Thursday, January 31, 2013

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)
I think this book is even better than the first one in this trilogy and I am eagerly awaiting the last one. When Aria shows up, the Tides hate and distrust her. Perry is thrilled to have her there, but the prejudice against Aria threatens his leadership of the Tribe. As the Aether storms worsen, Aria and Roar leave to rescue Liv and Talon and find out the location of the Still Blue. There is trouble in the pods as well. With action, romance, treachery and temptations, this is a fantastic book!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The 100-Year-Old Man who climbed out the window and Disappeard by Jonas Jonasson

I totally loved this book! I laughed out loud repeatedly while reading it. It is just fantastic. Allan is the Forrest Gump of Europe. He participated in many major political events and met Presidents Truman, and Nixon, Stalin, Churchill, Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle among others. The book tells the story of his escape from a nursing home at age 100 and the adventures he has which include millions of dollars of stolen money in a suitcase, a hot dog seller, several professional thieves, being chased by the police and the bad guys, and an unfortunate incident of one of the bad guys undergoing death by elephant. The story is interspersed with Allan's memories of his hundred years of living and his stints in prison, expertise in explosives, dinners with prominent politicians and of course, his love for vodka. Totally one of my favorite books!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

I was in tears as I read the end of this book.
Alex Flinn is a totally amazing author.
This book looks at abuse from the abuser's point of view.
Sixteen year old Nick has been issued a restraining order after hitting his girlfriend and must take a domestic violence class for which he must write a journal. The story is chilling, tragic, and realistic.
Just wow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Talisman of El by Alecia Stone

Talisman of El by Alecia Stone
The concept of this book is interesting. Charlie is an orphan who has a hard time fitting in. He is now living with Jacob - his third adoption attempt. Jacob, however, is not the nice guy he seems to be. Charlie and his friends Alex and Richmond and their adult friend Derkein wind up in Arcadia - the home of angels and demons in the center of the earth and Charlie learns that he is a key player there with powers he was unaware that he had.
The book, however, is very fragmented. It jumps from setting to setting with no explanation of how it got there. It seems like it is missing parts - like a badly edited movie. For instance, in ch. 21, Charlie is on the steps walking into Eden, sees a wheel of fire, talks to an angel, then there is a tunnel, then he is in a boat. No description of him seeing those things or how he got from one to another. This happens a lot in this book. I kept looking back to see if I skipped over something, but it is just not there.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Divided (Fated Saga #5) by Rachel H. D'aigle

Excellent book!  The plot twists and turns even more and unexpectedly.  Intrigue, adventure, and magic.  Nothing is what you expect and it is a fantastic story!  Can't wait for more books in this series!

Broken (Fated Saga, #4) by Rachel M. Humphrey-D'aigle

Broken (Book Four) (Fated Saga, Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy Adventure Series)

Having secretly brought Catrina with them, Colin hides her in the new place they have gone to. Finding a ruined town, the Svoda worry about what happened to the previous group. Meghan moves in with Juliska to learn more about her Firemancer powers and to help Juliska. But, is the Banon to be trusted? We learn that Sebastian has always known about magic and who the twins were and had been sent to pretend to be their friend in order to one day betray them. Ivan and Jae both continue to hide their mysteries and someone needs to stop things before a dreadful future occurs. 

Embrace (Fated Saga, #3) by Rachel M. Humphrey-D'aigle

Embrace by Rachel M. Humphrey-D'aigle

In this 3rd book of the Fated Saga, we learn a little more about the split between the groups of the Svoda. Meghan, Colin and their group go to the Eidolon valley where Megan must accompany Ivan on a quest and Colin seeks the elusive Catrina who only he can save. This book still has some grammatical errors - does the author have an editor? - but is an exciting adventure and a fun read.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shifting (Fated Saga #2) by Rachel M. Humphrey-D'aigle

Shifting (Book Two) (Fated Saga, Contemporary Young Adult + Fantasy Adventure Series)

This is the second book in this series and it is better than the first one. The dialogue is not as awkward and the book flows much better. In this story, the twins, Colin and Meghan are trapped with Jae in the world that his people have gone to. Their uncle may be dead and they have enemies in this world who are after them. They both learn more about magic and grow in their abilities. Lots of action and adventure and intrigue. I look forward to reading the next book.

Leave Me Alone: I'm Jewish by Ron Cantor

Leave Me Alone - I'm Jewish!
At first, I was prepared not to like this book, when I saw that Ron basically became a Christian because he was worried about what would happen after he died.
I realize that is the reason that many people become or remain Christians, but as a Reform Jew, I was just taught that when you die, you are dead, and that's it. And I was always ok with that. Even now, as a born again Christian, I don't know what happens to people after they die. There are lots of theories, but no one really knows for sure. And I don't think that one should chose one's religion or change one's life based on fear of death although many people do become better people - at least outwardly - for that very reason. I think that religion and knowing God should be about life and our living, not about what may or may not happen after we die.

Anyway, I skimmed parts of the book because it was just the regular fundamental evangelical view of the gospel, but Ron also told his and his wife's stories, which were interesting, and he shares the Messianic Jewish religion's views. He shares some of the history of how Christians have treated Jewish people over the years and I think that might be enlightening to people who are not aware of it. He also shares the Jewishness of the early Christian religion, which many mainline Christians may not be aware of.

I do think the book is interesting although it seemed to jump around in time which made it a bit difficult to follow in parts.

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
When I started reading this book, it seemed very familiar. I think perhaps I checked it out from the library once before and returned it unread. This time, I tried to read it. It sounds interesting, but is just incredibly boring to read. So, I skimmed through a lot of it to try to just follow the plot. So, we have some small town herbalist witches who want to get blood from a traumatized twin to make a potion to help them live longer and the dad of the twins is an airline pilot w/ PTSD who is seeing the ghosts of the people who died in the wreck of the plane that he crashed. It was, however, really a boring book.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine by Eric Weiner

Man Seeks God by Eric Weiner
Journalist Eric Weiner, a self-described Jewish "Confusionist" - one who has "absolulety no idea what" his "religious views are.", and is "not even sure if" he "has any, but is open to the unexpected and believes- no, hopes - there is more to life than meets the eye."
He travels the world and explores 6 different religious groups and shared his experiences with each one. He explores Sufism, Buddhism, Fransicsans, Raelism, Taoism, Wicca, Shamanism, and finally, Kabbalah.
He shares his experiences and thoughts about each group. I was struck by the similarities in the beliefs of many of them. I did not realize that Sufism, a branch of Islam, believes that God is love. I am impressed by the actions of the Fransiscans and I would like to learn Tai Chi, a Taoist type of exercise and meditation. Raelism, Shamanism, and Wicca all sound very far out and bizarre, but to each his own, I suppose. It seems that Eric felt most comfortable and got the most out of his Kabbalistic and Buddhist experiences. In the end, he decided to do what most of us do - either consciously or subconsciously - accept and use the parts of religion that appeal and make the most sense to him, and not worry about the rest.

Awaken by Rachel Humphrey D'aigle

Awaken (Fated Saga, #1)
Interesting story, but very awkward dialogue. The story is about Meghan and Colin, twins who are about to turn 13 years old who are being raised by their uncle and are staying in a campground for the summer. They have always been able to communicate with one another telepathically and this summer they learn of other powers that they have. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Sloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The author tells several stories in this book. She tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family; she tells about tissue research and the legal, moral and ethical issues that have evolved and it's history; and she tells the story of how she researched and learned about Henrietta's family.
The book is well written and very interesting.
It sounds like the author had quite an adventure over the years as she researched the story and Henrietta's family.
The issue of tissue research and use is a complex one and the author explains the history surrounding it very well.
I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart

The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
I read this book in a few hours. I enjoyed the book a lot, but found the ending rather disappointing. There is a lot of mystery and build up about what happened in the past, but when you find out what it was, for me, it was not as interesting as it could have been.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jack Gunhus

Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus
This is a totally fun action packed book for kids! Jack is about to turn 14 and he finds out that there are monsters everywhere and he himself is a monster hunter - who just has to keep the monsters from killing him - or worse. Accompanied by his best friends, Jack begins his adventure in monster hunting with a bang - or two. I think middle school age kids will love this book!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
O. M. G. Best. Book. Ever! Sixteen year old Hazel has terminal cancer. But that is not what this book is about. It is about life, love, friendship, hope, joy and sorrow. You just have to read it

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Enchantress {The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel} by Michael Scott

The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6)
Lots of action, adventure and magic abound in this culminating book of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. Josh and Sophie, gold and silver, are the twins of fortune - one to save the world and one to destroy it. Aided by the immortals and opposed by some as well, they fight to save the world from extinction. In order to do this they must travel from the monster ridden island of Alcatraz to the ancient island of Danu Talis ten thousand years ago. John Dee, Virginia Dare, Prometheus, Shakespeare, Scantach, Palamedes, Saint-Germain, Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, Black Hawk and others all play into the action as the exciting climax unfolds.(

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans
Rachel decided to spend a year living according to the Biblical rules that are set for women. She studied the different rules and regulations set forth and their background to learn what Biblical womanhood should really be like. She found that many of the ideas accepted in Christianity about Biblical womanhood are not interpreted the way that they originally were and so today's Christian women's ideal is not necessarily "Biblically correct."
I was very impressed with quite a few things in this book. I love that Proverbs 31 is meant to be memorized by husbands as a praise to sing to their wives on the Sabbath rather than a list of rules for women to follow. I enjoyed reading about Rachel's experiences as she explored different aspects of Biblical womanhood. The book is funny and touching and I totally recommend it!