Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review: Botticelli's Secret

I finally read a non-baby related novel this week! Hurray! Marina Fiorato's The Botticelli Secret caught my attention because I had thoroughly enjoyed her Glassblower of Murano novel a few years ago.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the Botticelli Secret! Luciana Vetra, a prostitute in 1482's Florence, is asked to sit for what will become Botticelli's famous painting Primavera. At the end of her sitting Luciana finds a small replica of the painting with only her face missing. She is feeling frustrated that she has wasted a day unable to "turn tricks", and with Botticelli acting strangely after something Luciana has said in conversation-she steals the painting, replacing it with a leaflet she received earlier in the day from a monk, Brother Guido. Almost immediately her roommate, then her lover are brutally murdered.
She seeks the safety of  Brother Guido only to find that another monk from the printing press at the monastery has been murdered as well. Brother Guido and Luciana flee the city for the protection of Brother Guido's uncle, a nobleman in Pisa. Brother Guido and Luciana realize that this miniature painting holds many secrets about an alliance of prominent figures and so the mystery unfolds.
Botticelli's Primavera

There has apparently been many interpretations of Botticelli's Primavera, but the one revealed in The Botticelli Secret is quite interesting. I felt like I was reading an Italian version of the Da Vinci Code with a very crude lead female character who is falling in love with a devoted man of the cloth. At times the novel felt a bit drawn out, but overall I truly enjoyed this book!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins May 27, 2011

It's time for Friday Fill-Ins again-yay!! Remember my answers are in RED! we go!

1. This week I enjoyed a visit from my in-laws, spent time with a new friend, read a bunch of baby books, went to the dentist for a filling, and hung out with my husband in the evenings!

2. I don't like making returns.

3. It's all about getting ready for the baby right now!!

4. After all this rain I can't wait to sit in the sun.

5. I demand sunshine!

6. So far I love my life's path, it's filled with love and fun.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with friends, tomorrow my plans include a trip to Edmonton or Calgary to pick-up a lawnmower and then a dresser for the baby  and Sunday, I want to relax with husband!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Rut

btt buttonQuestion May 26, 2011: Do you ever feel like you’re in a reading rut? That you don’t read enough variety? That you need to branch out, spread your literary wings and explore other genres, flavors, styles?

My answer:  I have definitely had that feeling before!! Sometimes I like to immerse myself in a particular author or genre-but I usually have enough after about 2-3 books-especially if there are a bunch of other books I want to read. My last book review post was about Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea cycle and I did feel like I was a bit stuck in a  self created rut because I wanted to read all 4 books in a row, but there were so many baby related books I wanted to read I had a hard time concentrating on anything else!  Generally speaking though, I think I do read a bit of a variety from sci-fi and fantasy, to literature (often what's popular), historical fiction, nd now some YA too.

What about you my dear readers??

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review: The Earthsea Cycle books 1-3

I've been reading the first three novels in Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle over the past month or so (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore). My cousin-in-law lent them to to me recently after discussing sci-fi and fantasy works that we;'ve enjoyed. I love getting book recommendations, and I rarely get sci-fi or fantasy recommendations so I was super excited for these novels. Unfortunately my mind has been highly occupied with baby related reading material and was not really giving Le Guin's work my full attention. There is a fourth book in the cycle (Tehanu)b and I'm not sure if I'll get around to reading it or not. Earthsea is a magical (obviously fictional) realm made up of a sea with many islands-all things that make for a good basis for sci-fi/fantasy in my opinion! The novels are geared to more of a young adult audience in my opinion, and as a whole are fairly interesting, but as I said, my mind has been preoccupied, so I don't think I appreciated Le Guin's work as much as I would of had I read these books at another time. If you like this genre and like a fairly quick read, then I would recommend Le Guin's Earthesea cycle!

Friday Fill-Ins May 20, 2011

Oh Friday Fill-Ins!! My answers are in RED!! we go!

1. I see rainbows every time it rains in Red Deer (for real!!)

2. Don't scratch.

3. They begin at the beginning.

4. I wish I started keeping track of the books I read so many years earlier.

5. This I know: I can't wait for baby Girardin to arrive!!

6. I love having breakfast for dinner.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the beginning of the long weekend, tomorrow my plans include going tot he farmer's market and a visit from my in-laws, and Sunday, I want to sleep in and enjoy some company!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Age Appropriate AND Age Inappropriate

I didn't get around to doing Booking Through Thursday last week, and it just so happens that this week is a bit of an extension from last week-so I will do both!

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May 12, 2011:
Do you read books “meant” for other age groups? Adult books when you were a child; Young-Adult books now that you’re grown; Picture books just for kicks … You know … books not “meant” for you. Or do you pretty much stick to what’s written for people your age?
May 19, 2011:
          In contrast to last week’s question–What do you think of censoring books BECAUSE of
          their intended age? Say, books too “old” for your kids to read?

My answers: I do read books meant for other age groups. I've read a few young adult novels recently and really enjoyed them (Hugner Games Trilogy!!). When I was in late elementary and early junior high I read a lot of Stephen King books-I'm not sure that those were above my age level necessarily but I know my mom thought they were and wouldn't let me read Gerald's Game because she felt like it was inappropriate.I actually think she threw it out after reading it because she found it so offensive.  I could easily have found a copy at the library but because my parents had never told me what I could or couldn't read I guess I just accepted that if it was that bad I probably didn't want to read it anyway. When I look at the  description of the novel I'm glad that I didn't read it!! So how do I feel about books being "censored" based on age...well censored is a pretty strong word, but I do think that some material -specifically of a highly violent or sexual-or violent AND sexual nature-is inappropriate for younger readers-but I also think it depends on the individual, and I think parents not only have a right, but an obligation to protect their children.  I don't necessarily think a parent should just say "no absolutely not" to a novel without a very good reason-and if anything I think they should then read the book in question to determine why they don't want their child reading it and have a discussion about it. I may feel differently once it comes to my own children though!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What I've been reading lately

Hello bog-I miss you. Yes I have been posting Booking Through Thursday and Friday Fill-Ins fairly regularly, but I have not been posting many book reviews-and those that I have posted haven't had as many details as they used to.

I thought that when I went on maternity leave 8 weeks early that I would have tons of free time to read and blog, and knit, and relax. Well...I do..but I don't seem to be reading fiction very much right now-I've been reading pregnancy, baby, and breastfeeding books OH MY! 

When I found out I was pregnant I didn't want that to be all I blogged about, and I don't want this to become a baby blog. I LOVE baby blogs-or family blogs, especially if I know the person writing, but I started this blog to talk about my reading (oh ya and beading) endeavours. I realize that blogging about baby related books is still book related, but I don't really feel like sharing all my thoughts and opinions about that kind of material on this blog.

Ideas and beliefs about parenting are so individual and for some reason always under criticism from others. Maybe criticism isn't necessarily the right word to use, but everyone has an opinion about every single little thing to do with babies and parenting, and there is so much information and misinformation available these days! Many of the ideas I've come across have seemed intriguing, logical, illogical, crazy, obvious, "out there", nonsense, simple, name it!! Some of the ideas that I would have thought were too "out there" for me actually make a lot sense, while there are some things that I thought I was absolutely certain of that no longer seem logical to me!  A few of the books that I've either fully read, skimmed through, or look at daily are (in no particular order): Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Birthing From Within, The Pregnancy Bible, The Mother of All Pregnancy Books.

With that being said, I am still reading my usual type of books (I don't use the term for pleasure because I get immense pleasure from my baby related reading materials!), but the reviews may be slower in being posted!

Thanks to each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog-I really appreciate it (and your comments too)!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins May 13, 2011

 Yay it's the weekend!! My answers in RED! we go!

1. I know how lucky I am!

2. I would like to have an easy birth if at all possible.

3. This weather has been great for going for walks.

4. I am grateful that in my pregnancy I haven't had a problem.

5. I'm really happy I have the ability to have the career that I love and was meant to do.

6.  If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all...or something to that effect.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out with my husband, tomorrow my plans include going for a walk, and Sunday, I want to do more of the same!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins May 6, 2011

It's time again for Friday Fill-Ins! My answers are in RED! we go!

1. The Notebook is my favorite TV show (or movie) because everything about it is beautiful, even the sad parts.

2. Go to page 45 of the book you're reading or of the book closest to you; go to the 6th paragraph and make a sentence out of 7 words from it: "Giving birth is a very powerful experience." (From the book Birthing From Within)

3. I am SOOO happy our furniture arrived this week!

4. I miss going for long walks.

5. Take some time to rest and relax before things get CRAZY :)

6. My skin needs a bit of sunshine.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to unpacking, tomorrow my plans include more unpacking and going out for dinner, and Sunday, I want to do some knitting!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Not in Theaters

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Question May 5, 2011: And–the reverse of last week’s question. Name one book that you hope never, ever, ever gets made into a movie (no matter how good that movie might be).

My answer: Easy: I hope Freedom by Jonathan Franzen never makes it to the big screen!! Oh man that book was so boring I couldn't finish it. One movie that shouldn't have been made into a movie but was is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I read it in 2009 but apparently didn't review it. I found it to be incredibly pretentious and even though Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are in it, I can't make myself watch it!!

What do you think?