30 October 2008

40. The Condition

I fell in love with this quirky New England family. The author took me to the home of any family, with all of the faults, limitations, love, expectations, disappointments and discontent found within the human condition. While the story centers on the family struggle with Paulette, who has Turner's Disease - a condition which causes a halt to normal physical maturity, each of the family members struggles with their own "conditions" which range from sexual choices, drugs, ADHD, fearfulness, and distrust. As the family gathers for one last time in their previously owned cottage on the shore, I found myself cheering for all of them - please take the time to explore and embrace your own conditions - accept one another. I was quite sad when I turned the last page and it was over.

One of my favortie passages ends like this:
That like a grave illness, adulthood had befallen all three of them. That fortuitously or not, their courses in life had been set, the only lives they were going to get. p. 312-313

This reminds me of what I always tell my four grown children: To be happy in this life, find something you love to do and then do it! It took me forty years to find something I loved to do and I am grateful to come to work every single day!

TITLE: The Condition
AUTHOR: Jennifer Haigh
PAGES: 320
TYPE: fiction,
RECOMMEND: I really loved this book.


39. All About Lulu

I read a review that said this title was misnamed because the book is really all about Will. In reality the book is all about Will's obsession with Lulu. With a delightful and diverse cast of characters, this is a book to fall in love with - from the beginning where we find Will stranded by the death of his mother leaving him with his champion body builder father and twin brothers who follow Dad's every path. When Dad remarries and brings Willow, a grief counselor, and her daughter Lulu to their home, Will begins to find himself with Lulu's help. He falls in love with Lulu and devotes every waking moment to documenting her every delightful and not so delightful activities. When Lulu turns away from Will, he is devestated. But as we know, life goes on. I fell in love with Will, his brothers, Willow and Lulu. I was left as confused as Will until the very end. Finally, there is redemption and sadness, and finally understanding.

TITLE: All About Lulu
AUTHOR: Jonathan Evison
PAGES: 320
TYPE: fiction, coming of age
RECOMMEND: I really enjoyed this quirky first novel.

28 October 2008

Tuesday Things

This week's question: Legacy libraries. With which legacy libraries do you share books? Tell us a little about a couple of them and what you share.

How much fun was this!! Thank you BB, as you always come up with good questions for us. Here is my list:

Marilyn Monroe - 1
  • Hawaii>

  • Alfred Deakin - 1
  • Pride and Prejudice

  • Carl Sandburg - 4
  • A Lantern in Her Hand

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • The Good Earth

  • My Antonia

  • Earnest Hemingway -2
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • William Butler Yeats - 1
  • Pride and Prejudice

  • Sylvia Plath - 1
  • Cranford

  • Theodore Dreiser - 1
  • My Antonia

  • Walker Percy - 2
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

  • Pride and Prejudice

  • Sir Walter Scott - 1
  • Emma

  • I found this wonderful because it brought to mind some of my very favorite books - the book most shared was Pride and Prejudice, and the book that I was most happy people had read was Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

    For your second question, I will have to think about it. My mother has been in the hospital for the last three weeks and I am almost brain dead. She has been moved to a physical rehabilitation center, so things are looking up and I may get some sleep! I did get some reading done at the hospital so at least there was that! Thank you for keeping us thinking and sharing.


    13 October 2008

    38. A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

    Often when I feel like reading has become a chore instead of a pleasure, I pick up a Young Adult novel and, somehow, I feel renewed and ready to read everything in sight. In this case, I was lucky to have a new list -- Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Awards thanks to the Boston Bibliophile. So this was the first book from the list that I decided to read and it was a great choice.

    Simone Turner is a sixteen year old girl who is, for the most part, happy with her life. She loves her adoptive parents, rather likes her younger brother, has a crazy best friend, and is dealing with the normal teenage issues. [I loved Simone’s parents, who seemed like hippy activists.] Simone’s biggest problem is that she does not really want to meet her birth mother who has suddenly called and asked to meet her. With only slight pressure from her parents, Simone finally agrees and finds that her mother Rivka was raised in a Hasidic Jewish family and got pregnant when she was sixteen. Rivka was shunned by her family – finally deciding to give her baby to the Turners. Rivka introduces Simone to her brand of the Jewish faith which includes some of the loving rituals that bring her peace. In the beginning, Simone cannot understand this brand of faith as she professes to be an atheist. After a number of awkward family gatherings and a visit at Rivka’s home, Simone comes to understand that faith has the potential to sustain someone in the most difficult times and can be the only thing left to hold on to.

    TITLE: A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life
    AUTHOR: Dana Reinhardt
    COPYRIGHT: 2007
    PAGES: 256
    TYPE: fiction, young adult
    AWARDS: 2007 Honor Award for Teens, Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Awards
    RECOMMEND: I loved it.


    03 October 2008

    Lovely contest, Many winners

    Devourer of Books is having a wonderful Giveaway in honor of her 100th book review - what an accomplishment and what a contest! The more people who enter, the more books she will give to the winners. You have until October 15th to enter.

    Tuesday Thingers (on Friday)

    For this week's Tuesday Thingers, I've copied the list of the most-challenged books of the 1990s straight from the ALA website. I've highlighted the ones I've read. Highlight what you've read, and italicize what you have in your LT library.

    Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
    Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

    Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
    Forever by Judy Blume
    Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
    My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
    Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
    A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    Sex by Madonna
    Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
    The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
    Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
    In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
    The Witches by Roald Dahl
    The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
    Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
    The Goats by Brock Cole
    Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
    Blubber by Judy Blume
    Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
    Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
    We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
    Final Exit by Derek Humphry
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Beloved by Toni Morrison

    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
    The Pigman by Paul Zindel
    Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
    Deenie by Judy Blume
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
    The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
    Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
    A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
    Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
    Cujo by Stephen King
    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
    Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
    Ordinary People by Judith Guest
    American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
    What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
    Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
    Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
    Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
    Fade by Robert Cormier
    Guess What? by Mem Fox
    The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
    The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    Native Son by Richard Wright
    Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
    Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
    Jack by A.M. Homes
    Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
    Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
    Carrie by Stephen King
    Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
    On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
    Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
    Family Secrets by Norma Klein
    Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
    The Dead Zone by Stephen King
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
    Private Parts by Howard Stern
    Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
    Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
    Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
    Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

    Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
    Sex Education by Jenny Davis
    The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
    Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
    How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
    View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
    The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
    The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
    Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

    Well, I guess I better get busy - I would hate to miss all of the banned books!

    02 October 2008

    75 Books Every Woman Should Read

    Thanks to Jezebel for providing this list. I have read only 18 (in red), have heard of most of them, and should get busy. They also have a must read list for men.

    The Lottery (and Other Stories), Shirley Jackson
    To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
    The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
    White Teeth, Zadie Smith
    The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
    Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
    Excellent Women, Barbara Pym
    The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
    Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
    The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
    Beloved, Toni Morrison

    Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
    Like Life, Lorrie Moore
    Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
    The Delta of Venus, Anais Nin
    A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
    A Good Man Is Hard To Find (and Other Stories), Flannery O'Connor
    The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
    You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down, Alice Walker
    Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
    To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

    Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
    Earthly Paradise, Colette
    Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
    Property, Valerie Martin
    Middlemarch, George Eliot
    Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid
    The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
    Runaway, Alice Munro
    The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
    The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
    Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
    You Must Remember This, Joyce Carol Oates
    Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill
    The Liars' Club, Mary Karr
    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
    And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
    Bastard out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
    The Secret History, Donna Tartt
    The Little Disturbances of Man, Grace Paley
    The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker
    The Group, Mary McCarthy
    Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
    The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
    The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
    Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
    Against Interpretation, Susan Sontag
    In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
    The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
    Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
    Three Junes, Julia Glass
    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
    Sophie's Choice, William Styron
    Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann
    Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford
    Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
    The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin
    The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
    The Face of War, Martha Gellhorn
    My Antonia, Willa Cather
    Love In The Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    The Harsh Voice, Rebecca West
    Spending, Mary Gordon
    The Lover, Marguerite Duras
    The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
    Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen
    Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
    Three Lives, Gertrude Stein
    Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
    I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
    Possession, A.S. Byatt