"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Booking Through Thursday Meme

A new meme for me. A new meme for me. Check it out here.

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

I am not a spine breaker. I am a spine lover. I will read as carefully as I can so as not to damage a book and get it dirty and icky. I can remember crying for an entire day when DH accidentally dropped a new Meg Cabot book in a cooler full of water. It was not a pretty picture. I've never seen someone work so hard to flatten out a book in my entire life.

I do work hard at keeping my books in pristine condition when they are on the shelves. I dust them and don't squeeze too many into the shelf at one time and try to make sure that they don't get broken bindings.

People who bend the covers back make me ill. I just feel massive amounts of pain for the book. Oh why must they torture it like that. It never ever looks the same and spends the rest of it's little book life with a curly cover and and a little broken book soul.

How do you treat your books? Leave a comment and let me know :)

Getting to Know You

I think one of the best ways to get to know someone is by their favorite things. So I thought in order to further introduce myself, I would tell you about my five favorite books. These five books have always been my favorites, and will most likely continue to be unless the greatest novel ever written falls out of the sky and hits me on the head someday (weirder things have happened).

So at number 1 we have...*drum roll please*

Matilda - Roald Dahl: This was my first "big girl book" that I ever read all by myself. I can remember bringing it home from the school library - all shiny and new with its bright yellow hardback cover and crisp pages - and staying up late into the night finishing it. It wouldn't be the last time I'd fine myself doing that with this book. This book came home with me so often the school should have just given it to me. I know own my very own copy and now that I'm talking about it, I think I'll read it tonight --- review coming soon ;)

Number 2 is not nearly as dear to me as number 1 but here goes:

The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks: Having read this way before the movie ever hit theaters, I was swept away with the romance of the story. My little teenage brain was sure that a handsome Noah would coming running out of the clouds to take me away and love me like no other. Well, I did find a lovely man who took me away -- but it doesn't really compare to my Noah (Love ya Honey :) ). But anyways, this story still touches me every time I read it, and I always manage to go through an entire box of tissues by the end

And at number 3 we have

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer: Who doesn't want a vampire with a rock hard body that sparkles in the sunlight? I think that explains it all.

The honor of number 4 goes to:

Just As Long As We're Together - Judy Blume: I'm a life long Judy Blume fan, even reading her stuff for the adult generation (not nearly as good as her stuff for younger readers). I can still remember they day this book came out - yellow cover (it must have been popular back then) with three girls in typical eighties fashions sitting around on a bed. I devoured it. And then read it again...and again...and again. At least now when I read it, I know who the heck Richard Gere is and why the main character found him so damn good looking.

And finally, the lovely number 5

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein: From the first time I heard that Ickle me, Pickle me and Tickle me too went for a ride in a flying shoe I've been hooked. I still read these poems when I'm feeling blue and need a lift.

So there you have. My five favorites that I would take with me to a deserted island and would have no problems reading them over and over again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Review: Those Who Save Us

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmführer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the heartbreaking truth of her mother's life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother-daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame (Cover Blurb).

I have always been drawn to literature and fiction that takes place or is about WW2 and the Holocaust. I just can't image what it was like for the millions of Jews who suffered under the hand of Hitler and the SS. However, despite this odd attraction, I must really be in the mood to read one of these many books. Last week, when searching the shelves for something new to read, I stumbled upon this book, lost in the back of my book shelf. I really think I bought the book based mainly on my impression of the cover, and then for what the blurb said. It sounded different to me then many of the other books I had read about this time and I was in the mood for something a bit *different.*

This novel starts out by introducing us to both Anna and Trudy at the funeral of Jack - Anna's late husband and Trudy's step father. After only a few pages, we are quickly transported back in time to a young Anna, and her father Gerhard. It is in these few pages that we are introduced to Max, a Jewish Doctor who will forever change Anna's life. The story continues to jump back and forth between past and present, but its not confusing because of the wonderful way the author and publishers have set up the text.

We learn that Trudy knows nothing of her true father, Max - all along thinking she is a product of her mother's love for an SS Officer. As the story continues, Trudy, desperate to find something out about her past, begins a historical documentary project in which she interviews Germans who survived the war and what they went through during this time period. Trudy hopes that by doing so she will learn not only something about her past, but something about her mother, who is tight lipped and refuses to talk about the past. At the same time, through flashbacks, we learn the true story of Anna and Trudy during the years of WW2.

I absolutely adored this book, and think that it will be the top novel of 2008 for me. The one thing that I personally did not enjoy about the novel was the fact that it was written in third person. This took a few minutes to get used to, but once I was the time flew with this novel. I would recommend this to anyone who loves strong, even character development. This novel pulls you into the story and you soon forget where you are. I felt so much for Anna throughout the whole thing, that at times I was close to tears with her struggles. This book is definitely a keeper for me, and I will be passing it on to my mom and friends to read also.

What's on Your Nightstand?

I was doing a little web browsing today at work (as I sat on hold for hours and hours working on claim status...Go Blue Cross Blue Shield) and found this little gem of a website. It's full of awesome book reviews and other great bookish information. One of the fun things on the blog was the "What's on your Nighstand?" question. Many bloggers responded and I thought I would join in on the fun; however, I must admit I'm rather embarrassed by my nightstand stack. Almost all of the books on the stack have been started over the past year and NEVER finished. So I guess they are just hanging out there waiting for me to come back and make their night. So here's the sad sad list:
  • The Blonde Geisha - Jina Bacarr: I'm maybe 40-45 pages into this one. It was really good, I probably just got distracted by something else.
  • The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger: I'm seriously maybe only 150 pages away from finishing this one. It's an excellent read, but I think my brain needed a vacation so I just let it go for a while
  • Blue Eyed Devil - Lisa Kleypas: I just *had* to have this after I finished Sugar Daddy. It was the *must read* of the year for me. So yeah, I finished one chapter and haven't picked it up since....GO ME!
  • The Mist -Stephen King: I grabbed this at the grocery store when the movie came out --- not sure why (I think I was on drugs that day). I've maybe read the first chapter and will probably never pick it back up (however, I did hear the ending of the novella was WAY better than the movie)
  • The Year of Fog - Michelle Richmond: One word - BORING
  • Butterfly - Kathryn Harvey: This was recommended to me by a co-worker. I really do think I'll like this one, it's just not calling to me right now though.
  • The Atkins Diet Book: I think this one is self explanatory.
  • Kabul Beauty School - Deborah Rodriguez: I just wasn't in the mood for this non fiction read at the time --- perhaps more this winter when I feel trapped in my house and need a reminder of how good I have it!
  • The Kindness of Strangers - Katrina Kittle: The subject was just a bit too unsettling for me at the time

So there it is. My nine little soldiers just waiting for their turn to be called up in the ranks. Best of luck this month guys!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

November Reads

Here's my list of books I'd like to complete and finish in November. In no particular order:

  • The Kitchen Boy - Robert Alexander
  • The Parting - Beverly Lewis
  • Drowning Ruth - Christina Schwarz
  • Astrid and Veronika - Linda Olsson
  • The Diplomat's Wife - Pam Jenoff
  • The Secret Between Us - Barbara Delinsky
  • Sin - Sharon Page
  • The Chili Queen - Sandra Dallas
  • The Vanishing Acts of Esme Lennox - Maggie O'Farrell
  • The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank - Ellen Feldman

Right now I'm finishing up Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum and should have a review up for that in the next few days :)

A New Beginning

Hello there. Just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Emily and I'm 27 years old and live in the great state of Ohio. I once had a blog but let it go due to family commitments and the what not, but wanted to get back into the habit of daily blogging about the many books that I read. I'm going to try to update here at least three to four times a week (maybe more if I feel up to it :) ), and I'm going to make a conscience effort to blog about each and every book I read (or attempt to read...there seems to be a lot of that going on lately).

Also, I think I'm going to try to set monthly goals for myself to see how much I can read and enjoy each month --- even setting out a number of books to pick from to read each month. I have a personal library of over 1600 books so I think if I narrow it down every month, I'll actually get more accomplished and more of my TBR pile will be gone.

I do have a very busy life. I'm the proud mommy to two doggies --- Sampson my doberman, and Gidget my great dane. My DH and I love them to death and they are basically our children going almost everywhere with us. Right now, DH and I are hoping to be expanding the family here in 2009 with a little one of our own. I'll keep you posted on how that's going :) I'm a medical biller for a company that does Positron Emission Tomography testing on cancer patients. It's an awesome company to work for with great people and even greater patients. It seems that between work and social commitments, I don't get nearly as much reading done as I used to (read - when I was single). I've been trying to go to bed earlier so I have some "me" time just to get lost in a good book.

My next post will be my monthly book choices for November. Hope all is well with everyone, and keeping reading!!

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