Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ebook Challenge

In 2008 I got my first Smartphone and I am lost without it. One of the greatest features I love about it is reading ebooks using Microsoft Reader. I find that I read during waits (doctors, dentist, filling up for gas, etc) and at night if I can't sleep. So, to keep the fun going I am going to join the Ebook Challenge hosted by J. Kaye.

Here is my current list:

1. The Rule of Four Ian Caldwell
2. K is for Killer Sue Grafton
3. Left Behind Tim LaHaye (this one is a crossover with the 2009 TBR Challenge)
4. A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket
5. The Can Who Ate Danish Modern Lillian Jackson Braun
6. Hard Eight Janet Evanovich
7. Black Echo Michael Connelly
8. Cat and Mouse James Patterson
9. Naked in Death JD Robb
10. Twilight Stephanie Meyer

I am not sure of the order and many of these will clear some TBR books that have been sitting on my shelves for a very long time.

2009 TBR Challenge

I have been looking at challenges for awhile now and I think it is time that I join one. So, my very first challenge is going to be The TBR Challenge Here is my list (in no particular order)of books I intend to read from the mountain I call TBR:

1. The Celestine Prophecy James Redfield
2. Kit's Law Donna Morrisey
3. Left Behind Lahaye and Jenkins
4. Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris
5. Good Grief Lolly Winston
6. The Art of Racing in the Rain Garth Stein
7. The Reader Bernard Schlink
8. The Notebook Nicholas Sparks
9. Fall on Your KneesAnn-Marie MacDonald
10. Big Stone Gap Adriana Trigiani
11. The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank
12. Tara Road Maeve Binchy

1. A Good House Bonnie Burnard
2. Oh My Stars Lorna Landvik
3. If You Could See Me Now Cecelia Ahern

Review: Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill, the third installment of James Patterson's Alex Cross series is a relentless thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat. Alex Cross gets pulled into two murders that he is trying solve simultaneously. First, a child is murdered by a serial killer and left by the Sojourner Truth School, in Cross's own neighbourhood. The second is a high profile murder of a Senator by a duo that call themselves "Jack and Jill". The FBI calls Alex to help track down and stop "Jack and Jill" before they accomplish their plan to kill the President. Torn between working with the FBI to solve the high profile murders and working to stop the terror in his own neighbourhood, Cross fights to solve both.

As usual, Patterson does not fail to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. With three serial killers on the loose the story races along. I love the short chapters. Alex Cross is a character who I find I respect more and more with each book I read. 

Review: October Sky

October Sky is Homer Hickam's memoir about growing up in a small dying mining town while trying to escape the cyclical life was really good. I have used the movie several times with my students as a media unit and I was not disappointed at all by the book. 

Homer "Sonny" Hickam Jr. watched Sputnik I fly over the small mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia in 1957 inspiring him to begin to build his own rocket. He recruits his buddies from high school; Sonny, Sherman, O'Dell, Roy Lee and Quentin form the Big Creek Missile Agency (BCMA) hoping to join the Space Race, escape the town of Coalwood and go to college. 

The BCMA persevere through exploding rockets, destruction of Coalwood Mine property, lack of funds and knowledge to build rockets, and naysayers. They are helped and encouraged by the entire town from employees of the mine who help out after hours by welding nozzles, or leaving scrap wood out for the boys to build shelters to Ms Riley the boys' Physics teacher who provides books for research, opportunity and many words of wisdom, to the people of Coalwood who congregate at Camp Coalwood to watch the numerous launches of the Rocket Boys. Sonny's parents, Homer and Elsie Hickam, both provide their own source of encouragement; Sonny's mother urges him to pursue his dreams and no matter what the insistence not to enter the mines. Sonny's father is an obstacle which challenges Sonny to work harder, be creative and use his gift of persuasion in pursuing his dreams of getting out of Coalwood and eventually getting to work with Von Braun at Cape Canaveral

I truly enjoyed this book, I have seen the movie several times (as part of a media study with various classes I have taught) and the book added so much depth to my understanding. Hickam gives the reader a glimpse of life in a small, dying mining town and the desperation of some to escape while others are desperate to hold on to all they have ever known. I appreciated that Hickam included failures as well as successes in his pursuit, it made the story all the more interesting for me. A great story with amazing characters!

Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

The harrowing story of a school shooting told from the perspective of the mother of the perpetrator. Through a series of letters to her estranged husband, we learn that Eva never really wanted children when she had Kevin and he challenged her every step of his childhood. Kevin was a difficult child who grew into an angry and disturbed teenager who eventually plans and executes the murder of his teacher and several classmates. 

We Need to Talk About Kevin is a haunting story that I find myself thinking about even months after finishing the book. Although I enjoyed We Need to Talk About Kevin, I really struggled with this book. I had a hard time believing that a child can be evil from birth. And I am still not sure of Eva's role in the whole thing...nature vs nurture is almost a judgment call that I am not willing to make. 

A couple of years back, I was able to take some Threat Assessment training with Kevin Cameron. The first "credo", if you will, is "No one ever snaps," there are always warning signs, it is just whether we see, or are willing to see the signs and act upon them. Kevin had many classic signs of a student who was either a risk to himself or others and yet there seems that there was little intervention, of course the timing of the incident in the book being before Columbine, Taber and numerous other incidents since is likely why. 

This is a fascinating and powerful book. I had never stopped to think about the parents of a child who murders. I found myself questioning the tone of Eva's recollections simply because she was looking through a "hindsight is 20/20" lens and Kevin's actions would taint any one's recollections of the past.

Review: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

The Cat Who...series by Lilian Jackson Braun has been on Mt. TBR for so long that it was time for me to check it out by reading The Cat Who Could Read Backwards.

James Qwilleran was once a top reporter who is trying to make his way back into journalism. In order to do so he takes a position covering Art for the Fluxion. Qwilleran rents a basement apartment from G. B. Montclemens, the Fluxion's despised art critique and his quirky Siamese cat "Koko". When Montclemens is found murdered Qwilleran and Koko team up to solve the mystery.

While I didn't love this book, it was a quick, cozy read. The characters are what made the book for me, especially Koko. His antics were always quite amusing.

Review: The Memory Keeper's Daughter

The Memory Keeper's Daughter came highly recommended to me by friends and readers who I trust explicitly, especially when it comes to good books. Which is why I was so surprised when I really didn't take to the book.

During a horrible winter storm, orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Henry is forced to deliver his own twins. The first child, his son, was born healthy. While his daughter had Down's Syndrome. Recognizing the difficulties the his daughter would encounter throughout her life, David Henry gives her to the nurse assisting and in order to take the child to a home for disabled children. Then David explains to his wife, Norah, that her daughter died.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a story about living with deceit. It explores how David Henry's lie affected him, his wife and son, and Caroline Gill who disappeared with the infant put into her care.

I had a hard time with this book, especially with the character of Norah. In all fairness I have never been in her situation, but I couldn't understand the level of her loss when she had Paul who needed her. Considering that the birth of the twins took place in 1964, David Henry's choice to send his daughter away made sense in some ways to me. Not necessarily the choice I would hope to make, but in context of the time I could see why he felt the way he did. In all, it was a good book I especially liked the character of Caroline Gill and her determination to give Pheobe the best life possible.

Review: The Shack

The Shack is the story of one man's struggle to come to terms with the loss of his daughter, his past and the anger he feels towards his Maker. One morning, Mack (Mackenzie) Philips receives a cryptic note from God inviting him to return to the crumbling shack where four years ago his youngest daughter was brutally murdered. What happens next is a journey of forgiveness and understanding for Mack as he meets and confronts the Holy Trinity.

The Shack was The Book Caucus' first book and while it began many great discussions, I have mixed feelings about this book. It was an easy and intriguing read, however I often became frustrated by the oversimplification of the Bible's teachings. Young's interpretations seemed a little "too good to be true". What I did like about the book is that it challenged me to consider my own beliefs about God and forgiveness. Having said the above I have passed on my copy to friends to ignite more discussions. If anything it is an interesting book to check out and not a bad read at all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Review: Love for Sale

I broke my rule of reading a series in order and jumped into the Grace & Favor Mystery with the fourth novel, Love for Sale. Due to tough financial times brought on by the Depression, Lily and Robert Brewster have turned the home they inherited from their uncle into a Bed and Breakfast. While running the Bed and Breakfast and substitute teaching part-time trying to make ends meet a few mysteries fall upon them.

A stranger comes along and offers a large amount of money to rent a room with an understanding that he and his guests wanted secrecy. Lily and Robert soon find out that their guest is Brother Mark Luke Goodheart and he has been murdered in his bath. Lily and Robert begin to try to figure out what happened to the missing school teacher and who killed Brother Goodheart.

While this was an enjoyable read, I found that the historical setting of the novel and the characters were more interesting than the murder mystery.

Review: The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank

Ellen Feldman penned an interesting take on history in The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank. What if Peter Van Pels had not only survived hiding in the Annex with the Frank family, but had survived life in the concentration camp too? What would he have done? Feldman creates a life for Peter in America, where he sheds his Jewish identity, begins a family and does not talk about his experiences during the war in an effort to lead a normal life. Peter becomes a successful business man, a loving husband and father.

One night Peter's wife is customarily reading before bed, but Peter's past confronts him as he catches a glimpse of the cover page to have young Anne Frank looking back at him. So shocked that his past has found him, Peter loses his voice. He is haunted by the rising popularity of Anne Frank's Diary, the discussions, the movie, the Broadway play. What ensues is a fascinating account of how one man accepts who himself and his past.

I loved this book, I loved the premise of "what if". Feldman created a believable character in Peter. One of the things I found really interesting was the way The Diary of Anne Frank rose in popularity and consumed American culture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Review: J is for Judgment

Kinsey Milhone is hired back by California Fidelity to investigate the alleged suicide of Wendell Jaffe after the $500 000 life insurance policy is paid out to his widow, and his insurance agent spots him at a tropical resort. Off Kinsey jets to track down the elusive Jaffe which leads her right back to Santa Theresa and Jaffe's widow, sons, and lover. Kinsey systematically hunts down Jaffe while facing her own past. J is for Judgment is a good mystery, but more importantly I think it is a book in the series to build up Kinsey's character.

What drew me into J is for Judgment was how Kinsey was dealing with her own past and family. I really liked that Grafton was showing us a vulnerable side of Kinsey while she sorted out just what happened in the past, who to be angry with and whether she would give her family a chance. As usual I am drawn to Kinsey's exceptionally dry sense of humour.

Review: Barnacle Love

Barnacle Love is a tale of family, dreams and ultimately life. Seeking a life outside his small village in Portugal, Manual Rebelo follows his father's footsteps as a fisherman. Out at sea he is lost and washes up on the shores of Newfoundland. Turning from the past to build a new life, Manuel begins a family in Toronto, Ontario. A large portion of the story is told by Antonio, Manuel's Toronto-born son. Although the book is a collection of well-linked short stories by De Sa it reads as a novel full of rich descriptions and detail.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Who knew there was a whole world of book blogging out there! I am slowly finding many great ways to participate in the online book world. There are challenges, book giveaways, read-a-thons, weekly and daily topics to discuss. The possibilities for someone obsessed with reading are endless!

One of the ways that I feel most comfortable joining in is book giveaways. Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading? is hosting an Election Giveaway. You should head on over and check it out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Review: My Life with George

My Life with George: What I Learned about Joy from One Neurotic (and Very Expensive) Dog is an endearing story about the influence a dog has on a family. Judith Summers and her son are devastated by the loss of some dear family members. In a short period of time, they both lose their fathers and Judith her husband and life partner. Not knowing how to fill the void in their lives, they seek out George an adorable and lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. George becomes a welcome addition to their family, even though he is what one would call, high maintenance. Refusing to eat dog food, George trains his owners to feed him chicken, he takes over furniture and beds, and then there are the ever increasing vet bills. My Life with George is a delightful tale of how our dogs take over not only our hearts but our lives.

This memoir was enjoyable to read, it was plain to see how George wiggled himself into the center of this family. Judith Summers was honest in her portrayal of the upheaval of one's social life that a pampered pooch can create. My Life with George provided moments of laughter and moments of tears. All the great moments a reader looks for in a good book!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Espresso Tales

Alexander McCall Smith returns to 44 Scotland Street in the second installment of the series. Many of the story lines and characters return to entertain the reader. Most prevalent is little Bertie whose mom is dictating every aspect of his six-year-old life. Bertie finds adventure through a few plots to undermine his mom and he finds a supporter in his father. Bruce gets his comeuppance when he tries to become a wine broker. Pat decides to return to school while continuing to work with Matthew.

Overall I enjoyed the second book in the 44 Scotland series better than the first. The key for me was more Bertie. His adventures in this book had me giggling. I hope his father continues to support Bertie’s opinions and wishes. I also enjoyed that good-looking, obnoxious Bruce was not as easily successful as he thought he would be in the wine trade. I look forward to reading the next installment, Love Over Scotland.

Monday, September 1, 2008

This is it.....

So, another year has gone by. Tonight seals my summer and back to work I go. Really it is with mixed feelings....I have loved day trips and activities with James, last minute plans and loads of adventure...but I do love teaching and this year is already promising lots of challenges.

As I start the year, I have a few goals:

* Use my time more wisely at school
* Keep on top of marking and lesson plans
* Improve parent communication
* Try to plan meals ahead to eat better
* Try to leave earlier in the morning and leave sooner after school

Now that I have started the list, I realize that I could go on and on. I think I will stick to those five. Maybe I will re-evaluate next term.

So, in order to fulfill my second goal, I had better head down to the freezer and pull something out. Oh, and I had better head to bed so that I can leave early tomorrow morning....Something tells me this is not going to be as easy as I think!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Through the Eyes of a Survivor

I must confess when I first received this book as part of a bookring I really did not want to read it. The sheer size of the book, 503 pages, had me wishing for a lighter read.

As I began to read Nina Morecki's personal account of her survival of one of the most horrific periods in History I became enthralled with her story and could not put the book down. Nina grew up in a privileged Jewish family in Poland; beautiful new dresses, vacations to her beloved country retreat, a solid education. It would appear that she had it all. Her parents worked hard to build. But, even pre-war Poland there was animosity toward the Jews. Life slowly became harder and harder as Poland was invaded by the Russians and then the Germans and her family lost everything. Nina survived the following years following her instincts, her quick wit and her strength.

Colette Waddell weaved Nina's oral account of her life in a caring and informative fashion. Unique to Holocaust survivor stories, Waddell, with Nina, relays her entire life including immigrating to the United States, building a life and a family. No matter how many accounts I read of the Holocaust it is always shocking to imagine that not only did people live in such horrible conditions, but they survived. Nina's story is definitely no exception, she is an incredible lady. It was a privilege to be able to read her story.

Where Does the Time Go?

There is only two weeks of summer left before school starts again and there is still so much I want to do before I go back. At least the little one and I have been enjoying some free time the last few weeks.

Last week we went to the zoo and were able to touch stingrays, James wasn't too sure what to make of it, but he had a good time. We have had a few play dates and visited some new parks. Who knew there was a park circuit! This week end hubby set up the trampoline in the backyard and it is now a favourite hangout for the neighbour's kids. James loves running around on it and bouncing, his face just lights up! It has been great to have the time to enjoy James and how much he is growing up.

So, now I have to start getting my head into school mode. I think I will curl up with a good book before I get too serious about school work just yet!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Affluenza is a disease caused by the pursuit of the American Dream since the Second World War. Americans are drowning in debt, overworked and overtired from trying to keep up with everyone else. John deGraff and David Wann put their PBS documentary into book form demonstrating the detrimental effects of collecting possessions and wealth on our lives, families and communities.

Affluenza is insightful and a wake up call for all consumers. I found the book caused me to be reflective on my purchases and what is truly necessary. However, as I read on, I found the book to be very repetitive and at times extreme. While the message is important, it might have been done in fewer pages.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Bookseller of Kabul

Asne Seierstad provides a candid account of daily life for an Afghani family in Kabul. Sultan Khan is a bookseller who has struggled many years to keep Afghanistan's history alive through his expansive library of books. He has seen his books trashed, burned and has been imprisoned for his passion to keep Afghanistan's history and culture intact despite war and coup d'etats. The Bookseller of Kabul is the story Sultan's family, two wives, children, siblings, mother and a nephew, and their daily lives in war-torn Kabul.

I was completely drawn into the honesty of this account of Afghani life. Sultan fills the patriarchal role of a tyrant ruling over everyone. As a westerner and a woman, it is very difficult for me to even begin to imagine a world where I have no rights or say in living my life. I am grateful I had the opportunity to read this book to have just the beginning of how some people live in fear and poverty.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mercedes Coffin

The Mercedes Coffin is the 17th novel Decker and Lazarus series. A fifteen year old murder case gets reopened when billionaire Genoa Greeves reads about a murder eerily like her teacher's that never got solved. She offers a very large financial incentive to solve the cold case which falls into Peter Decker's lap having just solved a major case. As with any well-written mystery, the pursuit of the cold case is tied to the current case, a few more murders and characters just trying to remain innocent unless proven otherwise.

This is the first book I have ever read of Kellerman's and I have already added a few more to my wishlist. I loved that Kellerman shows us the human side of homicide detectives. Peter Decker is a family man and a man of faith, and he balances those two roles with the role of Homicide Lieutenant Detective.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

44 Scotland Street

44 Scotland Street was originally written as a serial for an Edinburgh newspaper in small daily installments. The first book in a trilogy that centers around the eclectic tenants of 44 Scotland Street; their thoughts, their relationships, and their lives. There is Pat, a twenty-something in her second-gap year looking for love, passion and life; Bruce her narcissistic flatmate; Domenica who lives across the hall providing friendship and humour; the Pollock family who live below Irene who has her very own thoughts about child rearing, Bertie aged 5 and trying to be heard, and Stuart a father and husband who has no voice or chance.

I enjoyed the book, but found I had to keep reminding myself that it was written as a serial. Once I adjusted to the pace of the story I really enjoyed the characters and their adventures. I loved little Bertie, the boy believed to be gifted and pushed to learn Italian and saxophone against his wishes. If only someone would talk to the boy. I look forward to reading the second and third book in the trilogy.


Eric Walters has created an incredible novel in Shattered. Ian Blackburn is a slacker, he leaves everything to the last minute and now he needs to complete 40 hours of community service to ensure passing his civics class or risk losing the new car his parents have promised him for passing his courses. He chooses to volunteer at The Club, which sounds like fun until he finds out it is a soup kitchen for the homeless. Ian is forced to face his many prejudices through a fascinating cast of characters including Mac who runs The Club, and Sarge a retired Spec. Ops. soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces. Shattered opens the readers' eyes to the plight of homeless, the difficulties faced by our Canadian soldiers when they return from Peace Keeping Missions and the horrors of genocide.

Shattered is a great book for teens and adults alike. Eric Walters makes the reader aware of many tough issues honestly. The book elicits incredible discussions and reflections. I liked that Ian Blackburn was an average teenager, he may have been rich and spoiled, but he wasn't troubled or angry. His development of character from apathy to curiosity and finally action was very believable. It is definitely a book I will return to with many different classes.

Kiss the Girls

James Patterson never ceases to amaze me with his ability to create complex villains in his novels. Alex Cross having just solved the horrific case of Gary Soneji is pulled into a new case, but this time it's personal. Cross' niece, Naomi is missing in pursuit of her kidnapper Alex makes his way to North Carolina where pursues twinning personalities Casanova and The Gentleman Caller. Patterson has created a dark novel that is impossible to put down as he takes you around every twist and turn as Alex Cross attempts to find Naomi.

I really enjoyed the book. It is the first ebook that I have read from start to finish (I shouldn't mention that it is my way to make meetings and workshops pass quickly). Honestly, my heart races as I read Cross' adventures. I am looking forward to the next one!

The Black Tower

Through a well-crafted historical thriller, Louis Bayard recreates Paris' days of Restoration in The Black Tower. Vidocq, a crass, but brilliant detective, begins to investigate Hector Carpentier, a young medical student, when Hector’s name is found upon a dead body. One murder leads to another and Vidocq and Hector begin chasing a mystery that began twenty years previously when many French believed that Louis-Charles the dauphin, son of Marie-Antoinette, escaped the torture and entrapment of the notorious Black Tower. The plot thickens when Vidocq and Carpentier begin to wonder if the dauphin had escaped The Black Tower, who would kill to ensure that the potential King not be found?

The Black Tower was excellently written. The pages turned themselves as the mystery propelled the reader along. Vidocq’s character was at once obnoxious and endearing. It was clear why Hector, trying to battle his own family demons, was drawn to Vidocq. Bayard offers the perfect balance of historical fiction and thrill in The Black Tower.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Human Stain

Philip Roth uses Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and his possible impeachment for this American tale of blurring lines. Through Nathan Zuckerman, a novelist who lives outside of a small college community, we learn of Coleman Silk. Silk was a Dean at a New England University returns to teaching only to be forced out due to an off the cuff comment which was viewed as a racial slur by a few of his students. Zuckerman explores his friendship with Silk, Silk's spiral out of control upon leaving Athena College, his relationship with a 34 year old caretaker, and the skeletons in Silk's closet.

When I first began reading this book, I thought I was going to enjoy it, but I began to lose interest in the characters very quickly. I could not understand Coleman Silk, or his life decisions. I still find myself shaking my head at times.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

In Khaled Hosseini's second novel A Thousand Splendid Suns portrays life in Kabul as a woman. Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a rich man who grows up in squalor with her mother. After the loss of her mother, Mariam is forced into a marriage to a cruel man who beats emotionally and physically. Laila is the daughter of a teacher who looks forward to a future with education and achievements. In a moment her life takes a turn and she too finds herself in a marriage where domestic violence is frequent. The two become close friends through an unlikely situation.

I must admit, I loved this book. If I had to choose, I would say that I preferred it to The Kite Runner.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Jodi Picoult explores the balance of relationships and just how far will one go for the person they love.

Cam MacDonald is Chief of Police in Wheelock, Massachusetts where honour and tradition are upheld. Cam's world is turned upside down when two strangers come to town. The first, Cam's cousin, Jamie MacDonald confesses to murdering his ailing wife. The second, Mia slips into town and becomes an assistant at his wife's floral shop and begins to infiltrate his heart. What follows is a story that explores the notions of euthanasia, undying love and betrayal.

Where normally I can't put Picoult's book down and am challenged to face my own beliefs on the issues, Mercy fell flat for me. I didn't really like any of the characters and did not feel any empathy for their conditions or situations.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Ian McEwan deftly portrays the uncertainties of our post-9/11 world. Saturday follows Henry Perowne, a highly respected neurosurgeon, one full day. Perowne awakes in the very early hours of the morning to see an airplane in flames making an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport. In post-9/11 days the perception of a burning airplane making an emergency landing is disturbing and upsetting. The day continues with a series of intertwined events lead to a family crisis ending the day.

I enjoyed McEwan's writing and his insight into a world that struggles to find balance post 9/11. However, I dragged through the book, which I think was more representative of how tired I was at the time, than how much I liked the book.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

Lorna Landvik created five fascinating women of Freesia Court who find each other one fateful snowy evening during a snow ball fight. What seemed like a chance meeting turns into a monthly book club where Faith, Audrey, Merit, Slip and Kari share everything from their dreams and fears. All aspects of life are bared from children, marriage, Vietnam, political protests, domestic violence and homophobia.

I wanted so much to enjoy this book, but it fell flat for me. I have reflected for a few weeks on why I did not love the book the way I thought I would. I have wondered if it is because of a busy life that does not allow me to read longer than two minutes before falling asleep. Or, if it was the way the narration of the novel skipped from character to character with each chapter. Either way, the book was alright for me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Plain Truth

Plain Truth is a story of relationships. Katie Fisher is a young, unmarried Amish girl who is accused of smothering her newborn infant. Ellie Hathaway is a lawyer attempting to take a sabbatical from her career when circumstances bring the two of them together. Ellie begins to represent Katie who not only claims did not smother her infant, but swears she was never pregnant in the first place. To meet the bail stipulation Ellie moves in with the Fisher family. Through the court scenes and the scenes on the Amish farm Ellie and Katie's relationship builds and heals them both in ways that neither thought would ever happen. In true Picoult fashion the story raises many questions as one reads on and tries to find the twist that will inevitably come.

I enjoyed the book, but am beginning to wonder if I have read too many Jodi Picoult books. I love how she shows me all the gray in situations that I judge black or white, but I spend the novel trying to guess the big twist rather than enjoying the characters. Plain Truth gave me a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle in such a way that I gained respect for living Plain.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Skinny Dip

Chaz Perrone throws his wife, Joey over the side of a cruise ship because he assumed that she had figured out his multi-million dollar scam of fixing phosphorous readings in the Florida Everglades. Joey survives the fall into the ocean and is rescued by a retired cop who helps her seek revenge on her conniving husband. In a thriller that explores the slow killing of Everglades Hiaasen introduces a cast of unforgettable characters.

Skinny Dip was my first time reading a novel by Carl Hiaasen, and I must say that it definitely won't be my last. I loved Hiaasen's humour and use of irony through out the book. His characters are so vivid and honest it is hard not to enjoy even the most moral-lacking villain.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A First!!

For me anyway, I have been toying with the idea of blogging for awhile now. I keep an ongoing list of books I read and thought that maybe I would like to extend that to a blog. Then I became a first time mom and there were so many experiences, adventures and insecurities that I wanted to share. My next big idea came from returning to work with an infant, who is now a fun toddler, and having adventures and stresses to share. So, here I am not really sure in which direction this blog will go, but can almost guarantee that books and my life will come together in some way in this little corner of cyberspace!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Plunge

Here is my dive into the world of blogging!