Sunday, January 25, 2009

new book to my favorites list

this is easily one of the most beautiful books i have ever read.
of course, it's set in my favorite time period and place, so it was easy to get lost in this series of letters that unfolded into a gorgeous story about books, the German Occupation of the Channel Islands (Guernsey), the powerful binds of friends and a unexpected romance.

i may be slightly ignorant of history, but i had no idea that the germans occupied these islands, and that the people living there were cut off from the world. did you? actually don’t say if you did, it would just make me feel bad.

i think that one of the things i really loved about this book is that people who weren’t necessarily book people, but they became book-lovers out of necessity of precarious situations. a community is built because of one person has a pig and tells a fib to a german officer…

it’s preposterous to even contemplate a situation that would be similar for today—the world was such a different place. we’re sometimes over-scheduled, we often don’t know our neighbors, and we may not be comfortable into a group of strangers. and what are the odds of being cut off from the rest of the world (although, I sometimes feel that way in Idaho) when we have many more devices for communication than letters and telegrams? and why don't we write more letters? i love the thought of getting something other than dish bill in my mail box!

i suppose, it’s a romantic time to think about… the end of war, rebuilding and freedoms won. such a hopeful time. this is probably why I love books from this point in history. and i know that i’ve idealized the times, but it’s nice to look back and see how a world ravaged by war turned itself around. i suppose it also gives me hope for the future.

if you also like this slice of history, have I told you how much I love Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher? it’s my all-time favorite book! it's about a girl who is left to attend school in england, while her family (mom, dad and sister) live in singapore right before the war. judith is one of my favorite characters because she wasn't a milquetoasty girl who wallowed in self-pity about being left behind, nor did she sap on and on about needing a man. she pulled herself together and relied on herself to get her thru. she inspires me to be a stronger woman!

so that's my favorite book … what’s yours?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

off of the soapbox

okay, so now we know i'm passionate about my profession... let's talk about books again.

i'm going to backtrack a little, because i think i built up this thing about the book The Shack. i finished it awhile ago, but didn't comment because of two main reasons:

  1. i don't want to sound forced, preachy or self-righteous. the thing is, this book made me reconsider how i think about God in my life. more specifically, the way i sometimes feel distanced from Him. however, that it's my sin and my hostile, dissatisfaction with stuff that made me feel distanced. it's not that He has forsaken me since i've moved to idaho, but i made my idaho existence my own prison away from Him. my anger, disappointment and melancholy comes from how i have dealt with situations, and those are my walls--not His, or anyone else's, for that matter.

  2. it convicted me in my sins--and who wants to hear about that? i certainly don't. it's those sins that isolate me from God and a lot of people in my life. it's the judgments i offhandedly make, when i'm actually not worthy of making of them. i mean, is it really necessary for me to snarkily comment about the woman at mall today who was far too old to be wearing the pink knock-off uggs with the pom-poms? or am i any better of a mother than the woman who is pregnant with yet another brat to add to her ill-behaving and poor-parented brood... just because they are buggin' me at every turn in the grocery store! in the wide scheme of things, let's take a look at the child has been heard to drop the f-bomb?! yeah, that would be my nine year old.

{big sigh} it's a good book--i love the imagery and imagination. i recommend it with caution--prepare yourself for serious introspection rather than a great literature experience.

happy reading!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

just a thought...

"Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

not only am i a librarian, but i am a library user... i love libraries and what they have to offer. i can remember being at my library in Arvada, on snowy sunday afternoons doing homework--really i was there not out kissing boys like my parents {might have} thought. i can remember begging them to hire me--which they never did. i can remember the snarky librarians who never seemed to remove themselves from their chairs at the reference desk...

but more recently, i can't tell you the value of storytime for a poor, poor SaHM! forget about the importance of early literacy, blah, blah, blah... what about the time where someone else was entertaining my children... for free?! (that is when we weren't being kicked out of storytimes, thank you librarians of Stanley Lake)...

and altho the snarky librarians are retiring (i hope) bringing in a whole new crop of library and information specialists (thank you SJSU), libraries are becoming endangered. they are closing at alarming numbers--don't let this happen to yours!

please use your local library!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

great books of 2008

sadly, i'm so behind!
i haven't read all of them, so it looks like i'll be very busy reading!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Shaffer, Mary Ann
(i can't tell you how mcuh i'm loving this book right now! i'm savoring it, making it last.)

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Stein, Garth

People of the Book
Brooks, Geraldine

The Story of Edgar Sawtell
Wroblewski, David

Beginner's Greek
Collins, James

The Brass Verdict
Connelly, Michael

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Diaz, Junot

The 19th Wife
Ebershoff, David

The Mistress of the Art of Death
Franklin, Ariana

The Cellist of Sarajevo
Galloway, Steven

Jordon, Hillary

Unaccustomed Earth
Lahiri, Juhumpa

Patchett, Ann

Olive Kitteridge
Strout, Elizabeth

this list came from the collective brain of the Fiction-L listserv librarians, and my personal opinions on what sounded good! enjoy!