Saturday, July 16, 2011

This Book Room

The ultimate action/adventure trilogy begins, with #1 bestselling author Gordon Korman plunging readers into the heart of the Titanic. The Titanic is meant to be unsinkable, but as it begins its maiden voyage, there's plenty of danger waiting for four of its young passengers. Paddy is a stowaway, escaping a deadly past. Sophie's mother is delivered to the ship by police - after she and Sophie have been arrested. Juliana's father is an eccentric whose riches can barely hide his madness. And Alfie is hiding a secret that could get him kicked off the ship immediately. The lives of these four passengers will be forever linked with the fate of Titanic. And the farther they get from shore, the more the danger looms...

Additional notes: This is the first book in a trilogy. The first book was published in May 2011 so the series is current. The other two books are expected later this year and early next year.

My thoughts: I love learning about the Titanic, and while this is a fiction series, it is a marvelous book. This series would be perfect for a middle schooler or anyone who likes learning about the Titanic. This book is well written and quickly drew me in.

As if the jolt of becoming a single mom to her two sons wasn't enough, Natalie Coombs is facing new stresses as the director of the crisis pregnancy center. A teenager who comes in for testing brings back memories of another pregnant girl whose life tragically ended in suicide. Desperate to reach out to this client, Natalie crosses professional boundaries and incurs the wrath of a mysterious assailant. Even within her family, all is not well as her relationship with her sister becomes increasingly tense. Natalie is compelled to carefully count the cost of following her heart and her convictions amid betrayal, physical danger, and strained family relationships. Filled with human drama, readers will be easily drawn in as national issues become highly personal in this gripping tale of conflict and commitment.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the New Heights trilogy. This series was published in the mid 2000s. Please read my review of the first book in this series here.

My thoughts: Denise Hunter is just a really good author. Her books are easy to read, quick to draw the reader in and always has a twist or turn the reader wouldn't necessarily expect. Her books explore topics that most other authors wouldn't in this way.

The first three works by Elie Wiesel are here brought together in one volume, where the terrifying truth of their vision, the stunning simplicity of their art, and the power of their unity achieve epic dimensions. Night, first published in 1960, is Wiesel's true account of spiritual and national exile and one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. The adolescent Elie and his family, among hundreds of thousands of Jews from all parts of Eastern Europe, are cruelly deported from their hometown to the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel writes of their battle for survival, and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1961), Elisha - the sole survivor of his family, whose immolation he witnessed at Auschwitz - has survived the Second World War and settled in Palestine. Apprenticed to a Jewish terrorist gang, he is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. During the lonely hours before dawn, he meditates on the act of murder he is waiting to commit. In The Accident, (1962), Wiesel's second novel, Elisha, now a journalist living in New York, is the victim of a nearly fatal automobile accident. This fiction questions the limits of the spirit and the self: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life without the memories of the old? As the author writes in his introduction, "In Night it is the 'I' who speaks; in the other two [narratives], it is the 'I' who listens and questions." Wiesel's trilogy offers meditations on mankind's attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.

My thoughts: This book has been on my to-read list for years, and Night certainly lived up to my expectations. Elie's writing style is impeccable - in all three stories. I particularly enjoyed Dawn. I agree with the general consensus that this book is a must-read.

Come home to Marie Bostwick's poignant novel of new beginnings, old friends, and the rich, varied tapestry of lives fully lived... At twenty-seven, having fled an abusive marriage with little more than her kids and the clothes on her back, Ivy Peterman figures she has nowhere to go but up. Quaint, historic New Bern, Connecticut, seems as good a place as any to start fresh. With a part-time job at the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop and budding friendships, Ivy feels hopeful for the first time in ages.
But when a popular quilting TV show is taped at the quilt shop, Ivy's unwitting appearance in an on-air promo alerts her ex-husband to her whereabouts. Suddenly, Ivy is facing the fight of her life—one that forces her to face her deepest fears as a woman and a mother. This time, however, she's got a sisterhood behind her: companions as complex, strong, and lasting as the quilts they stitch...

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Cobbled Court Quilt series. So far, there are four books in this series, with the fourth book being released this year. The series is ongoing.

My thoughts: Marie Bostwick does not disappoint in the second book of this series. Her writing style reminds me of Kate Jacobs, which is wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading books 3 and 4 and am interested in what Marie is going to bring her readers next!

Verlan LeBaron. When the government raided their community-the Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona-seeking to enforce the penalties for practicing polygamy, Irene and her family fled to Verlan's family ranch in Mexico. Here they lived in squalor and desolate conditions with Verlan's six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. This appalling and astonishing tale has captured the attention of readers around the world. Irene's inspirational story reveals how far religion can be stretched and abused and how one woman and her children found their way out, into truth and redemption.

My thoughts: I would skip this book. The author, bless her heart, was quite whiny about her situation. You married a man who had another wife and who wanted 7 wives - did you really think he'd have a lot of time for you? And that is basically what the story was.

All summaries courtesy of

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