Friday, January 24, 2014

Entertainment: books

Hey there friends!  I just wanted to share a few books I've recently read.  They say you either have the time or you have the money, but you don't ever have both.  Well, fortunately I have a lot of free time.  Reading has been a nice escape for me lately.  I also enjoy reading aloud to Lance when he is in the bathtub (captive audience).  

I recently started going to a book club at the main library in Covington.  Our January assignment was to read a book by Lee Smith or any Southern author.  So, I picked up Family Linen which was written in 1986 and is around 270 pages.  This is the first time I have read anything by Lee Smith.  She wove a dramatic family tale that is full of amusing and endearing characters.  The main character named Sybil goes to see a hypnotist who unravels a deep childhood memory of her mom killing her dad many years ago.  Upon going to confront her mother, Miss Elizabeth, she learns that she had a stroke and is in the hospital.  After the death of her mother, Sybil wants to keep moving forward to find out the truth.  Don't worry, I haven't given anything away.  This is just some of the drama described in the jacket cover!  Smith gives you the point of view from many of the family members, and sometimes it is hard to keep them all straight.  I'm glad I don't have too much drama in my own life, but peaking into the lives of these characters was an adventure.  

On a much lighter note, the book I Funny has had plenty of internet buzz, and had such a long waiting list at the library that I finally just bought it for myself for Christmas.  It was written in 2012 by the best selling author James Patterson who now writes children's books, along with Chris Grabenstein who recently wrote Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  Just a warning, you will absolutely fall in love with the main character!  The wheel chair bound, middle school kid named Jamie Grimm doesn't let anything hold him back of becoming a great comedian.  Humor was the one comfort he turned to after an accident years ago.  He doesn't want any favors or special treatment, he just needs you to listen as he tries out some "new material".  Coast along on his journey of being a "stand-up" comedian.  Don't forget to check out the newest in the series I Even Funnier.

A while back I braved The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.  This time, I picked up one of her shorter books titled Silas Marner.  The copy at the library was so old, that it had a bookmark ribbon!  It was published in 1861, and it is 206 pages.  I was initially intrigued by the Wordsworth quote at the beginning, "A child more than all other gifts that earth can offer to declining man, brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts."  It is an amazing story of betrayal, slow moving justice, and redemption.  Eliot (whose real name is Mary Anne Evans), paints a harsh picture of backstabbing church folk.  Silas ends up getting the short end of the deal when he befriends some folks in his local congregation, but it all seemed a little heavy handed to me.  Overall though, I did enjoy this lovely novel.  Watching the very slow hands of justice turn in Silas Marner's favor is a story you won't soon forget. 

Lastly, Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster was exactly what reviewer Heather Gudenkauf wrote, "A haunting tale that will leave you breathless."  This 304 page book was written in 2011.  I came across it a few years ago on a blog I follow.  My library didn't have it, but I was able to find it at a yard sale for only $7.  I read it towards the middle of December when I first found out I was pregnant.  It was a time that I wasn't really feeling well, and this book was a really entertaining distraction.  Every time I would start to nod off, something really scary would happen to jolt me awake.  It was quite the ride!  The book starts off with a young couple inheriting a cottage in the English countryside.  Grace and Adam, along with their young baby Millie look forward to a slower pace of life compared to their London lifestyle.  A week in, Adam takes Millie out for a stroll in the snow covered beautiful landscape.  The mother, Grace, becomes very worried after a few hours.  She then finds the pram on the doorstep with her peacefully sleeping Millie inside...but where is her husband Adam?  Ride along on this sometimes lazy, sometimes jolting tale, and you won't be sleepy for long!          

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  1. Man, you make me wish for some free days just curl up with some good books and just read all day long. I love reading. I haven't read any of these although heard of several. I think "I funny" sounds like a perfect book for Evan and I to read together. We love a good laugh! :-)

  2. I love when you give book recommendations. I'm off to check some of these out.


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