October 24, 2014

oh now isn't that sad!

I am a reader.

I am a reader.

I am a reader.

I repeat this to myself over and over. But right now it just doesn't seem to be true.  I have always been the type to have a book in the bathroom and one that I carry with me just incase I have a minute.  But right now I just don't seem to take the time to read.  

Last week or so I did allow myself to read Unbroken.  What an amazing story.  I was in shock throughout most of it...and the fact that it is a true story left me feeling heartbroken and grateful and in awe.  the Human Spirit is strong and amazing.  A person's character goes with them during joyful, happy times as well as those times when integrity is put to the test.

I have read WWII stories before, but most has taken place in Germany on that part of the war.  Not in Japan's POW camps.  Why can't people simply treat each other with kindness...imagine how different the world would be then and now if we were all kind.

As for the future of me reading...it doesn't look promising.  But I am hopeful.  Until that time when I have mutiple books open at a time I will keep repeating

I am a reader

I am a reader

I am a reader.

September 15, 2013

A Thousand Splendid Suns

What a vacation from reading I have taken.  Although vacation would imply I wanted to...I have missed reading, but I just haven't made the time lately to sit down and read.  I was so used to reading up a storm when I nursed Ryan that when I stopped nursing I also stopped reading.

Well I am back!

And what a book to start with!  This was a powerful read.  It is about two women who lives overlap for a while and as a result well never be the same.  It takes place in Afghanistan (did I spell that right?)  And the horrors that where described were mind blowing.  I knew that women were held in lower regard, but this was disturbing.  The rights that women lack are appalling and made me grateful for the choices I have...and it kind of makes me mad at the silly woman who think they are still being oppressed here in the USA.  The story starts in the 70s and end somewhere around 2005.

Mariam was raised believing she was an annoyance, a nothing, a burden.  Her mother had her unmarried, the father who already had several wives and children took care of the mother and daughter but didn't want them around to soil his reputation.  As a child Mariam worshiped the ground Jalil (her father) walked on and waited every week for his visit.  Mariam's mother suffered from some sort of mental issues and was mean spirited and cruel in her words and hopes for her only daughter.  Eventually Mariam marries a very old man and as it turns out life can go from hard to terrible.  After losing baby after baby Mariam's husband grows mean and abusive, quickly.  At one point he made her chew rocks...just the thought makes my teeth hurt.  Meanwhile the war in their city, Kabul, and surrounding areas raged during the 80's and 90's.

Laila was a little girl in the 90's.  She was the daughter of a father who believed in education, and thinking and a mother who was fierce...in all the good ways.  She was the type of woman who wore slacks and a blouse rather than the restrictions of their baroqs.  She grew up knowing she had the opportunities to go to school and make a difference in the world.  She also grew up in love with the boy next door. 

But the war raged on.  Through a series of tragic events Laila ends up married to the same old, terrible man that Mariam is.  And Mariam hates her for it...for a while.  The two women eventually form a bond of sisterhood.  Helping each other through the darkest of times and making a miserable life into something to be proud of.  I will not spoil the ending...

It is a story that should be read the hardest part was that some of the words where hard to pronounce and I would mix them up a bit, only a bit though.  This is a country that as Americans we dislike and hate for 9/11.  We easily forget that many of the people of this country are under much stronger and more constant attacks than the horrific one the USA endured.  After reading this book I gained a little more understanding of the people who we often assume as terrorist but are  women and children and men who are making it work in some pretty awful circumstances with extremely evil men making it harder and more awful to do so.

It is great to be reading again...and this was a great start.

March 21, 2013

Heaven is Here

 I am sure by now every Mormon Mommy and probably many other moms know who Stephanie Nielson is.      I first learned of her from a friend who followed her blog and I started following her as well shortly after her accident.  To say she is amazing is putting it lightly.

Her book was a wonderful memoir to read this month.  I read in a book review about the first part of the book being all rainbows and butterflies.  And it was.   It was kind of annoying until she wrote that one of her rules to her blog writing was to be positive and not complain.  So it makes since that her book would carry the same tune.  Obviously no one is immune to difficulty but how we decide to handle is an individual choice. Even as she talked about her pain and recovery it wasn't ever in the voice of complaint or anything just the facts of what she went through and the true emotions she felt at the time.

In the next 2 sections of the book Stephanie shows strength of character, testimony, body, mind and spirit.  I can't imagine, nor do I really want to, the pain and suffering she and the ones she loved most went through but I am glad she shared her story, thoughts and testimony.  She did it in such a way that I never once felt like she was a better mom that I will never be or that I stink because my trials seem so minor and I still complain and whine and feel ugly and all that.  She didn't once make me feel guilty for my short comings.  She instead was inspiring in a way like a cheerleader and sweet grandma sort of way.  Does that make sense?  I think that if I was to sit down with her she would hug me and then cheer me at the same time ....thus the cheerleader and Grandma mixture.

Anyway...it was a wonderful book, worth the money and time.  I highly recommend this one!  

March 15, 2013

Safe Haven

There is something wonderful about a Nicholas Sparks book.  Always so wonderful.

What a love story this was.  

Katie is running from a scary past, Alex is ready to move on from a past filled with love and loss and they do so together.  sigh.  Katie was in an abusive,awful marriage and thankfully she had the strength to get out.  Meanwhile Alex has 2 darling children who are without a mother.  He works hard and makes sure they are a happy family.

In all honestly this was a love story of different kinds of love: romantic love (duh) the love of a father, friendship, and the love of a wife.

Unlike some of Sparks' book this story has no naked scenes...oh wait...maybe one but it was short and horribly sad.  Nothing to keep anyone from reading this love story.

I liked this novel, it was an easy read, intense, sweet, and touching.  I can't wait to watch the movie...someday.

February 26, 2013

The Fragrance of Her Name

At first I thought this book was weird, then delightful, then way too long.

It is about a young lady named Lauryn who has been haunted all her life by her dead great uncle Brand, meanwhile a Brands great nephew is being haunted by Brand's dead wife Lauralynn who is Lauryn's great aunt.

Lauralynn's body was never found and there for she has never been at rest and Brand can't be at rest without his one true love.

After years of never knowing about each other Lauryn and Brant (the nephew) meet and begin their search of Laurlynn's body together in the hope of putting these two souls at rest and joined once and for all.

Sigh....what a book.

I am not sure if I had a hard time because it was so long (or at last felt like it) or if I made the mistake of starting Downton Abby while in the middle of the book.  Made it hard to focus on reading when I really just wanted to watch TV.

Anyway.  It is a good story, sweet love story (times 2).

The Heavenly Surrender

This has been bar for my favorite McClure book so far.  It was wonderful from the get go.

I no longer have the book so I have no clue the names of the people in them....deal with it.

The story goes...a young (obviously hot) Irish farmer puts a want add for a wife in the paper.  Not a romantic wife...a woman to work side by side to cook and clean for him.  Not kiss.  He expected and hoped for an older lady who knew what she was doing.  Instead he got a young beautiful city girl.

One of the great things about these romance novels is that you know exactly how it will end...the fun is how. This book was filled with passion (clean) and some really intense moments.  When I say intense I really mean bad guys trying to kill the good guys.

So the things I didn't like about this (and probably all McClure books for that matter)  THE LONG CHAPTERS are killing me.  There is no real good stopping place.  So annoying.  Also in the last pages of the book it was so intense...the kind of intense where I was ready to stay up until 1 am to finish it.  It became a nail bitter.  SO GOOD....until I realize the last pages where MISSING.  that has nothing to do with the author but so frustrating...although Dave and I did have a good laugh about it.

I have read 3 McClure books now and this is my favorite.

February 5, 2013

Dusty Briches

Ahhhh....nothing beats a story about cowboys!  Why is that?

Dusty is the daughter of the ranch owner and she grew up surrounded by ranch hands...many of which were very handsome (duh).  One of which she fell in love with as a little girl.  When she was 14 her cowboy (who was 20) left the ranch and broke her heart...instead of dealing with that heart ache like a normal person she mopped around until the banker's son started courting her and then he broke her heart and instead of dealing with it she grew bitter and angry and held on to her hurt day in and day out.  She had a father and sister who then had to deal with Dusty being a downer all the time.  And then on glorious day her cowboy came back to work on the ranch.  Would he want a bitter Dusty?  Would he help her find her true self again?  Would she be able to let go of all that ugliness inside her black whole of a heart to find true love once again in a pair of Levi's?

Oh man.  Did he. and oh boy did she (oh did I ruin it for you?)  I guess I should have said SPOILER ALERT...but in all honestly it is pretty obvious who is going to end up with who from the start.

I do enjoy a good western romance.  And this was a page turner...in fact I turned on the TV and instead of doing dishes I finished the book this morning.  GASP.  I am that way.  At times it was a little far fetched...but isn't that why we love them so much?

Here is what I didn't like about the book....I didn't know what year it was set in.  A silly thing really but it drove me nuts.  Also...they said things to each other that I doubt they would have said back then I always picture people back then a little more reserved and proper even on a rach....but that is most books.  If a book was written so that it matched real true life it would be slightly boring.  Right?  Ryder (the handsome cowboy) would sweep Dusty off her feet carry her to the barn and "kiss her lips raw."  I mean did they really do that?  The hired help making out with the daughters?  I bet so.  I think my biggest issues was how possessive the handsome cowboy was.  He would practically force the girl to kiss him.  Granted she wanted to and all that but did he have to hold her hands behind her back.  There were a few things that he said to her and did that I thought was a sign of a horrible future relationship.  Having said that....he is still a cowboy and there is something great about that.

I am glad I read this book and although it might seem like there was more wrong about it than right I liked it and would suggest it to others to read.  It was a page turner.  Also...it is a romance and since there isn't a sex scene that lasts pages like many romances it is clean with lots of wonderfully long kissing scenes.  And kissing passionately doesn't make me feel like I should be skipping it.  So that is a nice thing about this book.

If you have a week without anything to read pick it up...and be ready to fall for a cowboy...or at least start talking like one in your head.