President’s Day 2014


Lincoln Memorial

Since President’s Day seems to be an excellent time to shop, please browse Jorie’s Store on Amazon 😛 … Seriously, I’m blessed that I live in a land where we elect our officials.
      

 

         

Books I Love – 2014


This Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing some of the books I loved reading. By clicking on the covers, you can visit Jorie’s Store on Amazon by clicking on the following book covers. Shopping at Jorie’s Store funds future giveaways! ❀ 🙂
      

A Cafecito Story: El Cuento Del Cafecito  Rainwater by Sandra Brown   Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane  The Namesake: A Novel  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)

 The Little Prince 70th Anniversary Gift Set (Book/CD/Downloadable Audio)  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Persephone Classics)  The Shack    

Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter


The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | LibraryThing

Edwards, K. (2005). The memory keeper’s daughter. New York: Viking. 9780786571031

Reasons for Reading : One of my friends asked me to read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. (Check out its entry on my TBR list.) Initially, I checked it out from HCPL. Then, I found I could check it out in eBook format from Houston Public Library.  I did this so I could read it on my Nook during my vacation.

Summary: Due to a blizzard in 1964 Kentucky, Dr. David Henry delivers his own twins. First, David delivers a healthy son, Paul. After delivering his daughter, Phoebe, David sees that she has Down Syndrome. Wanting to spare his wife, Norah, heartache, David asks his loyal nurse, Caroline Gill, to secretly institutionalize his daughter. Caroline, though, leaves Kentucky with the baby girl and raises her as her own daughter.  This split second decision changes the lives of David, Norah, Caroline, and their children.

What I Liked: The language of the narrative is lovely. Also, I felt David’s motives were well-explained by the author. He seemed earnest and loving. Norah’s relationship with her sister, Bree. I truly admired Caroline for her love and heroism. It was a relief to me that Caroline created a family of friends for her daughter, Phoebe. Lastly, I found the photography motif beautiful.

What I Disliked: Towards the end of the book, I wondered if Edwards just didn’t know what to do with it. She added in some characters in the eleventh hour to help resolve conflicts. Throughout the book, I wanted to throttle the good doctor and say “Tell your wife that your daughter lives!”

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Kentucky Rain-Lyrics-Elvis Presley – YouTube

Setting : Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Aruba, France

You might also like:

For more on Kim Edwards’ The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, check out the following sites:

Christopher Moore’s SacrĂ© Bleu: A Comedy d’Art


Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art by Christopher Moore | LibraryThing

Moore, C. (2012). Sacre bleu: A comedy d’art. New York: William Morrow. 9780061779749

Reasons for Reading : I posted Christopher Moore’s SacrĂ© Bleu: A Comedy d’Art on my TBR list. Check out my reasons for reading there.

Summary: News of the suicide of volatile artist Vincent van Gogh rocks Parisian baker and artist Lucien Lessard and his good friend  Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. Compounding issues is the sudden reappearance of Lucien’s MIA girlfriend, Juliette and the nasty little guy who’s known as The Colorman. Lucien and Henri take the reader for a ride on the crazy train, encountering figures in the French art scene along the way.

What I Liked : Author Christopher Moore is uproariously humorous. There were numerous “ROL” (read out loud) moments throughout this novel. Characters such as fictitious Lucien and Juliette appealed greatly. The physical book is gorgeous with images discussed in the narrative and has blue typing.

What I Disliked : Some curse words here and there don’t bother me but the language used by various characters was beyond nasty. Also, I thought sometimes Moore crossed the line between amusingly irreverent and crazy wicked. One point late in the novel made a reference to bestiality that had major cringe factor.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet – YouTube

Setting : Paris, France with stops in the French countryside, Italy, England, and the US

You might also like:

For more on Christopher Moore’s SacrĂ© Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, check out the following sites:

Stephen King’s 11/22/63


11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King | LibraryThing

King, S. (2011). 11/22/63: A novel. New York: Scribner. 9781451627282

Reasons for Reading : I read Stephen King’s The Dead Zone a few years ago after reading King’s memoir On Writing. In The Dead Zone, teacher and coma survivor John Smith asks “If you could kill Hitler, would you?” When I saw 11/22/63 on the NYT Bestsellers List, I realized King took this same question in a different direction. I added my name to the waiting list for a copy from HCPL. Later, I purchased a copy from the Friends of Freeman Library Bookstore.

Summary: Jake Epping teaches English at Lisbon Falls High in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He also earns
extra money by taking on GED courses. Reading janitor Harry Dunning’s essay about the horrific night when Harry lost his family and gained a limp fifty years prior moves the normally dry-eyed Jake to tears.

Soon after Harry earns his GED, diner owner Al shares a secret with Jake; there’s a portal outside his supply room which leads to September 1958. Thus, Al enlists Jake on a mission to save JFK from assassination.

What I Liked : I appreciated the short segments which allowed me to read a little bit at a time. I also enjoyed the whole “What if?” aspect. I liked how King limited some of the possibilities by creating a 1958 portal instead of putting Jake into a time machine that could go anywhere or anytime.

What I Disliked : As a Texan (a Houstonian), my familiarity with state geography is above average 🙂 . I wouldn’t describe Dallas and Killeen as being all that close. Also, Killeen has two “L’s” unlike how it’s spelled throughout the book. Then, there’s the whole saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” That’s because the state itself is the second biggest in the USA. Having gone to college in Waco which is in Central Texas, I can attest to the fact that I could not smell the oil fumes from Midland and Odessa. Lastly, I didn’t think this book should’ve been over 800 pages!

 Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: In the Mood by Glenn Miller – YouTube

Setting : Maine, Florida, Texas

You might also like:

For more on Stephen King’s11/22/63, check out the following sites:

Top Ten Books I’d Like to See Made Into Movies | Top Ten Tuesday


 

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND fill out Mr. Linky  . I
If you can’t come up with ten, don’t worry about it—post as many as you can!

1. Katherine by Anya Seton – I think I mention this book in all my Top Ten Tuesday posts, which indicates how much I enjoyed it. This would make for a gorgeous period piece that would have everything – passion, love, war, history, intrigue. . . I could go on for days.

2. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein – Okay, I’m really curious as to who they’d cast for Valentine Michael Smith and Jubal Harshaw. Also, Heinlein needs to come to the silver screen.

3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – Another period piece so the costuming and the sets would be fantastic. On top of that, there’s a good story to be told. I imagine it would land on the Hallmark station but what the heck?  

4. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – They’ve promised this oddball book whose author scoffed at being an Oprah Book Club selection would be made into a film. Viewers would be able to identify with these characters just as well as readers have.

5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – Rumor has it that this book will be made into an HBO miniseries. The screenplay seems to be there already and I can’t hardly wait.

6. The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld – This might have to be an animated feature due to all the quirky physiques described. Yet, I’ve been awaiting this for years.

7. The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen – Have you noticed I’ve got a thing for period pieces? This would be cool; a guilded age version of Gossip Girl on the big screen. The key would be casting the perfect Diana Holland who lept off each and every page of the quartet.

8. Bright Young Things Series by Anna Godbersen – I loath to use the phrase “my aesthetic” (which makes viewing Project Runway somewhat painful) but I’m a fan of Art Deco. I didn’t enjoy the movie The Great Gatsby much but I loved the costumes and the setting. I should’ve muted it and enjoyed the film that way. BYT would be awesome, though.

9. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – This enjoyable book had me laughing at least once a paragraph. I imagine it being akin to the Numbers.  

10. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – Even my least favorite Kingsolver book would make for a good film. The script is ready for it’s closeup.

Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex


Eugenides, J. (2002). Middlesex. New York: Picador. 9780312422158

I actually read this book in Summer 2007 whilst between semesters in grad school. It was Oprah’s pick at the time and I read it at warp speed. Unfortunately, I never reviewed the book. Seeing a copy of Middlesex for sale by the Friends of Freeman (HCPL), I bought it. I took a more leisurely pace began rereading it after Christmas 2010.

Cal Stephanides, a forty-one year old who identifies himself as a man, climbs his gnarly family tree. He possesses a recessive gene, 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, which made him appear female at the time of his birth. Believing him to be a girl, his parents named their “daughter” Calliope and called her “Callie”. After learning about the syndrome as an adolescent, Calliope changes his name to the masculine name, Cal. Taking on his Greek-American genealogy, Cal tells the story of a dirty little secret of his grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty, which shapes Calliope into Cal.

Upon hearing Oprah selected a book about hermaphrodite, I didn’t imagine myself reading this book. Yet, summer doldrums beset me and I stayed up several nights in a row reading Middlesex. The language Eugenides implements relates this story in a beautifully visual way. He crammed so much between the covers. Throughout, I learned more of the Smyrna fire, Prohibition-Era Detroit, the Nation of Islam, and the Pleasant Valley of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Eugenides encapsulates much of the contemporary life of Cal in Foreign Service Berlin as well. I enjoyed the mysteries he creates in his brother Chapter Eleven and catalyst The Obscure Object. I laughed at Desdemona’s work for the Nation of Islam and Aunt Lina’s droll tones. Above all else, I considered the sex versus gender argument in a fresh light.

Four and a Half Out of Five Pearls

Song: “Dancing in the Streets” by Martha & the Vandellas

Places: Mt. Olympus, Smyrna, Turkey, Greece, New York City, Detroit, San Francisco, Germany

You May Also Like:

With Middlesex being The Detroit Novel, I must link the following Super Bowl Ad:

For More on Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, please click on the following links: