What Are You Reading Now?

It used to be that I could only read one book at a time, but sometime during the last few years (grad school?) I graduated to reading several at once. Here is what I am reading now…feel free to chime in with your current reads!
This novel is the story of a aimless intellectual who is floundering in the occupational ocean after receiving her doctorate and ends up working for the CIA. As she goes through her training, she learns many lessons about trust, betrayal, and the real reason why they teach people to “Admit Nothing. Deny Everything. Make Counteraccusations.” I bought this book at the Spy Museum in D.C. and I was surprised by the complexity of the story at the end…and how I am still thinking about it! I’m excited to learn that she has written more!
Truman by David McCullough
You might guess that Harry Truman’s life is the story contained in this award winning book. I’m turning over a new, nonfiction, leaf this summer!

Life As We Knew It

After a rousing and thought provoking discussion about Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It, I offered to post some of the titles mentioned here in this blog. Feel free to add others in the comments if I missed any! I’m hoping to put together a wiki for us to use that will be a little more interactive and useful for our bookclub!Author Information: Susan Beth Pfeffer’s BlogSuggested Read-alikes for Life As We Knew It:The Road by Cormac McCarthyHow I Live Now by Meg RosoffOther Titles Mentioned:The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrauThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanMovie Link: http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (There is a page on IMDB about a movie…who knows if anything will come of it!)One for the Money (Stephanie Plum) by Janet EvanovichThem Bones by Carolyn Haines (Southern belle version of Stephanie Plum)The Giver by Lois LowryThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonFuture Books:Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsLady Chatterly’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence


You Asked For It!

Kindred spirits are alive and well in the young adult novel Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar. This heartwarming and humorous read chronicles a year in the life of a high school freshman, Scott, who spends his year trying to gain the attention of a girl, avoiding the lunch money bandit, writing eloquent sports articles for the school paper (each in a different literary style), and creating a journal for his soon-to-be born baby brother. This book made me laugh out loud and quicky carved a special place into my heart and onto my bookshelf. Read it! Another recent favorite: Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles.:-)


Harry’s Done

I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. What do I think? Thanks for asking! To me, it is like your birthday when you are planning to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner that night. You don’t want to eat too much during the day, but you do need something to hold you over. This book is like the fruit filled yogurt that you eat mid-afternoon – delicious, fortifying, and leaves you plenty to anticipate for the fancy meal ahead. There were lots of good quotes in this one, and here is one of my favorites:

‘You said to us once before,’ said Hermione quietly, ‘that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?’

We cannot read that quote without pairing it with one from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them. (p. 179).

Who wants some discussion questions?


Harry’s Here

Ok, ok, so I finally got my British edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But, I can’t start until my homework is done! I will have to read it soon, however, for an upcoming book discussion. If I didn’t have to read it soon, I was thinking of reading a page a day, and then blogging about every page! What do you think? I would stretch out the fun until approximately April of 2007!!! Here’s a picture of what my copy looks like (thanks Amazon.uk!). It’s cute. I’ll read fast, I promise!


The Gospel According to Larry

So, while I have read A LOT of books recently, I have to post about this one ASAP. The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian is a textured, thought provoking read about a seventeen year-old who anonymously tries to change the world with sermons on a website and win the girl he loves, but ends up being the embodiment of everything he stands against.Read it. It’ll change your life for as long as you let it. Then check out the real life website www.thegospelaccordingtolarry.com It’s inspired me to create a “Wired Reads” list. Post any suggestions you have!


Reading Quote of the Day

“Rosenberg’s First Law of Reading: Never apologize for your reading tastes” from Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library by Joyce G. Saricks. Here is a quick run-down of what I have read recently, both recreational and school required readings. I’ll let you guess which is which! 🙂 Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Fascinating historical facts about Chicago and the World’s Fair (1893) combined with riveting narrative about a serial killer in Chicago at the same time. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs. Meet Tempe Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who leaves the lab to solve crimes in this suspenseful mystery series (like Patricia Cornwell). Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. No, I haven’t read this before! While meant to be set in the future it seems to be telling a story that accurately describes the world today…Desire by Amanda Quick. Lady Clare can no longer maintain control of the Isle of Desire and is forced to marry the King’s illegitimate son, who at first seems to be quite of the opposite of her desire. I give this regency romance four hot chili peppers out of five. Deryni Rising by Katherine Kurtz. Kelson is only fourteen when his father, the King, dies and he is next in line for the throne and also his magical powers that can be brought forth by various rituals…if the evil sorceress doesn’t kill him first! Black Rose by Nora Roberts.The second title of the In the Garden trilogy explores the growing relationship between no-nonsense Rosalind and the hunky genealogical researcher Mitch (who is helping the family discover the origin of their resident ghost) This one gets three hot chili peppers! Some may scoff at romance novels, but hopefully most people can just accept that people have different reading tastes. As I hope you can see from this blog, I like to read things from all over the library. Sometimes, however, a romance novel provides just the right escape from the everyday. This summer is a good example, as I am swamped with homework but I still reserve a few minutes each day for my “brain candy” read. Go find yours and be proud!


The Value of Millions

During the last couple of weeks, I listened to the audiobook version of the book Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce. The story of two preteen brothers (saint-loving Damian and future investment banker Anthony) is both heartwarming and funny as we follow their quest to spend over 200,000 British pounds before England converts to the Euro. Damian thinks the money was sent to them from God so they could perform good deeds, a fact which is supported by the various saintly visions he has. Anthony knows better and thinks the money should be used to expand their investment portfolio by buying a house. As the days until conversion near, Anthony learns that the money came from a robbery attempt and Damian realizes that the money is creating more problems than it solves.Tonight I saw the movie based on the book and I highly recommended it. The screenplay was written by the author, so the story’s voice and integrity remained intact. The book is told in first person, so I was impressed with how well the movie revealed the character of Damian. Both boys were adorable and Damian’s effort to do the right thing and deal with this mother’s death were very touching. The father was shown as strong, hardworking, loving, and vulnerable, which I found honest and compelling. His burgeoning relationship with another women adds another twist to this already dynamic slice of real family life. The cinematic effects and diverse soundtrack complete this well-done adaptation of an excellent book.Don’t trust me? Check out Roger Ebert’s review. He says, “This is one of the best films of the year.”


Breaking Point

Someone should write a book called The Secret Lives of Books and maybe that would explain why books end up in every room of my house. While herding some of them up today, I was compelled to research the next book in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series. Rejoice fellow Team 16 fans! Breaking Point (Max and Gina’s story) will be released on July 12. You can even order a signed copy!