Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Book Room

The legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I didn't so much as learn anything new, but the concept of doing your most difficult or loathed task first was something I've been trying to incorporate into both my work and home life. I've noticed a difference for sure. This book is one I would recommend.

A perfect Christmas for Lela Edwards this year would include the presence of her husband, her three daughters, and her favorite granddaughter, Darcie. They would each be happy, healthy, and properly married. But life doesn't always unfold in a perfect way, even for God-loving, churchgoing people like these. Lela's husband of fifty years, Walter, has recently passed, and the daughters now live in towns and states far from the Chicago neighborhood where they were raised. Darcie is traveling to Missouri City, Texas, to be with her mother, not to Chicago to be with her grandmother, whom she expects to come down hard on her for deciding to divorce her husband and the father of her unborn child. Lela is upset and annoyed with Darcie and herself for breaking her own time-honored tradition of making a quilt to celebrate each family wedding. The quilt is still in separate pieces, and apparently so is the marriage of Doug and Darcie. The Christmas season is about celebrating the birth and meaning of Christ; about the hope and inspiration that the story we revisit each year offers. So, as the days of the season progress, Lela participates in a Bible study group that focuses on the Virgin Mary. This is the cold season in Chicago and rough weather, literally and figuratively, is ahead for Lela, her family, neighbors, and fellow church members, but in the Scriptures are messages and guidance. If they heed the lessons of the Virgin Mary, they will learn from their mistakes and misjudgments of each other and find favor with God.

My thoughts: I didn't like this book so much. The story line wasn't very well developed. I didn't end up having any sympathy whatsoever for the main character - she just reminded me of a few people in my life whom I'm not so fond of. She's cranky and doesn't care about others. Who wants to read a book about people like that?!?! Skip this one.

From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. This classic series tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. Featuring the charming original cover art by Mary Shepard, these new editions are sure to delight readers of all ages. It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!

Additional notes: There is a Mary Poppins series, and this is the first book in that series. This series is finished.

My thoughts: Okay, so we all love the Disney version of this book and rightfully so. Julie Andrews is a master. This book... I have mixed thoughts on. I liked the first half well enough, but the second half, not so much. I'm not going to continue reading the series, though I am glad I read the first book and would recommend this to others (I also think it would help if you read the book first instead of watching the movie, but that advice is too late for most of us, I would think).

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares comes the welcome return of the characters whose friendship became a touchstone for a generation. Now Tibby, Lena, Carmen, and Bridget have grown up, starting their lives on their own. And though the jeans they shared are long gone, the sisterhood is everlasting. Despite having jobs and men that they love, each knows that something is missing: the closeness that once sustained them. Carmen is a successful actress in New York, engaged to be married, but misses her friends. Lena finds solace in her art, teaching in Rhode Island, but still thinks of Kostos and the road she didn’t take. Bridget lives with her longtime boyfriend, Eric, in San Francisco, and though a part of her wants to settle down, a bigger part can’t seem to shed her old restlessness. Then Tibby reaches out to bridge the distance, sending the others plane tickets for a reunion that they all breathlessly await. And indeed, it will change their lives forever—but in ways that none of them could ever have expected. As moving and life-changing as an encounter with long-lost best friends, Sisterhood Everlasting is a powerful story about growing up, losing your way, and finding the courage to create a new one.

Additional notes: This is the fifth book in the Sisterhood series. So far as I know, this is the last book in the series.

My thoughts: This was a fitting book for the end of the series, although I felt there was a little too much emphasis on boys in this book. I'd really like to read a book, in fact, that didn't center on "do you have a man" and "do you have a job." Maybe this is because I have both, so I'm looking for something else to read about. Maybe it's because I know there's more to life than these two items (namely: God), but the book felt a little too contrite for me in that aspect. But maybe because Ann is so great of an author, I just wanted more. Anyway, read this series. It's good for your soul.

From bestselling author Gordon Korman, a second heart-stopping adventure aboard the unluckiest ship of all. The Titanic has hit the high seas--and moves steadily toward its doom. Within the luxury of the cabins and the dark underbelly of the ship, mysteries unfold--a secret killer who may be on board, a legacy that may be jeopardized, and a vital truth that will soon be revealed. For Paddy, Sophie, Juliana, and Alfie, life on the Titanic brings both hiding and seeking, as their lives become irrevocably intertwined. And then, of course, an iceberg appears, and the stage is set for the final scene.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Titanic series. You can read my review of the first book here. This series has three books, and all have been released.

My thoughts: Love this series! Quick reads and perfect for middle-school-aged children. I think this would be a great read-aloud with children.

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