Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"Today he should Commemorate Comrade Ogilivy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence. Winston though for a moment, then pulled the speak-write towards him and began dictating in Big Brother's familar style: a style at once military and pedantic, and because of the a trick of asking questions and then promptly answering them."

Pg 49 from Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis (5)

One day a woman of average means waltzes by a jewellery shop window and spots a GBP20,000 diamond necklace. She can't get it out of her head. Eventually she gets the idea of sharing it with friends, persuading them to chip in a grand each to buy the necklace. This is the story of 13 ordinary women, and one extraordinary adventure. This is the amazing true story of thirteen women who don't want to give up on their dreams. They club together to buy a gorgeous necklace, each of them get it for four weeks at a time. They meet every month to find out what the necklace (now dubbed 'Jewelia') has been up to. The club has some rules: if someone goes to Paris, they get the necklace. At least once, everyone has to wear the necklace whilst making love. It's now two years later, and the necklace has been loaned out to nieces, grandmas, friends and granddaughters. It has been worn by brides and colleagues and sisters and friends. And when it's their turn for the necklace the women of Jewelia have worn it for both the daily routines and special events of their lives, to teach school, to work in the farmer's market, to go fishing and skydiving. It's raised money for charity.It's started something. The Travelling Necklace is the story of how an object of desire became a catalyst for connection, friendship and more. It's like Calendar Girls, only maybe a bit more glamorous, glitzy and sparkling. It's a book people are going to buy for their best friends and their mothers.

This is another book that I just liked the cover and I picked it up and was entreated that it was a real story ...

The book is really a delightful book to read and will be interesting to see the movie when they bring it out !!! The concept is fascinating that 13 woman some of them strangers would invest over $1000 each to purchase a real Diamond Necklace that they will each share.

It is true that you never really know what to expect when you bring a group of woman together but one thing is for sure they forge a lasting friendship. You have 13 women from different backgrounds and each one sign up for this adventure for different reasons.

I found the book open and honest - As with one question that arose with possession and sharing the necklace ... And although in some cases the woman did not all agree they all grew in different ways ...

I related to a few of the women and a few stories stuck a cord with me ... One of them was when one of the women was getting upset because she felt that her opinions did not count or where being dismissed and she was not ready accustom to that ... She said that she was an only child which is what I am and that she was used to her ideas and comments being followed because their was no one to help her or say otherwise ... And she now found it hurtful if she speaks her mind in the group and they dismiss it ... The thing that she learnt was not to be over sensitive when your ideas and thoughts do not happen the way you imagined it ... I could totally relate to that but just never looked at it in that light ... Something that I need to work on ...

Another quote I loved was "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize" Love it ...

This book is a wee gem and I thoroughly enjoyed it ... If there is one thing that comes out of this book is that Women need other Women ....

I rate this book 5*****

If you are doing this book as part of your book club here is a link to some discussion questions that will interest you !!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dashing through the Snow by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark (4)

From beloved mother-daughter duo Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark comes a holiday treat you won't want to miss.

In the picturesque village of Branscombe, New Hampshire, the townsfolk are all pitching in to prepare for the first (and many hope annual) Festival of Joy. The night before the festival begins, a group of employees at the local market learn that they have won $160 million in the lottery. One of their co-workers, Duncan, decided at the last minute, on the advice of a pair of crooks masquerading as financial advisers, not to play. Then he goes missing. A second winning lottery ticket was purchased in the next town, but the winner hasn't come forward. Could Duncan have secretly bought it?

The Clarks' endearing heroes -- Alvirah Meehan, the amateur sleuth, and private investigator Regan Reilly -- have arrived in Branscombe for the festival. They are just the people to find out what is amiss. As they dig beneath the surface, they find that life in Branscombe is not as tranquil as it appears. So much for an old-fashioned weekend in the country.

Well what a great wee read ... To be honest I picked this book up mainly because of the cover and it was a nice hard backed book ... I had read some of Mary Higgins Clark books before a long time ago and I am so glad that I decided that I have rediscovered her again ...

The story is set in a small town where the communty all know each other and there still is the feeling of everyone helping each other out ... And now is a prefect time of year to read this book as it is set around Christmas ...

The book is really easy to read and just flows nicely ... There are really loveable characters along with other characters that you love to hate ... There is mystery, plotting and money involved which is a prefect recipe for a good story ...

This is a cute wee book that shows that people do have heart !!!

A rate this book 4 stars ****

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"I just tired to call his girlfriend for him, but her message box was full. What a lucky girl she is! As my grandmother would say, she certainly landed in a tub of butter"

Pg 147 Dashing Through the Snow by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dewey by Vicki Myron (4)

Dewey Readmore Books was the resident cat at Spencer Public Library. He was put in the book return one cold January night in 1988. When the staff found him the next morning, they decided to adopt him. After the library's board of trustees and the city council approved, the kitten was declawed, neutered, and given the proper vaccinations. A contest was held to pick a name, and Dewey Readmore Books was officially added to the staff. The staff cared for Dewey and donated their pop cans to feed the kitty. Patrons and friends from as far away as New York have donated money for Dewey's food.
Dewey generated lots of publicity for the library. He was featured in the local paper, Country magazine, Cat Fancy magazine, on the Sioux City television stations, in books, and on
postcards. He was a video star in Puss in Books, a documentary about library cats. Of course, Dewey was already the star of the library. Many people came in just to see him. Dewey even had his own job description. Check out Dewey as a supervisor of our staff.
Dewey passed away on November 29, 2006 due to complications from a stomach tumor. He had become very frail because of hyperthyroid disease for which he was receiving medication. He died in the arms of the library director, Vicki Myron. He had just celebrated his 19th birthday eleven days before he died. Although Dewey is gone, he will be remembered by thousands of people whom he cheered by simply being a loving presence in the library. Although we may get another library cat, Dewey will never be replaced. The library won't be the same without Dewey.

1. Reducing stress for all humans who pay attention to him.
2. Sitting by the front door every morning at 9:00 am to greet the public as they enter the library.
3. Sampling all boxes that enter the library for security problems and comfort level.
4. Attending all meetings in the Round Room as official library ambassador.
5. Providing comic relief for staff and visitors whenever possible.
6. Climbing in book bags and briefcases while patrons are studying or trying to retrieve needed papers underneath him.
7. Generating free national and world-wide publicity for Spencer Public Library. (This entails sitting still for photographs, smiling for the camera, and generally being cute.)
8. Working toward status as world's most finicky cat by refusing all but the most expensive, delectable foods---and even turning up his nose at those most of the time.

Thanks Heidi for recommending me this book .... I loved it ... Not only is it a lovely story but it makes it all that more precious because it happened ....

It just goes to show that we all can make a difference ... It mentions in the book about how even through hard and trying times you may not get out of your situations but if you show a little bit of love and attention to people it helps making it easier ...

This lovable cat not only caught the hearts of the people of Spencer but reached out worldwide ...

A gorgeous story that I would highly recommend whether you are a cat lover or not I guarantee your heart strings will be pulled ....

I rate this book 4 ****

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1)

Rahel returns to her childhood home on a rainy summer's day after twenty-three years' absence. The reason that she is coming back is to see her twin brother, Estha. The only members of her family living in the house now are Baby Kochamma, Rahel's grandaunt, and Estha. Rahel recalls how very close she and her twin were, like one spirit. The twins are now thirty-one, the age that their mother was when she died. On entering the house, Rahel sees the bright blue Plymouth parked outside. Thoughts, memories and recollections come to her, with tastes, visions and smells

Ok ... this is a book that I found really difficult to read !!! I searched and searched the net and found a huge number of people who just loved this book ... It seems to be the norm recently that alot of the huge best seller books like 'The Time Travellers Wife' ,'Wuthering Heights' and this one I just did not get all the hype !!

I found this book difficult in many ways firstly I found it confusing with the characters names ... Most of the characters had a couple of names they where called by and this kept swapping throughout the book ... I had to keep referring to the back of the book to see who was who ... I found throughout the book it jumped from one story to another, and to boot I found the terminology was quite difficult to understand ...

And have to admit that I really skimmed through the last few chapters because I really wanted it over and done with ...

On a more positive note I have to say the detail in the book is wonderful and very descriptive.

If this book was not one on my reading challenge I think I would have given up a few weeks ago as it took me 3 weeks to read it ...

If you are doing this book and wish to have a more detailed account or study questions etc here's a great link

I rate this book 1*

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"As we pulled each branch out of the box. Dewey lunged at it. He wanted to sniff and chew every green piece of plastic sticking out of every green wire branch. He pulled a few plastic needles off the tree and started working them around in his mouth"

Pg 110 of Dewey by Vicki Myron

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"That may be," he said caustically. "But Rome was not built in a day. Keep it in mind, Comrade, that this is not your Oxford college. For you what is a nonsense, for Masses it is something different"

Pg 279 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finally here !!!

Well girlies ... Twilight is finally here this week ..... So will be going out for dinner and then movies later with our other halves .... I will post times etc later on .... Looking forward to it ... All you need to do is buy a book for a present and we will swap them on Friday xxxxxxx

OK everything is booked ... The movie is at 6:40 so we need to meet in the front at 6:30 if not earlier .... Then we are going to head and get some pizza !!!! Cannot wait

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers

"The smoke rose in dense fumes and arranged itself in complex patterns against the sky. People crowded around at a safe distance, read meanings into them"

Pg 220 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Discussion Questions for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Well I know that we are not meeting to discuss this book as it is one of our summer reads .... But it is a brilliant book !!! And I loved it !!! It has to be one of the best books I have read all year !!! Anyway here are the discussion questions for the book ... Enjoy !!!

1. What was it like to read a novel composed entirely of letters? What do letters offer that no other form of writing (not even emails) can convey?

2. What makes Sidney and Sophie ideal friends for Juliet? What common ground do they share? Who has been a similar advocate in your life?

3. Dawsey first wrote to Juliet because books, on Charles Lamb or otherwise, were so difficult to obtain on Guernsey in the aftermath of the war. What differences did you note between bookselling in the novel and bookselling in your world? What makes book lovers unique, across all generations?

4. What were your first impressions of Dawsey? How was he different from the other men Juliet had known?

5. Discuss the poets, novelists, biographers, and other writers who capture the hearts of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. What does a reader’s taste in books say about his or her personality? Whose lives were changed the most by membership in the society?

6. Juliet occasionally receives mean-spirited correspondence from strangers, accusing both Elizabeth and Juliet of being immoral. What accounts for their judgmental ways?

7. In what ways were Juliet and Elizabeth kindred spirits? What did Elizabeth’s spontaneous invention of the society, as well as her brave final act, say about her approach to life?

8. Numerous Guernsey residents give Juliet access to their private memories of the occupation. Which voices were most memorable for you? What was the effect of reading a variety of responses to a shared tragedy?

9. Kit and Juliet complete each other in many ways. What did they need from each other? What qualities make Juliet an unconventional, excellent mother?

10. How did Remy’s presence enhance the lives of those on Guernsey? Through her survival, what recollections, hopes, and lessons also survived?

11. Juliet rejects marriage proposals from a man who is a stereotypical “great catch.” How would you have handled Juliet’s romantic entanglement? What truly makes someone a “great catch”?

12. What was the effect of reading a novel about an author’s experiences with writing, editing, and getting published? Did this enhance the book’s realism, though Juliet’s experience is a bit different from that of debut novelist Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece, children’s book author Annie Barrows?

13. What historical facts about life in England during World War II were you especially surprised to discover? What traits, such as remarkable stamina, are captured in a detail such as potato peel pie? In what ways does fiction provide a means for more fully understanding a non-fiction truth?

14. Which of the members of the Society is your favorite? Whose literary opinions are most like your own?15. Do you agree with Isola that “reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones”?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Standing for Something by Gordon by Hinckley (5)

"We are forgetting God, whose commandments we have neglected and in some cases forgotten, and which we seem reluctant- or too undisciplined- to obey. In too many ways, we have substituted human sophistry for the wisdom of the Almighty.
America is still strong, but destructive forces have been and are at work. There is a serious unsteadiness in our country's stance in terms of morality, ethics, principles, and behavior. We as a people and a nation have increasingly neglected and abandoned time-honored virtues that have been proven through the centuries to keep human beings individually, and therefore collectively, strong."

I have been reading quite abit recently and alot of my most recent books have focused on quite heavy subjects so I thought I really need to do some uplifting reading so I picked up "Standing for Something" Even though it does focus on America's problems you can see the breakdown of this virtues in any country. But President Hinckley gives us hope ...

"Healing in our hearts and in our homes, and subsequently throughout society, will begin to occur when we individually and collectively return to the code of ethics and the canons of divine truth that our honored forefathers lived by."

He outlines in his book, this code of ethics, by way of the following ten virtues:

1) Love: The Lodestar of Life
Love is the only force that can erase the differences between people or bridge the chasms of bitterness.
2) Honesty: Where There Is Honesty, Other Virtues Will Follow
In our day, those found in dishonesty aren't put to death, but something within them dies. Conscience chokes, character withers, self-respect vanishes, integrity dies. How cheaply some men and women sell their good names!
3) Making a Case for Morality
Both experience and divine wisdom dictate that moral virtue and cleanliness pave the way that leads to strength of character, peace of mind and heart, and happiness in life.
4) Our Fading Civility
Civility carries with it the essence of courtesy, politeness, and consideration of others. All of the education and accomplishments in the world will not count for much unless they are accompanied by marks of gentility, of respect for others, of going the extra mile.
5) Learning: "With All Thy Getting Get Understanding"
No matter how old we become, we can acquire knowledge and use it. We can gather wisdom and profit from it. We can grow and progress and improve- and, in the process, strengthen the lives of those within our circle of influence.
6) The Twin Virtues of Forgiveness and Mercy
Hatred always fails and bitterness always destroys. Are there virtues more in need of application in our day, a time marked by litigious proceedings and heated exchanges, than those of forgiving, forgetting, and extending mercy to those who may have wronged us or let us down?
7) Thrift and Industry: Getting Our Houses in Order
I commend to all the virtues of industry and thift, which I believe go hand in hand. The Labor and thrift of the people make a nation, a community, or a family strong. Work and thrift make the family independent.
8) Gratitude: A Sign of Maturity
Gratitude is the beginning of civility, of decency and goodness, of a recognition that we cannot afford to be arrogant. We should walk with the knowledge that we will need help every step of the way.
9) Optimism in the Face of Cynicism
My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we "accentuate the positive." I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort.
10) Faith: Our Only Hope
Great buildings were never constructed on uncertain foundations. Great causes were never brought to success by vacillating leaders. Faith has always been , and always must be, at the root of any meaningful practice and endeavor.
There are so many beautiful quotes in this book that I could go on all day writing them down but we really need to get back to the basics ... And alot of the things in this book you would just take for granted but you can see in today's world how even the simple things like gratitude is breaking down ...

I loved the quote of "With that frame of reference, my plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we "accentuate the positive". I just thought that was lovely ...

I loved this book and rate it 5*****

President Hinckley's last testimony

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