Friday, April 13, 2007

A meme and a few reviews

First of all, many thanks to everyone in the blogging world that sent birthday wishes my way! It feels great to have people all over the country (and world) thinking about me at least once a year! :-) This post is basically playing a little bit of catch-up. I have a few reviews and a little meme, though probably not in that order. I would love to know what you think about the books, as well as your own answer to the meme questions, so make sure to leave a comment if you've read the books or feel like playing along!


This was borrowed from Shelley over at Shelley's Book shelf. She runs a lovely blog and often has fun little (short) memes that not only make me think, but result in smiles all over. Thanks Shelley!!

In Character:
Name up to 3 characters:

1. You wish were real so you could meet them
2. You would like to be
3. That scare you

1. Oh how to choose only 3!! I have so many characters I would love to meet, but here are the 3 that pop into mind:

A. Leisel from The Book Thief. You all know how I felt about this book and how much I loved all of the characters. I would pay big bucks to sit down and have a conversation with Leisel!

B. Savannah from The Prince of Tides. My favorite book before I read The Book Thief, I loved Conroy's southern novel and I fell hard for Savannah's character. She is a depressed woman who sadly enough, reminded me so much of myself the first time I read that book. I was a senior in high school that felt a kinship with this character, so strongly that I read the story over and over again.

C. Dylan Stiles from Charles Martin's The Dead Don't Dance and Maggie. Martin is one of my favorite authors simply because of his character development. Dylan is so incredibly real in his reaction to tragedy, yet so hopeful in his actions.

2. This is a toughie! So many of the books I love and the characters I love are tragic. I don't want to be tragic! The few I could think of:

A. Hermione from the Harry Potter books. She not only is brilliant, she gets to hang out with two of the coolest boys in fiction AND have awesome adventures!

B. Wupsie from Once I Ate a Pie. Yes, it's a picture book about dogs and Wupsie is in fact of the canine breed, however she reminds me so much of my own dog I just can't help but love her! She is so cute and lively and lovable, just like my Shae! I wouldn't mind being Shae OR Wupsie for a day. Those dog's have it good!

C. Lily Owens from The Secret Life of Bees. Ok, this book starts out rough and seems to be emotionally trying throughout, however the end and beyond (use your imagination if you've actually read this) seem to be pretty swell for Lily. Plus, I love the women she lives with!

3. Oh there are plenty of characters who scare me! This should be no trouble at all!!

A. Count Olaf from Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books. The books may be comical to a point and they don't leave me shivering in fear, but Olaf is one scary dude! He'll do anything to get to the Baudelaire's money!

B. Delores Umbridge, introduced in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This woman is crazy!! The things she makes Harry do in detention are downright horrifying!

C. Capricorn from Inkheart. A very frightening man that likes to burn books. Nothing scarier! :-)


Ok, we're in for a few reviews. 2 Kathy Herman novels, and one memoir. Enjoy!

The first Kathy Herman novel is Day of Reckoning, Book 2 in the Baxter series. This book was a little boring, which is not typical for Herman's novels. We follow Wayne as he kidnaps two girls in order to gain revenge against the owner of a former industry in town. The owner closed the plant, resulting in the layoff of Wayne's father and hundreds of other employees. The town is in mourning and desperate to find the kidnapper. The story drags on as Wayne's threats get more intense, finally pushing him to the ultimate edge.

I just think this book needed something more. It wasn't anything special, didn't leave me clutching the book like Herman's other stories. I felt it was quite predictable and left me a little disheartened. It gets 4 out of 10 stars.

Next on the list is #3 of the Baxter series, Vital Signs. This book more than made up for the previous one. Two young missionaries, Blake and Melissa, return home from South America and are quickly taken with a virus they caught while overseas. This mysterious virus begins to ravage the town, resulting in a huge quarantine and the deaths of many citizens. There are several side story lines that involve Jennifer, her newborn twins, and the baby's estranged father, a woman who accepts Jesus into her heart, and the newspaper editor at odds with her husband over her faith.

Vital Signs is a very quick read and one that keeps your heart racing! I would recommend this to anyone who can get through the first two Herman books in this series (Tested by Fire is great, but ya gotta plus through Day of Reckoning). The series is great, but definitely one to read in sequence, in order to keep characters straight. 7 out of 10 for this choice.

Finally, we have Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert. This was on my Spring Challenge Thing list, and though I'm happy to have crossed off one more, I was not impressed with this book. I should have known, after reading a fellow blogger's poor review, but I typically love travelogues and was pretty sure that's what this was. Instead, I followed Gilbert on her journey through Italy, India, and Indonesia, getting way more information on the love, in terms of men she wanted to kiss than, on the food and the prayer, as listed in the title. I don't think the countries were described in detail, other than the people she met. I just was disappointed.

This was a very quick read for me, mainly because I skimmed it. I read the first 40 pages or so, then gave up and just read what I thought might be "good parts." It's done, I read it, moving on now.

I'm now well into Nineteen Minutes, by my favorite author, Mrs. Jodi Picoult and am starting Lord of the Flies for the Banned Books challenge, as well as throwing in Voices of the Faithful because I've been wanting to read it for awhile and it just became available. Lots of reading ahead folks! I'll also be using my B&N gift certificate online tonight and placing an order with, so tomorrow morning I'll have a nice list to share with you! Have a great Friday!


Literary Feline said...

I considered my decision to invest in a copy of Eat, Pray, Love for awhile before deciding to take a chance on it. It's not my usual type of book, but it sounds interesting. I've since heard more mixed reviews of it than the usual praise I was hearing. I'm sorry you were disappointed in it. At least now I have more of an idea of what to expect when I do get to it!

Debi said...

I'm reading Inkheart right now...and I agree, Capricorn truly scares the crap out me!

Shelly said...

Hi, Amanda, I'm glad you like my book blog. And thanks for playing Booked by 3. :)

Deena said...

You would love Kathy Herman's newest series, and she is beginning another that releases this May...

soleil said...

i am sorry to hear you didn't like eat, pray, love. but if you were expecting a travelogue i can see why. when i was reading it, she references to the book as a spiritual memoir which seemed to fit. i really found her spiritual journey fascinating and inspiring.
i like real travelogues and am open to any recommendations you might have. you have a very fascinating blog and you are a reader. i thought i read alot and by discovering all of these book blogs i have come to realize that i don't have the market on this one ;)