Divergent by Veronica Roth

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Divergent by Veronica RothSo I’m almost done with this one, about 100 pages to go. It’s been an easy, quick read because I always want to know what happens next. I wanted to make sure I got the book done before the movie in March (because we all know the books are always better than the movie). What I really like about this book is the concept of the “faction” that are based on personality traits. It’s a look into the crazy – but widely accepted – notion that there is a “normal.” If there was a normal, why is everyone labeled as something like manic, narcissistic, or hyperactive? Of course these are all real things but just a smack in the face of those who have a barometer for what makes a productive member of society. The book also shows that too much of any trait is a bad thing and a blend of all personalities in each person is clearly the only thing that can help make the world stable. Maybe that’s our problem today? Divergent by Veronica Roth is a book that can clearly be up for discussion.

Summer Rental

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Summer RentalSummer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews was my pick for summer vacation reading. But as some things go, I was about 30 pages from the end when my vacation ended. It’s tough to finish a book about summer when it’s autumn. So there it sat, waiting for me to get to the long-anticipated conclusion and I relented and I’m glad I did. Most definitely a chick-lit book, Andrews manages to assign many distinct personalities tied to school aged friendships. The group of friends rent a house for the summer that brings from far and wide and from very different circumstances. Enter a mysterious woman who they invite to stay with them in the spare bedroom. That’s when the story really picks up pace and begins to lay out the new focus of the book that strays from the expected “everything is perfect” summer novel. Not a quick read but definitely an engrossing one.

The Coldman Cometh

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The Coldman Cometh by Bob DurrWow, I haven’t posted in quite a while. I’ve been working my way through the book The Coldman Cometh by Bob Durr. It’s the true story of a family who lived the usual East Coast American life but desired much more. They had many adventures in Alaska and decided to pursue it as a full-time life. Durr is honest and up front, he doesn’t sugar-coat the danger in the name of adventure, the two don’t always need to be intertwined even though it happens that way often. I’m about half-way through and really like it. It’s not a “quick” read by any means but a story that needs to be told and one that gets my adventure juices flowing. I have always been fascinated with Alaska and this book is a good representation of that spirit. 

A Land of Ash

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A Land of Ash by David Dalglish

A Land of Ash by David Dalglish

I found myself fascinated by the supervolcano after a visit to Yellowstone National Park years ago. First of all, I was stunned so many people were not aware of its existence and wondered why it’s been so hush-hush for so many years. Now it seems more and more people are becoming educated about the many potential natural disasters that could possible befall our society. There are many factors that play into natural disasters besides the fact they can, and do, happen and are destined to occur again; the human component always changes things. A Land of Ash by David Dalglish is a collection of short stories aimed at tackling the issue of human emotion and behavior in the face of impending disaster. I loved the stories. Of course, I loved some more than others but I felt the stories were a good mix catering to many different reading styles and all were crafted with thought and creativity. I definitely suggest this book especially to post-apocalyptic fans but it certainly is a good read for many different audiences.

Hunger Games

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

I realize I have not posted in a long time! That is certainly not to say I haven’t been reading. I am on the final book in the Hunger Games series and have loved them all so far! I love the type of book where you actually envision what’s going on. You feel like you are in the book and feel for the characters. I know it seems like an obvious choice to read but it’s popularity is for a reason. I find I love book series but hate waiting for them. I’m open to any suggestions!

Life as We Knew it

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Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A post-apocalyptic book written from a teenage girl’s perspective. I wasn’t sure at the beginning what would come of this book but I absolutely loved it. The writing style was engaging and the attention to detail had me envisioning everything. My favorite descriptive piece in a long time was Miranda’s imagination, to avoid a spoiler, it’s her entry from February 18. I think Susan Beth Pfeffer did a wonderful job describing the best use of imagination and what creative thinking can do for our well-being.

 

Review of the Forgotten Garden

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This book was a very pleasant surprise. As it not my usual type of book and one I would likely not have chosen for myself, I read it on strong recommendation and I am so glad I did. Morton did an amazing job spinning a story across oceans and four generations of a family. Morton never lost control of the characters and their stories enabling me to really get to know each character. Her excellent details enabled me to visualize the environments and interactions. This is the type of book that, as you read, you begin to form your own theories attempting to unravel the mystery. But no good story is that easy; as the story goes on and more information is revealed you change your theory and simply cannot put the book down because you know you are so close to finding out what really happened. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a mystery that continues to add depth and detail that tug on all the senses.

Making Book Clubs Even More Fun

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Cover of "The Forgotten Garden: A Novel"

Cover of The Forgotten Garden: A Novel

Several years ago, my mother, sister, and I formed a book club. We have similar reading styles, interests, and were willing to challenge each other to broadening our horizons. It’s absolutely amazing to me how people can all be reading the same thing but garner different points, perspectives, and questions. The book club was great for our intellectual stimulation but in our usual form, we needed more – something like food. Our spin on the book club? When we would meet for our discussions, we would all bring a dish inspired from the book we read. So far The Forgotten Garden has inspired bread and broth. Soup it up (no pun intended) by making a light vegetable soup with homemade beer bread!

Hunger Games

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I am WAY behind on the times on this, I know. But I am so excited. I finally got book 1 of the Hunger Games and cannot wait to read it. I am trying to discipline myself to wait until I am done The Forgotten Garden but it’s going to be hard. The Hunger Games has the print and pages that looks like I will finish it in a minute. Even more, it was free. For any other bibliophile out there, Paperbackswap is a must. Yes, there are my mainstays in my library, the books that never leave and will be with me forever. Then there are the ones that I trade to make room for the ones that I may want to keep.

Aside

Current Read

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Forgotten Garden by Kate MortonIt’s really hard to post often when you haven’t found enough time to read. So I thought I’d post my current read, the Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. So far really good. I wish I had more time to read it. It was a best seller and came as a suggestion from my mother who is usually right on with a book I’d like. Read more about it here!