Monday, March 29, 2010

Bravo, Jodi Picoult! House Rules is Great!

House Rules: A NovelI finished reading House Rules: A Novel by Jodi Picoult.  It's the story about an 18-year-old boy named Jacob Hunt who has Asperger's Syndrome, is very interested in forensics and crime solving, and finds himself accused of murder.

I always find the level of research Jodi Picoult does for her novels amazing, and the research for this particular project was even more fascinating.  When I went to her book signing, Jodi Picoult explained the research she did by talking to families with children with Asperger's as well as people with the syndrome.  If you've never met a person who has Autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this will give you a better idea of the impact it has on the person and their family.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate this book a 3.5.  It's a good read.  The ending seemed a little rushed and flat to me, but overall it was good.

To read more about House Rules: A Novel by Jodi Picoult on Amazon.com, click here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I don't care how old you are - Wonder Woman is forever cool!

Wonder Woman: Love and Murder SC (Wonder Woman (Graphic Novels))A few weeks ago, I read Wonder Woman: Love and Murder SC by Jodi Picoult.  I have to admit, it's been quite a few years since I've read a comic book and I really only bought this one because it was written by Jodi Picoult, but it reminded me how much I really enjoy Wonder Woman.

It's been decades since I dawned my Wonder Woman under-roos or watched The Justice League cartoons, but reading Wonder Woman: Love and Murder SC made me feel nostalgic. 

The Amazon Warrior disguised as Special Agent Diana Prince is given the assignment of capturing Wonder Woman while evil is hiding in the shadows.  Whatever is a super hero to do?

This was another quick read for me.  It is a well written story that's exciting, and as any good comic book does, makes you just want to read more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Jodi Picoult New Book Day!

House Rules: A NovelFor me, today is the day I pick up Jodi Picoult's latest novel, House Rules.  It's a story about a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome, which greatly affects his family.  When he gets accused, the family begins to tear at the seams.

To date, I have read 10 of Jodi Picoult's 18 books listed below in the order that I read them):

My favorite of what I've read is My Sister's Keeper, although the movie, in my opinion, did not do Ms. Picoult's novel justice.  The director strayed from the story too much, and for a writer who's known for her endings, the movie was greatly disappointing.  But, the book is fabulous and is the one I recommend people read first when I recommend Jodi Picoult.

My least favorite book of hers, unfortunately, was the one she release last year, Handle with Care.  First, let me say that the story was told well and beautifully written.  I did not like one of the main characters, though, throughout the entire book.  This coupled with the ending which I did not like at all makes this book the one I recommend that people don't read. 

This didn't sour me on Ms. Picoult's books, though.  I continue to look forward to each of her new creations and getting drawn into the towns and people she writes about in her many pages.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What I'm Reading Now...

Here's a quick update of what I'm up to now since I'm a little behind in writing about what I've read so far this year.

Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy Books)Last night, I began reading Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace.  It's the first in the Betsy-Tacy book series.

I'm only a couple pages into the series, so I can't provide too much feedback yet.  I saw one of the books in the series when I was at the bookstore a few months back, and I figured I should start at the beginning of the series so I don't miss anything.

I also wanted a quick read before I pick up Jodi Picoult's new novel on House Rules Wednesday.  It came out last Tuesday, but I'm going to a book signing next week and couldn't get to the bookstore to pick it up earlier (by the way, I am SOOOOO excited!).


Stuart LittleMy son and I are also reading Stuart Little by E.B. White one chapter at a time before bed.  To the best of my recollection, I have not read Stuart Little (insert shock and awe here), so I am very excited about reading now with my little guy.

I don't know why I never got around to reading this when I was younger.  It may be one of those that I started reading at one point, but never finished.  I was very good at that, kind of like the pile of crochet projects I have in my living room that are half done.  Some things never change!


Chicago: A BiographyI am still plugging away at Dominic Pacyga's Chicago: A Biography.  I said it before and I'll say it again: it took me 12 weeks to take Dr. Pacyga's class.  I am taking my time to finish his book!

Right now, I'm still only about 50 pages into the book.  I'm just about at the Civil War.  I just read about the outbreaks of cholera, and am thankful that I'm here during this era instead of then. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

A sweet story about a mother and daughter

Life on the Refrigerator Door: A Novel in Notes
I read Alice Kuiper's Life on the Refrigerator Door: A Novel in Notes in around 90 minutes one Sunday afternoon (I could have done it much quicker, but a little someone in my house decided that Mommy needed to get something about every 5-10 minutes).

This is a sweet for the most part, bitter at some moments, and overall touching story of a single mother and teenage daughter amidst the hustle and bustle of life.  In the middle of it all, the mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, and life as they know it begins to change.  But still, the two use their notes to each other to say what's on their mind, and at times, the difficult things that they can't bear to say face-to-face.

This story will make you laugh and cry and be angry and uplifted all in its brief pages.  It reminds me of the strength of those I know who are breast cancer survivors, and those whose strength is felt beyond the last moments of their lives.  Even if breast cancer hasn't touched your life, you'll enjoy the banter that happens between mother and daughter.  I can't even count how many times in my life I heard my mother ask me if I had my key, and this story reminded me of those exchanges we have with our parents when they say "I love you" without actually saying the words.

I really enjoy books done in this manner.  For one thing, they're quick reads.  It's the perfect size book to put on some nice music, have a cup of tea, and enjoy being drawn into a world other than your own, even for just a few minutes.

My post wouldn't be complete without a nod to those strong women I know who are breast cancer survivors.  To Annie, Ruth, Bev, and Pat - Your strength, perseverance, compassion and heart are inspiring.  And to two women I never had the privilege of meeting - Francis and Lorraine - Your strength is alive in the spirit of your children and grandchildren whom I dearly love and admire.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another Crochet Mystery Completed

What happens when my laptop goes cap-put? You slack off on your blog. Well...guilty as charged! At least I didn't slack off on the reading.

Since my last post, I have finished 5 books. That means in the first two months of the year, I have read a total of 11 books. I can hardly believe it!

So my next few posts are going to be about the books I've finished. I've already started on book #12 for the year and I hope to finish that one soon.

Now...back to the crochet mystery!

A Stitch in Crime (A Crochet Mystery)I read Betty Hechtman's A Stitch in Crime (A Crochet Mystery).  It's the fourth book in her crochet mystery series, and this one was just as good as the others.

Molly Pink certainly stepped in it this time, even though she tries her hardest to avoid it.  This particular chapter in the series took a little longer than the others to get to the crime, but it was well worth the wait.

Molly also finds herself in the same little love predicament between Barry and Mason.  Both gentlemen bring something different to the table, giving Molly support in different ways.

And in the end, I didn't know who-done-it and was surprised when the person was revealed.

The book was a quick read and very enjoyable.  With all the talk about "fusion crochet", I taught myself how to do Tunisian crochet which is very much like a hybrid between crochet and knitting.  I don't know what the character Adele would think of me since she is very anti-knitting, but I for one am enjoying it!

Read more about this book on Amazon.com at the following link:  A Stitch in Crime (A Crochet Mystery)