Friday, April 30, 2010

Library Loot

I've been MIA on my loot posts for a few weeks now. It's actually a good thing because it was totally out of control...I'm DEAD SERIOUS!! At times it felt like I would never make a dent in the pile. And to matters worse, all of my new book requests came in at the same time!! How does that happen??? Anyway, I had to take a really hard look at my library books and decide what I could "realistically" read. It was painful but I returned over 12 books. Don't fear though people, because I've already re-requested them, but I've suspended the dates until later this year!! Do you know how difficult it is to try to show control in regards to how many books I check out? I feel like a junkie!

Here's my current loot:

A Complicated Kindness- Miriam Toews
I have no one to blame for this one, nor do I remember why I requested it! I hope it's good!

A Constant Heart and Love's Pursuit- Siri Mitchell
Both of these books can be blamed on Amy's (My Friend Amy) awesome reviews!! Read them here and here.

Get Lucky - Katherine Center
Thanks to Dar (Peeking Between the Pages) I've brought home another book!

Just Jane: A novel of Jane Austen's Life - Nancy Moser
This one is being blamed on Nise (Under The Boardwalk)! Don't you love the cover???????

Noah's Compass- Anne Tyler
Passing the blame ticket on to Diane (Bibliophile by the Sea) and her excellent review as the reason why this one came home with me.

Pretty in Ink (Tattoo Shop Mystery #2)- Karen E. Olson
In a roundabout way this one can be blamed on Wendy (Literary Feline) because it was her review of  this one which made me pick up book 1 and got me addicted to this series.

I love how I've been able to justify and blame all of today's books, except for that pesky first one....maybe I should've left that one off!!!!
Books Read in 2010 to date: 79
Books read from the library: 57
Number of Books Checked out from the library:20

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'll read what I want, when I want, and without labels...Thank you!

 Censorship in any form really makes me angry and when I read this article today I was incensed. I understand a parent who doesn't want their child to read certain books and/or not be able to check them out from a school library. I've had several parents call me to make sure that I put notes on their child's library account so that a flag comes up that reminds me not to allow them to check out "Harry Potter" or "Fear Street by R.L. Stine." I follow their requests because they're the parents after all...doesn't mean though that other kids can't check them out. I also do not label books in any fashion. No stickers for holidays, historical fiction, comedy, etc. Why? Because I think kids need to learn how to use the library catalog and search for books under keywords, subjects, author name. And I think they need to browse and pull books out and spend a few minutes with it to see if it might be one that they will enjoy. Heck, I quit putting those annoying "Accelerated Reader" sticker on the spines. Because frankly, I despise AR!!! But that's a whole 'nother post!! Let me get back to the issue, which is censorship. The issue here is that this parent wants the PUBLIC library to label all YA books so that kids know what they're getting before they open it. This parent wants the "naughty" books put somewhere else. This parent wants to tell YOU and YOUR child what is acceptable to read....what do you think about that?

Here is the article, read it and tell me what you think?

This article originally appeared in SLJ's Extra Helping.

By Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 4/26/2010 2:10:00 PM

Dixie Fechtel wants to know the kinds of books her daughters check out of the local public library’s YA section. That’s why the Leesburg, FL, mom of two is pushing for labels on any book aimed at teens containing material that refer to illegal acts or what she calls “inappropriate.” “We’re not trying to ban books,” she says. “We just want kids to know what they’re getting into.

Leesburg branch of the Lake County Library System.

Fechtel’s fight has been a long one, starting in 2008 when she pushed for the Leesburg branch of the Lake County Library System (LCLS) to label books she felt had content unsuitable for teens. Back then, the library placed stickers that read "High School" on some books and reshelved them outside the teen reading room. But Fechtel says that’s not enough. She wants labels that delineate the content more clearly—and she wants them on books throughout Lake County. But Library Services Director for LCLS, Tom Merchant, who sat with Fechtel during her first round of requests, says she has not made any formal appeal this time through the library system.“Nor has she contacted me or anyone else directly associated with the library system,” says Merchant.Fechtel doesn’t argue that point, and instead has taken her cause directly to Lake County Board of County Commissioners, hoping to make inroads with them. She says two of them, Linda Stewart and Jimmy Conner, are both very concerned about the lack of labeling on books. Repeated calls to all five commissioners, including Conner and Stewart, the latter of whom serves as liaison to the Lake County Library System, were not returned. Fechtel has also enlisted the help of the Liberty Counsel, a self-described nonprofit ministry that provides free legal aid in “the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family,” according to its Web site. Through the group, Fechtel says she has provided commissioners with legal wording that could be attached to a library’s collection and development policy stating that materials mentioning illegal activities among minors shouldn’t be housed in a library.But why hasn’t Fechtel approached the Lake County Library System or the library itself?
“Been there, done that,” she says. “The system they have in place, probably dictated by the American Library Association, is not meant to accomplish anything for parents and citizens. It’s meant to wear you out.”
Merchant says that if Fechtel were to come in, he would tell her about the library’s reconsideration process. And he adds that industry-imposed labels do exist on DVDs and CDs in the library, but they still don’t affect where librarians might actually place those materials.
“Our policy clearly states that it’s a parent’s responsibility to review what their child is checking out,” he says. “It’s not our role to impose one group of parents’ idea on all children in the library.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

At first I lay down, but I couldn't find relief, so I set to washing clothes. As I lifted one of McKale' undershirtts, I held it against my face. I could still smell her.
p.129~ The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday...What Are You Reading?

Mailbox Monday
is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found 
in our mailboxes last week.

Little Giant of Aberdeen County- review copy for paperback campaign
Guest House- review copy from publisher
Watermark: A Novel of the Middle Ages- from author for review


Hosted by Sheila
One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Weekly meme where we discuss the books you've read
and those you plan to read in the coming week.

I've been MIA from this meme over the past two weeks due to book reviews being posted on Monday. I'm ready to get caught up!!

Books that I reviewed in the past 2 weeks:
Forget Me Not- 3.5/5 a good book
Sounds Like Crazy- crazy fantastic is what this book was!!! 5/5
The Weed That Strings the Hangman- 4/5 solid second book in the series
The Last Song- 4/5 good tear jerker!! the movie not so good!
I, Alex Cross- 4/5 loved listening to this one....great read!
South of Broad- Loved this one! 4/5 (copy up for grabs!)
The Sweet By and By- great southern fiction 4/5 (copy up for grabs!)
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott- FAVE BOOK for 2010 excellent 5/5
Anthropology- great short stories written in 101 words 4/5
The Pull of the Moon- excellent Berg novel 5/5
Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipes for Hope in Hard Times- great food memoir 4/5
The Bridegrooms- fun historical romance that I've classified as a gentle read  4/5

Books on Deck:


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Review: The Bridegrooms

Title: The Bridegrooms
Author: Allison Pittman
Pages: 352
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Source: This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Tragedy hits the Allenhouse family when a mother of four vanished. Eight-year-old Vada virtually grew up overnight and raised her three younger sisters while her father lost himself in his medical practice in the basement of their home. Now, Vada is a grown woman, still making her home with her father and sisters. Her days are spent serving as an errand girl for Cleveland's fledgling amateur orchestra; her evenings with Garrison Walker, her devoted, if passionless, beau. Dizzying change occurs the day the Brooklyn Bridegrooms come to town to play the Cleveland Spiders and a line drive wallops the head of a spectator. The fan is whisked to the Allenhouse parlor, and questions swirl about the anonymous, unconscious man.
Suddenly, the sbudued house is filled with visitors, from a flirtatious, would-be sports writer to the Bridegrooms' handsome star hitter to the guilt-ridden ballplayer who should have caught the stray shot. The medical case brings Dr. Allenhouse a frustration and helplessness he hasn't felt since his wife's disappearance. Vada's sisters are giddy at the bevy of suitors. And Vada's life is awakened amid the super-charged atmosphere of romantic opportunity. 

My Thoughts: I loved this book from the very first chapter. I grew up with a little brother, who I was always dressing up as a girl when he was little. I think it would've been grand fun to have three sisters, so I was able to live vicariously through the girls in this book. I was drawn to Vada immediately, probably because we're both first-born and with that comes expectations and responsibilities. Vada took over being a mom to her sisters when their mother left them and their father for another man. She never really was allowed to enjoy her teens and now she wonders if Garrison, her beau, really loves her. She wants passion and desire in her life and for a fleeting moment she may have found it in one of the baseball players from The Bridegrooms team. Each girl has her struggles and need for love. It's interesting to see just how different their personalities are, but how similar in their quest for real love. I've decided that I'm not going to categorize these books as "Christian" fiction. Instead, I feel that they are "gentle" reads. Don't write this one off as being a Bible thumping style of is far from it. Instead, I think the author brought to life some terrific women who struggled with their wants, needs, and desires in the late 19th century. A time period when women were starting to be  outspoken in their need to be heard and the right to vote. A time period when religion still played a huge role in the life of families. If you're looking for a great gentle read...then look no further. Pittman is an author I will certainly read again!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Six Sentence Saturday

Welcome to Six Sentence Saturday
Where I try to express my thoughts on recent reads using only 6 sentences!!!!.
At the end of each review I will post a
rating scale of 1-5 using the cute and original (lol) Playing Cards.
Rating scale will be as follows:

5 of Hearts- You must read this book NOW!!
4 of Hearts- A great read, put it on your TBR list.
3 of Hearts- Glad I read but no big deal

2 of Hearts- Why did I finish this?
Joker Card - Don't bother (why did I?)

Anthropology by Dan Rhodes
I want to thank JoAnn for her review of this one. I'm not going to do 6 sentences, but instead post my favorite story from his book.

After the shipwreck I was devastated and
cried for weeks. When I emerged from my
grief, I realized that my girlfriend's death
shouldn't be the end of me. I found someone
as pretty and nice as her and eventually I
               invited her on a beach holiday. My old girlfriend
                                    was washed up on the shore. She'd been clinging
                                   to a plank for fourteen months, living on raw fish,
                                   rainwater and her love for me. I was
                                   faced with a choice. My new girl won because
                                    the old one was skinny and bedraggled, and
                                       besides, the water had made her all crinkly.
My Rating:


The Pull of the Moon-Elizabeth Berg
I love Berg's writing and this one was no exception. She always seems to bring to light the true soul of a least to me she does. There wasn't a slow part to this book and I enjoyed every single page. Though I'm not the age of Nan, I have experienced those pangs of wondering who I am and what will I do when my youngest son leaves my home? In my journey of being a wife and mother I feel that I've lost touch with what makes me, me...and what makes me happy. This book expressed all of those thoughts I've had and so much more...highly recommended!
My Rating:

This was a truly enjoyable way to spend a few hours. I really liked the back story of Suzan's grandmother Matilda and to me that was the glue that held this book together. The recipes were really interesting to read and there were some ingredients that I've never heard of!!! I also liked that she included copies of the originals, many written in her grandmother's hand. I don't think that I will be making any of the dishes from this book, because honestly they're too complicated for this simpleton cook!!! I'm so glad that Suzan uncovered this folder of recipes in the basement and that it led to her sharing a bit of her grandmother's wisdom with the rest of us.
My Rating:

Friday, April 23, 2010

2 Books Up for Grabs

Check out my other blog for the opportunity to win 
South of Broad and/or The Sweet By and By!!!

Fitness Friday: Update #3

What I've been doing:
Well, I haven't been walking in over 2 weeks...we had Spring Break so I just slacked during that time. Then the weather has been sucky here in Michigan so I didn't go outside to walk. I really have no excuses because I can walk inside...I just haven't done it!! Yes, I know, I need to get back into the walking groove. I have plans on restarting my walking schedule on Monday!

Weight Watchers and Me:
I've been doing a really good job of sticking to my points and not wasting them. Last weekend I did splurge a bit on pizza. It was well worth it! Sometimes cheesy pizza hits the spot!

Starting weight: 171
3/19/10: 168
4/1/10: 166
4/16/10: 164
4/23/10: 162
Goal weight: 140-145

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

Title: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
Author: Kelly O'Connor McNees
Pages: 334
Genre: Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Synopsis: In her debut novel, The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, Kelly O’Connor McNees deftly mixes fact and fiction as she imagines a summer lost to history, carefully purged from Louisa’s letters and journals, a summer that would change the course of Louisa’s writing career—and inspire the story of love and heartbreak between Jo and Teddy “Laurie” Laurence, Jo’s devoted neighbor and kindred spirit. In the summer of 1855, Walt Whitman’s controversial Leaves of Grass has just been released, and the notion of making a living as a writer is still a far-off dream for Louisa. She is twenty-two years old, vivacious, and bursting with a desire to be free of her family and societal constraints so she can do what she loves the most—write. The Alcott family, destitute, as usual, moves to a generous uncle’s empty house in Walpole, New Hampshire, for the summer. Here, a striking but pensive Louisa meets the fictional Joseph Singer. Louisa is initially unimpressed by Joseph’s charms. But just as Louisa begins to open her heart, she learns that Joseph may not be free to give his away. Their newfound love carries a steep price, and Louisa fears she may pay with the independence she has fought so hard to protect.

My Thoughts: I was sad to see this book end. The author totally drew me into this story and I felt as if I was there in Walpole, New Hampshire walking beside Louisa during her lost summer of love. I love the idea that Louisa may have experienced a true love. And who's to say that she didn't??? There was so much going on in her real life and the author does an excellent job of blending fiction with actual facts. This story came across as authentic...Louisa's voice sounded true and so did that of her family members. I must admit that Bronson Alcott is not a very likeable man. Why would he ever think that it would be acceptable not to work and to live off of the generosity of others? But on the flip side of that, if he hadn't made his family endure such hardships would Louisa's urgent desire to be free of marriage and to support herself and her writing been a dream that she would've achieved? There wasn't a flawed moment in this story. It was seamless, perfect, and convincing. As I finished the final pages I decided that I will re-read Little Women this year and some of Alcott's other works. I have so much  respect for the courage and determination of Louisa's goal of becoming a published author and without her, Austen, and the Bronte Sisters paving the way...what would have become of all of those young women who dared to dream of being a female writer in a man's world? If you enjoy historical fiction about strong-willed, talented, feisty women who felt the constraints of polite society, and still tried to live a life true to themselves, then this is THE book for you!!! This is my favorite book of 2010!!!!!!

Thank you to TLC for asking me to be a part of this book tour.
Check out the other tour stops HERE

Kelly O’Connor McNees is a former editorial assistant and English teacher. Born and raised in Michigan, she has lived in New York, Rhode Island, and Ontario and now resides with her husband in Chicago. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott is her first novel.
Check out Kelly O’Connor McNees’ website here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: The Sweet By and By

Title: The Sweet By and By
Author: Todd Johnson
Pages: 514
Genre: Southern Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Synopsis: Among the longleaf pines and family farms of eastern North Carolina, days seem to pass without incident for Margaret Clayton and Bernice Stokes until they discover each other in a friendship that will take them on the most important journey of their lives. Margaret, droll and whip smart, has a will of iron that never fails her even when her body does, while Bernice, an avid country-music fan, is rarely lucid. Irreverent and brazen at every turn, they make a formidable pair at the home where they live, breaking all the rules and ultimately changing the lives of those around them. Lorraine, their churchgoing, God-questioning nurse, both protects and provokes them while they are under her watchful eye, as her daughter, April, bright and ambitious, determinedly makes her way through medical school. Rounding out the group of unlikely and often outrageous friends is Rhonda, the Bud-swilling beautician who does the ladies’ hair on her day off and whose sassy talk hides a vulnerable heart, one that finally opens to love.

My Thoughts: I have to admit that when I first started to read this book I was a bit confused as to the structure and what exactly was going on with the story. After the first couple of chapters I  realized that this was a version of good ol' Southern storytelling. There isn't really a plot, per se...but instead a glimpse into the lives of five women whose paths have crossed because of a nursing home. Two women work in the nursing home and two women live in the nursing home. Each woman gets the opportunity to tell their story in alternating chapters. I found the cadence of their speech to be pleasing and soothing. I couldn't help but compare their way of talking to my own Grandpa Bill Brown's. When he got into story mode about growing up in Kentucky, we would all stop, drop, and listen. What I really took away from this book is that no matter your age or situation in life, you still have something to contribute. I learned this lesson firsthand when I worked in a nursing home during my teen years. I worked as fast as I could so that I could get down to the "smoking room" to visit with two of my favorite residents. Their stories were great and gave me a glimpse as to who they were as young adults.  Directions for reading: grab a comfortable rocker on the front porch, pour a glass of lemonade, put up a do not disturb sign and immerse yourself in the sweet goodness of southern writing.

Thank you to TLC for asking me to be a part of this book tour.
Check out the other tour stops HERE

TODD JOHNSON was born and raised in North Carolina. Following a career as a teacher and studio singer in New York City, he received a Tony Award nomination as a producer of The Color Purple on Broadway.  He studied history at UNC–Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree from Yale Divinity School. He lives in Connecticut. This is his first novel.
If The Sweet By and By prompts you to share a personal story, please write to
You can find out more about Todd Johnson on his website. Make sure you also check out his blog, as well as The Sweet By and By on Facebook!
Todd is also on a Southern Tour right now, so please click here to see if he's in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

"I have inherited Father's love of ideas and books but I also know how that love can separate you from the people who need you most. And yet, I can't imagine my life without books."
~The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: South of Broad

Title: South of Broad
Author: Pat Conroy
Pages: 514
Genre: Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours

Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of high school outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.
Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

My Thoughts: Where to begin?? I think from the above synopsis you get the gist of the book, so I'm not going to waste your time by rehashing the story...I honestly just want to tell you how this book made me feel while reading it and most especially after I read the last page.  Let me start off by saying this....I truly loved every single page of this book.  Charleston came alive within the pages of South of Broad and this is one city that I MUST visit before I die. I want to walk down the streets of Leo's hometown and let this place seep into my blood and senses.  The descriptions of the smells, sights, every day life, architecture, eccentricities of Charleston were just right...they painted the picture perfectly. You understood that the main character in this book was Charleston.  My attention was captured from the first chapter and it never wavered. The characters became real to real, that they invaded my dreams at night. At times, I caught myself wistfully wishing that I had friends like Leo's....friends from high school that were still TIGHT even after 20+ years of life. Friends that would drop everything and be there for you in a moment. Some of the events endured by certain characters are gut-wrenching and for me, the final chapters squeezed my heart and made me weep with sadness. I'm so happy that I agreed to do this tour for TLC because I have yet another book to add to my best reads of 2010 list!!  Yes....I think it's that good!

Thank you to TLC for asking me to be a part of this book tour.
Check out the other tour stops here.

Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of nine books: The Boo, The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life and South of Broad. He lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina.
Visit Pat Conroy’s website for more info about his work.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Six Sentence Saturday

Welcome to Six Sentence Saturday
Where I try to express my thoughts on recent reads using only 6 sentences!!!!.
At the end of each review I will post a
rating scale of 1-5 using the cute and original (lol) Playing Cards.
Rating scale will be as follows:

5 of Hearts- You must read this book NOW!!
4 of Hearts- A great read, put it on your TBR list.
3 of Hearts- Glad I read but no big deal

2 of Hearts- Why did I finish this?
Joker Card - Don't bother (why did I?)

The Weed That Strings the Hangman- Alan Bradley
I first met Flavia deLuce last year with, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and truly loved her personality, quirkiness, and the setting of the book. Bradley hit another home run with his second book in this series.  We meet back up with Flavia and she takes us on quite a journey through the countryside of Bishop's Lacy. I felt that this murder/mystery plot was much more enjoyable than the previous book and I actually picked up on a few clues that Flavia reveals in the last pages. I only have one problem with this series and that is how Flavia is portrayed as a chemistry, all of that seems to fly right over my head and is slightly distracting to the rest of the story. This is a series that I will continue to read, but I'm hoping that Bradley will tone down the chemistry formulas in the next one!
My Rating:

The Last Song- Nicholas Sparks
Lots of people think cheese factor when you mention Sparks, but I don't care because his books always touch my heart and make me very emotional. I started this one in the morning and finished it before I went to sleep the same evening. I loved the storyline....teen filled with anger towards parent, refuses to talk to her dad for years, and then ends up having to spend her summer with him. At times this story is predictable,but that never detracts from the overall enjoyment of the book. By the end of the book, I so loved Ronnie and how she matured over the summer and into the fall. The story will make you cry, but it will also make you think about how you treat those that you love!
My Rating:

P.S. I watched the movie last week...IMHO Miley Cyrus is a sucky actress and she almost ruined this movie for me. If it wasn't for the other outstanding actors I would totally rate this movie a D-....... As usual, the book is so much better than the movie!

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
I've said this on numerous occasions that I know Patterson can be mindless and unoriginal, but that will never ever stop me from continuing my long love affair with Alex Cross. I enjoyed this book in a Playaway version while walking after work. I'm sure people thought I was crazy because there were times I would gasp out loud, shout "NO!" at certain parts, and then jump up and down like a mad person  (this occurred during the very last chapter of the book). This story is filled with many twists and turns, some of them you do see predict ahead of time, but there are plenty of moments that the story catches you off guards. I love Alex Cross...I will never tire of this series, and now I've found another great way to enjoy his story...AUDIO!! I've often wondered who should play Alex Cross in a far I've tossed around Omar Epps and Denzel....if you follow Cross, who do you think would be the right actor for this part?????
My Rating:

Friday, April 16, 2010

2009's Most Challenged Books

From ALA: Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books for 2009

Out of 460 challenges as reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom

1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
My Thoughts: I loved this series and found it to be very true as to how the teens today speak via texting, IM...I would recommend 9th grade+. Guess why I read this series??? A teacher where I worked tried to take a student's personal copy of this book because she didn't like it....well, if someone tells me that I CAN'T read something, then of course I'm going to get my hands on that book and READ IT!!!!

2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
My Thoughts: Another book that I so loved and I don't remember any anti-family thoughts...but hey, guess what world, lot's of kids feel that way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: One of my favorite books ever. My son, Marcus is reading this one right now!

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: Sexually explicit??? LOL..what a joke!! Cheesy sexual thoughts especially in book 4!!!

6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: I read this as an adult and just didn't get it....offensive language usually does not bother me.

7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
My thoughts: Some of the reasons for being challenged are because it is unsuited to age group...well, it is targeted to adults but with the movie lots of teens are now reading Picoult....that's a bad thing??? This book was NOT sexually explicit, and that's why America was created...FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: I haven't read this one YET, but it is on my list!

9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My Thoughts: This book had a huge impact on me as a young adult....I may read this one again. Excellent book.

10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
My thoughts: Geesh...when I get to work today I better take this one off the shelf...wouldn't want anyone to read about nudity!!!! or sex or bad words....naughty naughty!!

So tell me, have you read any of these books??? What are your thoughts on censorship? Have you ever complained about the contents of a book that your child read in school?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: Forget Me Not- Vicki Hinze

Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Vicki Hinze
Pages: 336
Genre: Christian Suspense/Thriller/Romance
Source: This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

  He stopped at a red light and looked over at her with longing in his eyes. "I want what you've got." What was he talking about? Curiosity got the better of her. "What do I have?" "Faith." The light turned green and he drove on.  (p.178)

My short synopsis: Ben Brandt was a man that had it all: a beautiful, loving wife, young son, money, and a direction for his life. All of that changed when it one short moment his wife and son were murdered. Since then he's avoided the Crossroads Crisis Center because all it does is remind him of what he's lost. Until one day a woman shows up claiming her name is Susan and has an eerie resemblance to his dead wife. She claims she doesn't know who she is, but then why is she wearing his wife's cross???

What worked for me:  The story was very fast paced and there really wasn't a time that I found myself bored with the story. I really liked the character Ben...he felt real in regards to his pain and why he avoided the Crossroads Crisis Center at all costs. I was touched by his vulnerability and at times my heart ached for all of the loss he had suffered. The storyline was pretty intriguing for the most part and I wanted to continue reading so that I could find out who really were the bad guys and who were the good guys. I liked Susan's (she goes by several names in this book) continued strength in her faith even when she had nothing else to anchor her to this world. I'm always amazed by those that never doubt!!  Her character made me stop and reflect on my own lack of faith and why I've never been able to just totally give up control over my life.  What didn't work for me: Many of you know that I don't mind at all reading Christian fiction...I just don't want it to be too preachy. Well, this one in my opinion, is a bit heavy in that area. The only place that you find it is with Susan/Karen/Kelly (all the same person). I understand why the author did this (I think), but for me it was just a bit too much. One other thing that was a little hard to believe was the inclusion of a bio-terrorist ring. I don't want to delve into this too much because it is a big portion of the plot, but at times it felt very contrived and frankly, not very original. With all of that being said, I still enjoyed my time spent reading this book. I read in the author's note that even though Vicki has penned over 23 novels, this is her first foray into Christian fiction. So, to be fair to her I'm not going to dwell on the heavy religious tones that appear throughout the book. I think she did this in order for the reader to truly understand what kind of person Susan/Karen/Kelly really was, that even though she couldn't remember details of her life, she knew in her soul that she was loved and known by God. I feel comfortable recommending this book to my friends and fellow book lovers. In fact, I think it would make a great book club read..the readers guide contains many thought provoking questions!!  I liked it enough to want to read the next in the Crossroads series which will be available Spring 2011.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday Pick!

  • Pub. Date: April 2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult

Another season of Elm Creek Quilt Camp has come to a close, and Bonnie Markham faces a bleak and lonely winter ahead, with her quilt shop out of business and her divorce looming. A welcome escape comes when Claire, a beloved college friend, unexpectedly invites her to Maui to help launch an exciting new business: a quilter’s retreat set at a bed and breakfast amid the vibrant colors and balmy breezes of the Hawaiian Islands. Soon Bonnie finds herself looking out on sparkling waters and banyan trees, planning quilting courses, and learning the history and intricacies of Hawaiian quilting, all the while helping Claire run the inn.
As Bonnie’s adventure unfolds, it quickly becomes clear that Claire’s new business isn’t the only excitement in store for her. Her cheating, soon-to-be ex-husband decides he wants her stake in Elm Creek Quilts, which threatens not only her financial well-being but her dearest friendships as well. Luckily she has the artistic challenge of creating her own unique Hawaiian quilt pattern to distract her—and new friends like Hinano Paoa, owner of the Nä Mele Hawai‘i Music Shop, who introduces Bonnie to the fascinating traditions of Hawaiian culture and reminds her that love can be found when and where you least expect it.
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*** I know that this has been released but I'm 
anxiously waiting my turn for it from my library!!!!!!!!!!