The Princess Diaries' movies have been the sort of movies for me where I could, quite literally, watch those movies over and over and over again without tiring of them. I'm not obsessed with "the royals" or anything, but I just really like these movies. And I'm a huge fan of Meg Cabot, the author of the books. I'd never read the series before, but I've read some of her books and loved them. So finally, finally, I started to read the Princess series. Boy, was I in for a surprise! The first book, the Princess Diaries, is a lot different from the movie. And I think I like the movie better. In the book, her dad is alive and Grandma is mean! I love Julie Andrews and think she's one of the best parts of the movies so I did not like this aspect of the book at all. I really did not like the Grandma's character. Regardless, the book was cute, and I am looking forward to seeing where Princess Mia's journey goes in the books.
I should never, ever judge a book by its cover, but sometimes, I can't help myself. I will admit that what first drew me to When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt was the cover. But this book really surprised me! It took a bit for me to get really into it, but once I got to page 100 or so, I was hooked. A single woman makes a journey from Opi in Greece to America, and her trial here is just that: a trial. Poor woman. Everything that could go wrong does, and her strength and resilience are truly inspirational. I was reminded, through every page, of how blessed and easy my life is. Not that I'm without my own trials, but things are far different in America today than they were even 50 years ago. This book is set in the Civil War era, and it was interesting to see an immigrant's point of view of this time - which was that immigrants were largely unaffected by the early stages of the Civil War. Anyway, I really liked this book. It wasn't a quick read, but if you want to feel blessed, this book can achieve that for you.
My final book for the week, which I had really been looking forward to, was 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik. Again, this book surprised me. I liked it, in general. John basically took the idea of Oprah's gratitude journals but chose to actually send thank-you notes out to people every day for about a year. I didn't really like John, though. He seemed sort of... ungrateful. Which is weird since the book's subtitle is The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life. I think his life was changed by this (hello, he got a book deal out of it), but I don't know if he was really grateful each day. All I know is, I've wrote a lot of thank-you notes in my lifetime, and I know you don't have to be feeling grateful in the moment you are writing that note to sound sincere. It's a thank-you note. It technically has no sound. But, I give the guy props for attempting to make himself a better person. It did remind me that I really should start a gratitude journal because I could just use a reminder each night of all I have to be thankful for, lest I forget.
Jason is working hard on bringing all of you a new Homemade and In the Kitchen with Jason post each week, and he's working on creating a new series for the blog: The Gaming Corner. Because of these things, he won't be contributing to This Book Room for awhile. He and I are both super excited to bring you a new series, one that will really add to the life of this blog and we hope, to all of your lives as well.