Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Fill-Ins January 13, 2012

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

1. When I looked out the window this morning there was a slight dusting of new snow on the ground.
2. Lady Gaga doesn't make sense to me.
3. Remind me to water the plants, I always forget!
4. Reading is something I love to do!
5. TP is how my Dad sometimes ends his emails.
6. I cleaned the refrigerator recently and I found no fruit.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to picking up Marcia from the airport, tomorrow my plans include shopping with Marcia and playing ticket to ride-Europe, and Sunday, I want to hang out with Marcia before she leaves (yes that's right Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Review: Knit One Pearl One

I just finished the third installment in Gil McNeil's Beach Street Knitting Society Series - Knit One Pearl One. I loved it!! Oh books about knitting and life are so wonderful! I found her first novel "Diva's Don't Knit" (aka The Beach Street Knitting and Yarn Society" in the clearance section at Chapters a few years ago and loved it. Last year I read her second novel Needles and Pearls and really enjoyed it because the main character Jo was pregnant-and so was I! In this third novel Jo's little girl Pearl is turning 2 (she also has 2 boys), and although my little guy is only 6months, I am beginning to get a handle on this parenting thing and can relate (and commiserate) with Jo! I can only hope there are more novels to come because I am dying to know what happens next!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten books of 2011

Here are my top ten books that I read in 2011 (in no particular order):

1. State of Wonder - Ann Patchett
2. An Irish Country Doctor - Patrick Taylor
3. Minding Frankie - Maeve Binchy
4. Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
5. Needles and Pearls - Gil McNeil
6. Bride of New France - Suzanne DesRochers
7. The Sea Captain's Wife - Beth Powning
8-10. The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins

Book Review: State of Wonder

I have read a few of Ann Patchett's novels and I must say they are all very different. Different topics, characters, and themes and by different I mean from each other and different from other books in general.

From "Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist with a Minnesota pharmaceutical company, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Dr. Annick Swenson, who seems to have all but disappeared in the Amazon while working on what is destined to be an extremely valuable new drug, the development of which has already cost the company a fortune. Nothing about Marina's assignment is easy: not only does no one know where Dr. Swenson is, but the last person who was sent to find her, Marina's research partner Anders Eckman, died before he could complete his mission. Plagued by trepidation, Marina embarks on an odyssey into the insect-infested jungle in hopes of finding her former mentor as well as answers to several troubling questions about her friend's death, the state of her company's future, and her own past. Once found, Dr. Swenson, now in her seventies, is as ruthless and uncompromising as she ever was back in the days of Grand Rounds at Johns Hopkins. With a combination of science and subterfuge, she dominates her research team and the natives she is studying with the force of an imperial ruler. But while she is as threatening as anything the jungle has to offer, the greatest sacrifices to be made are the ones Dr. Swenson asks of herself, and will ultimately ask of Marina, who finds she may still be unable to live up to her teacher's expectations. In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, and a neighboring tribe of cannibals, State of Wonder is a world unto itself, where unlikely beauty stands beside unimaginable loss. It is a tale that leads the reader into the very heart of darkness, and then shows us what lies on the other side."
State of Wonder was a fantastic novel. I pretty much liked everything about it except for the last chapter. I felt like there were a few things thrown in there just to add twists and it felt a bit forced-but I still really liked this book.

Book Review: Tamar

I downloaded Tamar by Mal Peet for my Kindle when it was the daily deal a while ago, and finished it while we were in Winnipeg. It is apparently a YA (young adult) novel but I wouldn't have classified it as such if it weren't for the forced/awkward romance between two of the characters. I rather liked this book (minus the previously mention romance)-but since I am on the lazy side I am not writing a full review. Sorry. I promise I will get back to proper some point.

"A thrilling and moving story about love, betrayal and belonging. When Tamar's grandfather, an intensely private man, falls from a balcony to his death, he leaves behind a box with Tamar's name on it. For a long time Tamar refuses even to think about it...until one hot June day she opens it to reveal a series of clues and hidden messages from her grandfather. She and her cousin Johannes follow the clues and discover that her name also belonged to someone else over half a century before; someone involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland during the Second World War. As she pieces together the mystery her grandfather left behind, another Tamar's story is unravelled; a story of passionate love, jealousy and tragedy played out amongst the daily fear and horror of war.;By the author of "Keeper", winner of the 2004 Branford-Boase award.;Written with such detailed historical and emotional sweep, this novel will stay with you long after you've turned the last page and is bound to attract child and adult readership." Taken from here.

I find anything most perspectives on the Holocaust fascinating and Tamar was no exception, I liked how the book went back and forth between the granddaughter's perspective and back to her grandfather's experience during the war. I was not expecting the book to end the way it did, but thought Peet did an excellent job!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How many books?

I have at least 3-4 blog posts I need to write here but I just wanted to quickly say that I read 57 books this year!!! Not bad considering I had a baby in June and did not finish a single book in July, and had a few other months with just one book read. Since my little man only showed up at the END of June it was my highest month with 11 books, and 9 in May -I did go on maternity leave in the middle of April at which point I moved across the country and had NOTHING else to do!! This is however, 15 books less than last year, but I guess when I used to read 70+ books a year I don't really have anywhere to go but downhill!

How many books did YOU read in 2011?