Saturday, April 16, 2011

Books...Books...and more Books

I've finally had a spare moment to update my Books Read in 2011 list which shows at the very bottom of this page on the sidebar to the right. So far I've read seven books and am more than halfway through number eight.

It seems like I've been a big fan of Jodi Picoult this year. I've always loved this author. She has such a unique way of weaving a story and emphasizing the thoughts of each character. There is never a disappointment in picking up one of her books.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult is a story of two sisters. One sister, the oldest is very ill with leukemia. The other sister was conceived specifically to provide blood from her birth cord in hopes of helping the older sister to go into remission. Jodi makes you stop and think from all the different viewpoints on whether genetically engineering a child just to save another child is right or wrong, then she ends the story with an unexpected twist. You won't be able to put this one down until you read the very last word! Trust me.

This book was also made into a movie, but the book is so much better than the movie. Aren't they usually? A movie can't do a book justice.

Mercy also by Jodi Picoult really made me mad while I was reading it! One of the main characters, a man is having an affair and when Jodi gets into his head and you actually understand how he feels about his wife and his mistress...well it just makes your blood boil!!!

But the main point of the book is mercy killing. A man kills his wife who is suffering from cancer. Is mercy killing right or wrong? Would you watch someone you love suffer and not do anything to alleviate that suffering when they beg you to end their life? Again, Jodi makes you stop and think.

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult is another wonderful, powerful book. In this one Jodi tells the story of a little girl traumatized by the ending of her parents marriage due to the father being unfaithful. The little girl, Faith starts talking to God and sees God and has the power to heal, even bringing her grandmother back from death just minutes after being declared legally dead!

One of the main characters in this story is a man who is kind of like a televangelist in reverse. Instead of preaching the Word of the Lord to the masses, he's an atheist to has made it his goal in life to provide proof to discount stories of faith healing and spiritual visions. Is this child really talking to God, can she really heal or is it all a coping mechanism to help her deal with the divorce of her parents? Or maybe the child is simply seeking attention and knows the way to keep the focus on her? You decide, I'm still not sure.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks was pretty good as well. It has a twist in it that I wasn't expecting. At first I just thought it was a happy-happy feel good book about boy meets girl and they fall in love, but it's actually more than that.

Nicholas Sparks is the author that wrote the book The Notebook which was made into a movie starring James Garner and Gena Rowlands and Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. This movie makes me cry every single time. It's heart wrenching. The Choice will get to you the same way, they should make this book into a movie. I love movies that make me cry!

The English Patient I read because the movie was nominated for so many Academy Awards. Honestly...I didn't like this book at all, mainly because I didn't understand it. I even rented the movie to see if it would help me to understand the book better, I wasn't impressed. Maybe it's just me, maybe the book and the movie was "too deep" for my understanding, but I wouldn't recommend this one at all.

Have you read it? What did you think of it? Would you recommend it?

John Grisham...what can I say, I love him. I love everything he writes. He's the male version of Jodi Picoult, only different. I had read A Painted House many years ago but had forgotten the story. I'm glad I re-read it because I really enjoyed it.

John Grisham usually writes courtroom drama and I love those types of books, but this one was very different. This book was inspired by Grisham's own childhood and tells the story of a young boy growing up in rural Arkansas in the 1950's. The boy, Luke Chandler lives in a small unpainted house with his parents and grandparents. Luke witnesses many secrets that cotton season. Luke loses his childhood innocence and in the end his mother and father take him away from the farm and a certain  life of struggle and hopelessness.

And last but not least, one of my very favorite stories whether in book form or in movie form. I love The Princess Bride!

The Princess Bride is the tale of Princess Buttercup and her beloved Wesley, aka The Dread Pirate Roberts. This story has everything, adventure, murder, a Spanish swordsman, a six-fingered man, a gentle giant, an evil Sicilian, Prince Humperdinck, Miracle Max and his wife the Witch.

If I were to be asked if there is one book that every person must read; one movie that every person must see it would have to be this one. I've even mentioned this book to men and had them quote passages from the movie to me! A wonderful story that I can read and watch again and again! I highly recommend it!


  1. I love to read. Thank you for you insight on these ones. A few of them sound really good. I now following you too. You have a Great Blog!

  2. Thanks for the reviews. Very interesting and I should get a book and read, but I'm a visual person and the movie are better for me. I do agree with you on The English Patient. I don't understand it, and I don't understand that my husband likes that movie.

  3. In the Eye of the Beholder - Thanks for commenting Gayla, let me know if you read any of them and what you thought.

  4. Angie - Husbands are hard to understand sometime, lol.

  5. Now I at least know what you have been up'm not much of a reader now but I do enjoy my netflix subscription.

  6. Kudos to you for the eight books read!
    Reading your book-reviews make me feel I miss a lot of good things. You see, I read mainly non-fiction books.

    The topics you mention in your post: mercy killing, adultery, conceiving a child to save another child etc.. are indeed greatly debated in the Media (Tv and newspapers), but a book is something else - as you put it, a book is "a unique way of weaving a story..."; I would say it's a unique way of arousing thoughts and feelings, and giving the reader pleasure and satisfaction.

  7. The English Patient

    I liked the movie, the book, and I routinely listen to the sound track. Unfortunately its been about 12 years and I can't remember much other than Kristen Scott Thomas looking rather charming is several scenes--quite charming! I also remember William Dafoe loosing his thumbs which was not charming at all. I remember being touched by the Ralph Fiennes character's devotion to Thomas Character. I also remember the scenes in the desert being beautifully shot. From what I remember I really liked both the movie and book. I also remember being somewhat impressed with Fiennes dialog as the patient. Was there moral lessons in there? Too long ago.

    There are some very beautiful tracts on the sound tract. I am not big on the old period music and the shepherdess song, but some of Gabriel Yared's compositions are just stunning.

    There are a gob of videos on YouTube so I would imagine you could hear most if not all the tracks. Go to YouTube and search The English Patient Soundtrack

  8. Aha! I couldn't stand the movie, so I never picked up the book. Thought I was the only one, but, Alicia, you apparently raise the total to two. A good friend sent me one of the Piccault books, but it is sitting on my shelf. Unread.
    Will have to haul it down.

    Wrote quite a long comment, but I can't find it. Still having problems.
    The pictures are marvelous.
    The Old Baguette

  9. Sextant - I'm sure there's something to this movie as it was very popular but it just didn't grab my attention. Of course I had a hard time with the movie The Matrix as well. I had to watch it several times just to understand it. I don't remember too much about the music, like you said, too long ago.

  10. NanookMN - Yay! Someone that agrees with me!Picoult books are pure gold! I really love them. Which one do you have? Thanks for commenting, I know you struggle to do so and I appreciate it :-D


Please leave a comment.I would love to know your thoughts!