the delicate balance of life amongst people and nature.