Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So many books so Little Time...

Does anyone else feel this way? I have a tall pile of books that I just can't wait to delve into, and it feels as though I just can't read fast enough. Do they have support groups out there for this type of nonsense? Maybe I should put all of the used book sales on hold for a while until I get control of this....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Snow Country

Date Finished: October 25, 2008
Pages: 175
Rating: 5/5
Let me first start by saying that before this book, I knew nothing of Japanese Literature. After reading Memoirs of a Geisha I fell in love with Japanese culture, and needed more knowledge. I have seen a couple reviews in different blogs of this book, and thought I would embark upon more lovely novels of the Japanese variety.
I can be somewhat of an ignorant person, as my journey through this novel has proven. The reviews were all so great and positive, I was really looking forward to a great read. This book accomplished that for me, but in such a different way than I had anticipated.
Shimamura, is a successful businessman from Tokyo and visiting the Snow Country. While there meets a young geisha , Komako. Their first meeting was not something that drew the passion to follow. The story follows them through their relationship. She gives her whole self willingly to him, and he doesn't return that same passion. Yoko, another woman that comes into the story has also captivated Shimamura although he was captivated at first glace with her. Komaku and Yoko were somewhat of rivals, I got the sense, but that was never fully confirmed to me in the book.
The storyline is quite simple. The book could easily be considered a bore if reading just for the story. In the foreword, the book is described as a beautiful Haiku.
Knowing a little bit about the Haiku, I was able to appreciate the writings of Kawabata. By the descriptions of surroundings, you as the reader are able to feel the emotions that are trying to be portrayed in the story. I have heard that the story is a small glimpse into the cold and lonely life of Kawabata. Perhaps the simple title Snow Country is a prefect description of that life.
There are many aspects to the story that I am sure were overlooked while trying to stay with the storyline (it jumps around a lot). I am definitely going to read this book again as it is such a quick read. Next time, I will spend a lot more time delving into the meanings and see what is hiding there for me.
I am looking forward to reading more of his novels and also more Japanese Literature.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anne Frank Remembered giveaway

Trish is giving away a copy of Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies. Click on the following link, read her review of Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, and leave a comment. She will be doing the drawing on Thursday Oct 30, at 6:30am. Good luck!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Date Finished: October 18, 2008
Pages: 304

What a beautiful story about love. I know, I know sappy right?
The book is written as a journal of letters from a mother to her son Nicholas. Matt gives this diary to Kate, whom he has just broken off a relationship with so she will understand his love for his wife, Suzanne. I can't say much more about it, but trust me on this one, it is worth the read.
The book is really easy to read, and you will probably finish it quite quickly. This is the first book I have read from James Patterson, and I really enjoy his writting. I will probably read this one again before too long.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Memoirs of a Geisha

Date Finished: October 18, 2008
Pages: 428
Rating: 4/5

Memoirs of a Geisha is so beautifully written, and easy to read. The story is fiction yet written in a way that is believed to be told by the Geisha herself. I really enjoyed reading the book from the beginning to the end.

Chiyo was only nine years old when she was sold to an okiya to become a Geisha. The story follows her through her life as she discovers who she really is, and what her destiny is to be.

There are so many eloquent analogies, and great descriptions about her emotions that it is hard to not feel as she feels.

I was really apprehensive to start this book as I thought that it would be above my realm of understanding, but it was so easy and smooth to read. I enjoyed the book the whole way through though at times I felt the book was anti-climactic. However, the story developed and moved along without me even knowing it. I felt that this book was taking me a long time to read. I don't know why, but I never felt bored while reading it. Strange. I have never felt that way about a book before...

Reading this story has made me fall in love even more with the Japanese culture. I definately will be reading a lot more about the Japanese , and will do more to learn about the history of Japan. I love when a book can inspire that.


So the 24 hour read a thon is over, and I must say what a great idea. I have not participated in a read-a-thon since the days at Bacchus Elementary in Mrs Perkins class. It was nostalgic to think of those times, of course the books I chose then were more like the Ramona series and the like. I was able to finish 2.5 books as I was not able to spend as much time on this as I had hoped. (see previous blog)

The first book I finished was Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden). As I said before, I will write my reviews of the books at a later time because I am short on time now. But here is a quote from the book that really stuck out to me.

"We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course."

The second book that I finished was Suzannes Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. What a heart wrenching and beautiful story. When I became a mother, anything that I see or read about children affects me on a different level. I really did love this book. It was not as predictable as I thought, and there are a couple of twists to it.

And the third book that I am just about finished with is Where the Heart is by Billie Letts. I have seen the movie but never read the book. I have always wanted to pick this up, but for some reason never did. I really do love this book so far. Of course, I have some idea how the story is going to end, but movies never follow the book like they should.

Overall, I had a great time, but really would have loved to devote more of my time to it. Next time around, I will definitely come more prepared and make sure that I can give more time to it! I love reading and I love participating in these challenges. Thanks to all that organized and encouraged. See you in the blogospere!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Read-a-thon Update

Wow! Is it really this late? I must say that I have not spent as much time as I had hoped reading. My daughter has been a lot more needy than I imagined she would be. I just finished the book that I had been reading for a while Memoirs of a Geisha and am about to start another one. She is down for her nap (finally), so I can have some quite time before it is time to play mommy again. I guess for the most part she has been pretty good, I just wanted some time for reading! (Can anyone say mother of the year award? Its not that 24 hours is that long right?!?!?!)

So maybe in the fall I can truly devote the whole 24 hours to books and nothing else. Houston will be home in about 2 hours so then I will have more free time to read as well. Above are some pictures of the little one participating in her own read-a-thon.
I will write my reviews of the books that I have read another time (when I have more of it). Back to reading!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

24 Hour Read a Thon

When I first read about this Read-a-Thon, I thought to myself yeah right no way possible. But here we are at the last second, Trish has encouraged and tempted me, so I am now thinking why not? I know I must be a little crazy, I have a 5 1/2 month old daughter. She needs my attention not these books. I have decided to give this the best effort I can. Plus Emmory enjoys when I read to her even though she doesn't understand a word I say. So I am pulling out all stops, getting the lozenges handy (for reading aloud of course) and compiling my list. I am going to try to finish all of my challenges for the year, because I know there are a lot of challenges coming up for the new year. Here is the list of books that are remaining on my list:
1-Memoirs of a Geisha (Arther Golden), I don't know why this one has taken me so long to read...
2- A Ticket to Ride (Paula McLain)
3- Suzannes Diary for Nicholas (James Patterson)
4-The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
5- Where the Heart is (Billie Letts)
I am going to throw some childrens books in as well (for Emmory too) why can't she enjoy this too right?
I know that the list is somewhat heavy but again here we are at the last second, and that is what I have... I am going to do my darndest to succeed at this, but I am sure there will be a little difficulty. I am excited to join and look forward to reading reviews about new books for me to read!
For more info, click here:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Date Finished: October 15, 2008

Pages: 338

Rating: 4/5

I think I enjoyed this book a little better than the first. Bridget is so frustratingly lovable. In this novel she is up to her usual antics. She is someone who will be happy when... Again it is a character piece that every woman can relate to. It is perfectly put at the end of the book when she says "Will be fantastic in California with sunshine and millions of self help books..."
Bridget is always trying to better her life, and she is endearing and ridiculous all at the same time.

I watched the movie to this book and to the first Bridget Jones movie. I was wondering how they were going to put the interview with Colin Firth into the movie because Colin Firth plays the part of Mark Darcy. Of course that part was taken out. I was definitely disappointed in the movie not surprisingly enough. I thought that the movie did a terrible job of following the book. It was totally different. But oh well, what do you expect?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Charlotte's Web

Date Finished: Oct. 5, 2008
Pages: 192
Rating 4/5

This book was such an easy read. I read through it virtually in one afternoon. Of course a little below my level of maturity, but always nice to revisit your childhood if even in a book.

Charlotte, the spider, befriends a pig who feels alone, and afraid. The story follows them as they both benefit from this friendship in different ways.

I couldn't help but catch the under-toned messages that come along with children's novels, which felt a little cheesy, but all in all, a good easy read.

I will probably choose to watch this movie along with the book for my lit flick challenge. I have not seen the movie in ages, but was always one of my favorites growing up.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

Date Finished: Oct. 3, 2008
Pages: 302
Rating: 5/5
Lily Owens is a fourteen year old who has run away from home, run away from her terrible father, trying to find out more about her mother who was killed in a terrible gun accident. All she has is a picture of the "black virgin Mary" with the name of a town, Tiburon, SC written on the back. She is sure that this is where her mother came from and wanted to take her before her unfortunate accident, and where she will find the answers she has needed.
She finds herself working with a couple of sisters as a beekeeper and maker of honey. This story follows her through her discoveries, heartaches, and learning about life and her mother.

I have heard this book has "changed lives". I really loved reading this book, but would hardly say that my life is "changed".
In the beginning of the story, I quickly fell in love with Lily and her sweetness. How she yearned for her mother and hurt from her father. I could really empathize with her by the way the auther had dexcribed who this girl is in her soul. I flowed right through the book. I am curious to see how the movie coming out will follow the book.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thanks Trish

Thanks Trish for the award! Since blogging, I have developed a love for reading and all the challenges I am able to find here. Trish is where I found out about reading challenges so I would really like to send it back to her. Here is a link to her blog, since I love to stalk it and read her reviews about the books that she reads...