The Sunday Post ~ sharing blog news and book haul ~ Jorie’s 15th Edition


Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer: The Sunday

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It’s a chance to share News.

A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

Last week on Jorie’s Reads, I:

This week, I hope to:

  • Post my 15th edition of The Sunday Post 🙂
  • Participate in The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Read In 2012
  • Review a book or two
  • Finish reading: Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent’s What difference do it make? – Stories of Hope and Healing

My Book Haul: 

  • Jeffrey Archer’s The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot
  • Mary Higgins Clark’s All Through the Night (I want to review this before Christmas Day 2012 🙂 )
  • James M. Kouzes’ The Leadership Challenge (for work)
  • Holy Bible: Archaeological Study Bible-NIV: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture 
  • Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus 
  • Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent’s What difference do it make? – Stories of Hope and Healing
  • John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me

The Sunday Post ~ sharing blog news and book haul ~ Jorie’s 14th Edition


Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer: The Sunday

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It’s a chance to share News.

A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

(I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped on Jorie’s Reads because I’ve had a lot of wrist pain. I hope I’ll be more productive in the weeks to come.)

Last week on Jorie’s Reads, I:

This week, I hope to:

  • Post my 14th edition of The Sunday Gazette 🙂
  • Participate in The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012
  • Review a book 
  • Finish reading: Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent’s What difference do it make? – Stories of Hope and Healing

My Book Haul: 

  • Jeffrey Archer’s The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot
  • Mary Higgins Clark’s All Through the Night
  • James M. Kouzes’ The Leadership Challenge (for work)
  • Holy Bible: Archaeological Study Bible-NIV: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture 
  • Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus 
  • Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent’s What difference do it make? – Stories of Hope and Healing
  • H. Joaquin Jackson and David Marion Wilkinson’s One Ranger: A Memoir

The Sunday Post ~ sharing blog news and book haul ~ Jorie’s 13th Edition


Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer: The Sunday

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It’s a chance to share News.

A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

Last week on Jorie’s Reads, I:

This week, I hope to:

  • Post my 13th edition of The Sunday Gazette 🙂
  • Participate in The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me
  • Review a book 
  • Share Seeing the Story – Jane Eyre (2011)
  • Finish reading: Meg Waite Clayton’s The Wednesday Sisters and Katie J. Davis and Beth Clark’s Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption

My Book Haul: 

  • Jeffrey Archer’s The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot
  • Mary Higgins Clark’s All Through the Night
  • James M. Kouzes’ The Leadership Challenge (for work)
  • Holy Bible: Archaeological Study Bible-NIV: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture 
  • Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus 
  • Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent’s What difference do it make? – Stories of Hope and Healing
  • Meg Waite Clayton’s The Wednesday Sisters
  •  Katie J. Davis and Beth Clark’s Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist


Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn | LibraryThing

Cohn, R., & Levithan, D. (2006). Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist. New York: Knopf. 9780375835315

Reasons for Reading : Okay, as a music lover, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to read a book about other music lovers. I requested Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist through HCPL.

Summary : Nick sees his ex-girlfriend heading his way at a concert. He turns to the girl next to him, Norah, and asks her “Will you be my girlfriend for the next five minutes?” Thus, the adventure of Nick and Norah begins.

What I Liked : The idea of a five minute relationship has potential for a great novel. Mostly, Cohn and Levithan navigated this concept well.

I appreciated how Cohn wrote from Norah’s point of view while Levithan handled Nick’s angle. Also, I liked that Cohn wrote the part of the female character and left the male character to Levithan.

It was cool seeing how Nick’s bandmate came through for him, too.

What I Disliked :  While I know a few things about music, I barely knew of the existence of “queer core.” Also, I didn’t like the dig at Weezer.

I doubt Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist would be good for the less mature teenager. There’s lots of cussing (i.e. the name of Nick’s band) and sexual situations.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: (Where’s Fluffy Music) – Last Words – YouTube

Setting : New York City

You might also like:

For more on Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick & Norah’s infinite playlist, check out the following sites:
 
 

Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller Series


The Lincoln Lawyer | Front Row Reviews

Connelly, M., & Grupper, A. (2005). The Lincoln lawyer. New York: Time Warner AudioBooks. 9781594830884

Connelly, M., & Giles, P. (2008). The brass verdict. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781600244018

Connelly, M., Giles, P., & Connelly, M. (2010). The reversal. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781600247255

Connelly, M., & Giles, P. (2011). The fifth witness. New York: Hachette Audio. 9781600247224

Reasons for Reading On my way home from England, I saw bits and pieces of Brad Furman’s The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey. I enjoyed what I saw enough to request the audiobook via HCPL, I have since read all of the Mickey Haller series – thus far.

Summary These books are told by attorney Michael “Mickey” Haller, a street-wise defense attorney who practices law from the backseat of a Lincoln Town Car. Haller offers his services to the greater Los Angeles area, meeting clients wherever they may be. He’s on speaking terms with both of his ex-wives and aims to be a better father to his daughter Hayley. The series highlights Haller’s more unusual and that is true in the first book – The Lincoln Lawyer. Throughout the series, Haller faces his growing discomfort with representing the truly guilty.  

Review I really like the Mickey Haller/Lincoln Lawyer Mysteries by Michael Connelly.  While I may not always care for Haller, he seems realistic and he describes much of what goes on in trials in layman’s terms.I haven’t read of the Harry Bosch books that Connelly writes but I’m currently reading Nine Dragons where Haller makes a small appearance. So far, I liked The Reversal the best as there isn’t just one reversal at play in this book.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪2Pac – California Love [HD] – YouTube

Setting :  Los Angeles, mostly

You might also like:

For more on Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller Series, please check out the following links:
 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed. . .


Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert | LibraryThing

Gilbert, E., & Penguin Audiobooks. (2010). Committed: [a skeptic makes peace with marriage]. New York, N.Y: Penguin Audio. 9780143145752

Soon after I finished Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, I wanted to know what happened with Liz since her previous memoir. Luckily, I found what Gilbert calls Eat, Pray, Love’s companion memoir in audiobook format at HCPL.

Spoiler Alert (If you anticipate reading Eat, Pray, Love, then do not read this review)

Towards the end of her previous memoir, Liz met Felipe. Felipe, a Brazilian man with Australian citizenship living in Bali, survived his own bitter divorce. So, when he and Liz began their romance, they agreed to remain monogamous without legally marrying.

Their arrangement suited both of them pretty well; Felipe would stay with Liz in various United States locales for the weeks alloted him. Then, Felipe would leave and return on the next visa. This all ended when the U.S. government denied him entry.

Confronted with the reality of legal marriage so Felipe could dwell again in U.S., Liz and Felipe find themselves on the move in Southeast Asia, awaiting Felipe’s permission. During this time, Liz delved into researching the institution of marriage. Her discovery led to this memoir.

Liz’s work is impressively thorough and exhaustive in Committed. At some points, her doubt pervaded her writing, lending to its authenticity. While I don’t agree with her on numerous points and am virtually clueless on other issues she raises, I considered this a good read.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: United States, Indonesia, Southeast Asia

Song:  Modern Love – David Bowie (1983)‬‏ – YouTube

You might also like:

  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  • It Takes A Nation by Rebecca Blank
  • A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

 For more on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed. . ., check out the following:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love


  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert | LibraryThing

    Gilbert, E. (2006). Eat, pray, love: [one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia]. New York: Penguin Audio. 9780143058526

As I sought more material for the 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge, I requested Eat, Pray, Love through HCPL.  While I hardly recommend watching the movie before reading the book, I saw the film just a month or so before requesting the audio.

Thirty-something Elizabeth “Liz” Gilbert seems to have everything. She’s a successful writer and she’s married. Yet, she is completely miserable. So, after a bitter divorce and a tempestuous relationship with a younger guy, Liz seeks out pleasure and spiritual devotion. She treks through Italy, India, and Indonesia (Bali) during one year and journals her self-discovery.

There were some points I didn’t care for in the book but I’m really pleased that I checked out this audiobook. The book seemed natural and authentic, especially since Liz also narrated. It even led me to check out what is considered a sequel to Eat, Pray, Love. While I don’t agree with her on some spiritual aspects, I appreciated Liz relating her views.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Places: United States, Italy, India, Indonesia, Southeast Asia

Song:  YouTube – ‪Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over (2010 Version)‏

You might also like:

    • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    • Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

 For more on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, check out the following:

 

 

Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells


Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2007). Garden spells. New York: Random House Large Print. 9780739327432

Back in February, I attended a Reader’s Advisory workshop. The speaker, Neal Wyatt, sang the praises of Garden Spells. Then, I heard this book was the alchemy of Practical Magic and Like Water for Chocolate. After hearing the rave reviews of my coworkers, I checked out Garden Spells from HCPL.

The Waverley women possess special abilities. In their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina, the Waverlys’ apple tree bears magical fruit of magical properties. Their garden yields unique, edible flowers. At this time, 34-year-old Claire Waverly embraces the family traits and runs a lucrative catering business. On the other hand, her younger sister, Sydney wants little to do with family inheritance. Sydney left behind her hometown.

However, Sydney returns to Bascom, bringing her daughter, Bay with her. In Bascom, Sydney faces the ghosts of the past, determined to make a better future for Bay.  

Reading Garden Spells was a true joy for me. Sarah Addison Allen rendered a beautiful picture of the Waverlys and the Bascom community. Even villainess Emma is relateable and Allen deals with her kindly. I enjoyed the Waverlys more than the Owens sisters in Practical Magic but strong similarities can’t be denied.  

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Strange Magic by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)

Places : North Carolina, Seattle

You might also like:

For more on Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells, check out the following sites:
 

Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman | LibraryThing

Hoffman, A. (1995). Practical magic. New York: Putnam. 9780399140556

I admit – I approach Alice Hoffman with trepidation. My freshman English teacher assigned us the task of reading At Risk, a story of a young gymnast who contracts AIDS from a blood transfusion. After finishing, I cried and cried. Twelve years later, I read Blue Diary as one of her characters bore the name Jorie (like me). Okay, so she doesn’t write the happiest literature. Yet, numerous colleagues and friends encouraged me to read Practical Magic. It pleases me that I managed to read this book without copious tear shed.

When their parents die in a fire, sisters Sally and Gillian Owens come to live with their eccentric aunts in a 200-year old house built by their ancestress, Maria Owens. Their aunts are witches and help many “upstanding women” by casting spells on the sly.

Sally and Gillian grow up without rules but virtual outcasts. Gillian elopes, heading west of the Mississippi while Sally falls in love with a local guy, Michael, marries, and has two daughters – Antonia and Kylie. Michael dies and Sally blames the family heritage – witchcraft. Sally and her young girls move to New York. Ultimately, Gillian nor Sally can outrun their roots and must admit who they are and what they can do.

While bittersweet at times, Practical Magic is my favorite Alice Hoffman work. Hoffman created clear, likable, and relatable characters in Sally and Gillian. Her vivid settings acted as characters as well.  My favorite part came towards the end and involves Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet and the girl next door.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Coconut by Harry Nilsson

Places : Massachusetts, New York, Arizona

You might also like:

For more on Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, check out the following sites:

Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader


* A 1001 Books Book

Schlink, B. (1998). The reader. New York: Vintage Books. 9780679781301

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink | WorldCat

I spotted a copy of this slim book on the Friends of Freeman Library bookshelf. Moving quickly, I managed to buy it. Despite what I previously heard about the heavy topics, I rapidly finished this book.

Divided into three parts and told in the first person narrative form, Part I begins in West Germany in 1958 when fifteen year old Michael Berg becomes gravely ill on his way home from school. Thirty-six year old tram conductor Miss Schmitz sees him and plays the Good Samaritan by hosing down his shoes and guiding him down the road. Michael finds his way home, where he convalesces from hepatitis. His father, a philosophy professor, and his mother keep him from leaving home. When he’s well again, Mrs. Berg sends Michael with a bouquet to Miss Schmitz’s door to show his appreciation, discovering he’s drawn to her. Miss Schmitz catches him watching her dress and Michael runs from her place. However, Michael returns to Miss Schmitz’s apartment, helps her with lugging coal, and becomes covered with coal dust. Miss Schmitz insists Michael bathe and when he does, Miss Schmitz seduces him. A love affair ensues as Michael settles into a routine of visiting her apartment – bathing, having sex, and reading. Michael reads aloud to Miss Schmitz, who in turn, reveals her first name to be Hanna. So, Michael reads classics such as The Odyssey and War and Peace to his lover. During their affair, they don’t talk much about their lives and Hanna becomes morose and abusive at times. After a few months of this, Hanna disappears. Michael develops into a sullen heel himself.

In Part II, as a law student in 1965, Michael and his classmates observe a war crimes trial. Former female Schutzstaffel (SS) guards are on trial for the deaths of 300 Jewish prisoners. One of these guards just happens to be Hanna, Michael’s former lover. Even more perplexing is the fact that Hanna, unlike the other women on trial, refuses to defend what she did as an SS guard. Then, Michael understands that Hanna is hiding an even darker secret. Michael faces the dilemma of letting Hanna “hang herself” for the crime or to reveal what would set her free.

Part III holds the conclusion, taking place in the 1990s. Herein, Michael comes to terms with his relationship with Hanna and choices they’ve made. Without spoiling the book, all I’ll say is that he seeks absolution.

What an austere little book! The sparse prose and clipped tone of the work seemed in perfect accord with the Michael Berg’s thoughts. Also, The Reader delves into the psyche of a rich inner world and thought life – read cerebral. Another element worth noting, Michael’s rather miserly when it comes to labeling people. For example, he never offer names for his parents nor his siblings. Then, he doesn’t name the survivors who bring about Hanna’s trial. Simply, Michael bestows names upon few.

Schlink portrays the intimacy of the two German generations – the Nazi participants (willing/unwilling) and the post-War youth who desire to rectify their fore bearers’ mistakes. He shows precisely the grayness that contemporary analysts find polarizing. No matter how much Michael’s generation wants to wipe the slate clean, none of us should forget. Michael even recognizes how his own father, a philosopher who focuses on Kant and Hegel, inadvertently supported the Nazi cause by writing hiker’s guides. They are inseparable.

Another remarkable theme is ignorance versus knowledge. Enlightenment leads not just to better ways to make a living for oneself, it also opens the path to better decisions.

Then, there’s the intertextuality – the complex relationship between a text and other texts taken as basic to the creation or interpretation of the text (Merriam Webster 2011). Michael’s literary selection came from Enlightenment Era.

Lastly, there’s the prevailing theme of humanity. Part III sees to a purposefulness in Michael that Part II seems to lack. Here, the titular Reader becomes enlightened and compassionate.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: YouTube – Nicole Atkins – Together We Are Both Alone – Live Troubadour

Places : Germany, Poland, The United States

You might also like:

For more on Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader, check out the following sites: