A good book has no ending. ~ R.D. Cumming

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slacking off...

So, unfortunately, I haven't been reading nearly as much this month. I don't know whether that's due to the change in weather or simply that with the holidays around the corner, there is much to be done, leaving little time for reading. I have finished another Jodi Picoult novel, so I will hopefully post a review for that one soon, and I am currently reading Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos but I am finding it hard to get into that novel so far. Perhaps the cold is dampening my reading spirits, but I hope to get cracking soon in hopes of coming close to my reading goal for the year, as we are fast approaching the years-end. I don't think that I will achieve my goal this year, but nevertheless I am happy to have read as much as I have so far, and will see how close I come once the end of December comes around and it is time to come up with a new goal for 2011.

I am really hoping that more people will check out my blog in the coming year, as well. One of my main motivators for starting this blog is to excite people into reading again. It seems less and less people read - whether due to lack of time, or that they "haven't found a book they like yet", and I would really love to see that turn around. Reading is so enjoyable and to those mentioned above who have yet to find a book they like... keep trying! It isn't as though there are a lack of them to choose from! There are so many genres, authors, topics, etc that I, personally, feel it is impossible for people to keep up with that excuse. Which, again, brings me back to the point of why I started a blog. I want people to be able to see what I'm reading and what I thought about the book, and, ideally, I want to see comments posted if people have read that particular book too - bring on the arguments if you disagree with me at all! Even better if I am getting some younger followers, as I think reading is a great past-time for kids (much better than tv, if you're going to be sitting idle!). So please recommend this blog to your friends and family and lets get the world reading again!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sleepwalking In Daylight

Product Details
Sleepwalking in Daylight by Elizabeth Flock

Samantha Friedman has been feeling some disconnect between herself and her husband, Bob, for some time now. Perhaps it is the lack of physical intimacy between them, or the fact that they don't have conversations more complex than "How was your day?", "Fine", anymore. So when Samantha meets Craig during a train ride and they begin exchanging daily emails, she begins to wonder if there isn't more for her outside of her deteriorating marriage. How can she leave, though, when she has the twin boys, Jamie and Andrew, and adopted daughter, Cameron to think about? Meanwhile, Cameron is struggling with the fact that she doesn't feel like she fits with the Friedmans. Having been adopted at 2 years of age, she never thought much about it until someone commented on the fact that she doesn't look like the other members of her family. When she approached her father to ask, Bob simply replied: "because you're not our real daughter". Since that day, Cameron has strived to find out who her real mother is and why Cameron hadn't been good enough to keep. Between Samantha's desire to feel some connection with someone again, and Cameron's desire to find out where she fits, the Friedman house is pulling in many different directions. So when the worst happens, will it make or break them?

I'm still struggling to decide whether or not I liked this novel. On the one hand, I enjoyed that the author explored the family dynamics of a couple in their mid-life stage, and how over the years and with the stress of raising a family things can change - sometimes drastically. On the other hand, I felt that Samantha was far too selfish, and despite her feelings of disconnect with Bob, she never really laid her feelings out on the line for him. She approached the subject several times, but never to the point of flat-out saying "I'm unhappy and you're unhappy, so what can we do about this?". I thought Cameron seemed the typical teenager - still finding her place among the cliques at school, feeling the pressures of drugs and sex, etc. I think in the end I felt very sorry for Cameron because it seemed that Samantha was too caught up in herself to give her daughter any feeling of being wanted, and yet blame could easily be placed on Bob for the same thing. The novel was good, not great, and probably not one I would be quick to recommend to anyone. Regardless, I still enjoy the writing style of this author and am glad to have read this.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Keeping Faith

Product DetailsKeeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

After the first time Mariah White discovered her husband, Colin's infedelity, she lost it. She had a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with severe depression. When she attempted suicide, Colin went to court and had Mariah forced into Greenhaven, a mental institution - it was there that she learned she was pregnant with Faith. After stumbling upon her husband with another woman, for the second time, Mariah knew that this time she had to do whatever she could to pull it together for seven-year old Faith. What Mariah didn't expect was that shortly after Colin leaves their home for good, Faith begins to exhibit strange behaviour - talking to her "Guard", quoting bible verses she has never heard before, stigmata and miraculous healings. The work of God?  A child acting out to get attention, in hopes of keeping her parents together? Through a storm of media attention and court battles, Mariah struggles to make sense of what is happening to her daughter and learns, in the process, that she is a stronger person than she ever thought possible.

I finished this book a few days ago, and not only can I not get it out of my mind but I'm finding this novel the most difficult so far to put into words. Perhaps it is the inclusion of a topic like religion, but I think it has more to do with the fact that Jodi Picoult has left this novel, once again, with questions unanswered for the reader to mull over. Once again I must sing her praises: Jodi Picoult has managed to take a very controversial subject (religion) and has weaved it through her plot leaving readers reconsidering their own views about religion and the existence of God. The novel isn't completely based around religion - which may or may not change some people's minds about whether or not to read it. Jodi Picoult has once again given her readers a novel that they will think about long after they've finished reading it.

If You Could See Me Now

Product DetailsIf You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern

Elizabeth Egan was forced to grow up too soon at a very young age. With a flighty mother and a stern, distant father, it was up to Elizabeth to help shape a better, brighter future for her younger sister, Saoirse. Fast-forward in time and Elizabeth is once again straining to hold the pieces of her splintering family together. She is the adopted guardian of her sister's six-year-old son, Luke, as her sister has followed in their mother's footsteps and takes off for days and weeks at a time without a second thought for anyone around her. Fighting hard to maintain her interior design business while taking care of Luke and worrying about her sister's whereabouts, Elizabeth is at her rope's end. That's when Ivan starts to visit. In a short time, Elizabeth begins to see, with Ivan's help, that it's okay to let go and have fun, and part of letting go meant revisiting her past and answering long-sought after questions about her mother.

This book was really neat. Cecelia Ahern likes to think outside the box, it seems, as her plots often explore the realms of fantasy and make-believe. In doing that, she is able to take what could have been a mundane "my-mother-ran-off-my-sister-is-a-drunk-my-father-doesn't-talk-to-me" whiney story and turn it into this magical tale where the impossible becomes possible and things you belived in when you were little can seem real again. It was a fairly easy read, and I enjoyed the original idea behind including a character like Ivan in the novel. It makes for something different to read about, and that's always a welcome thing. I would definitely recommend this novel to someone who doesn't have a lot of time to read (since you can get through it fairly quickly) and I also think it is a good choice for young adult readers looking to break free from the "teen" section in bookstores.