Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Winter Ghosts

I received this from the publisher for review.
In keeping with one of my reading resolutions I ventured out into a new genre. This is my first foray into historical fiction. I have to say I liked it. This book made me more curious about the genre so I will check it out. If you have any recommendations leave them in the comments.
Freddie Waston walks into a bookshop to have a letter translated. While translating the letter the man tells the story of how the letter came to be. Which involved the mountains of France and Cather ghosts. The story was also a kind of a love story. Freddie goes to a celebration and meets a woman and she tells the story of how she and her community came to be entombed alive in the nearby caves. The woman turns out to be a ghost but the question remains. Can love at it most pure form bring closure to just about any event? For Freddie was also suffering from the death of his brother in World War 1. He had been in sanatoriums for mental breakdowns. But as he tells the story to the woman he finds a kind of redemption that allows him to move on.
It also brings to mind the need for people to know when wrong has been done. For it may be too late for justice but if people have knowledge of the wrongdoing then maybe the deaths would not have been completely in vain.It also highlights the cruelty of war. For Freddie had lost his brother and the woman had been entombed alive in a cave. It shows the aftermath of the war may be over but suffering remains. For the village where the cave is had lived under sadness for as long as anyone could remember. No one knew what the sadness was. This kind of unknowing could not allow the “winter ghosts” to rest in peace. The ghosts came back and chose Freddie to revel what had happened.
I have to admit I do not know much about the Cather's or the Mountains of France so I could go into this story believing whatever the story unfolded. I also was not sure what a historical Fiction entailed exactly. How much historical and how much fiction? I was pleased to see that there was a good blend of both. This book has made me even more curious about the Cathers..
Overall if you enjoy historical Fiction you will enjoy this book.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Be a Better You

a better you

I first heard Joel Osteen on TV and when I heard he had some books out I couldn’t resist. I checked this out from the library and I was not disappointed.

If you have heard him on TV you probably know that he is a phenomenal motivational speaker. He is also the same phenomenal motivational writer.

This book outlines the seven steps that you can take to become a better you. They mostly run along the lines of be a more positive person and have passion for life. There are also other tidbits like thank people even if they do a bad service and being grateful for where you are now. He gives advice on how you can embrace where you are at right now and how you can move forward.

Let me say that I am the kind of person that distrust organized religion. I believe in Jesus and God yes but many of the followers I don’t like. Especially when we start dealing with fundamentalists. They annoy me to no end. Having said that I still liked this book so even if you not all that religious I still think this book will appeal to some of you. There are a lot of good advice in this book.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: Darkness Visible

It is a short book but it packs a powerful punch.This is from the author that brought is Sophie’s Choice. This is a powerful memoir about how the author suffered and overcame depression.
There are a lot of “depression” memoirs out there today. While all give a peek into what's it’s like to live with depression very few come with the literary quality that Styron lends to Darkness Visible. Depression is a serious illness and some memoirs can fall victim to inducing massive amounts of self pity. This book however induces a sort of felling as one is along for the ride. The reader is transported to a place where it is dark and madness resides.
Styron speaks of “tumbling in the abyss” and takes the reader along with him. he gives life to where others had painted only darkness. The memoir reaches it's climax when he is hospitalized for suicidal feelings. From there he tells of his recovery. From this he gives hope to those who may have been trapped in the abyss. That it is possible to recover from depression and lead a normal productive life.
While not all of us can be a first person account of what it is like to live with depression this is an excellent book that will give you a good idea. It is also excellent reading alone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review:Happiness Project

happiness project

Everybody wants to be happier. Sure we could all move to the tropics and make ourselves think we are happier but what if you want to change your life where you are? That is what author Gretchen Rubin did.

This book chronicles a one year journey that the author took to “change her life without changing her life” She conducted research on happiness and made a resolution chart and tried then out for a year.

She draws on current happiness research. What does happiness really mean? She points out that it will be different things for different people. Which is true what makes me happy wouldn’t necessarily make you happy. She took some antidotes from some people well known for their happy state of mind and drew inspiration from them.

She sets up a system that allows her to focus on one aspect of happiness per month. For example the first month she focuses on energy. Because having energy will make the other resolutions easier. Makes sense. Then she sets up how she will gain more energy. She goes to bed when tired even iif its at 9 30 pm. Sounds simple but how many of us really do that? She keeps a resolution chart to track everything.

This book was really fascinating. She had scientific facts to back up her claims so it does not come off a New Agey or some far off experiment that everyday people like me and you could not do. In fact it is so doable that many people are doing their own happiness project, including myself.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review:Getting Things Done

getting things done

This was a re read for me. Back in the day I was an disorganized freak. I could find nothing to save my life. A friend recommended this book so I read it (can you tell I will read almost anything someone recommends?) Any way the book did help to some degree. When I remember to use the principals in the book that is.

In all seriousness though if you are disorganized and you miss deadlines and stuff or you miss very important events (like me) David Allen has some very good recommendations that can help you get a better hold on things.

I still remember when GTD was the latest fad. It is still going strong judging by the amount of GTD stuff on the internet and other book that have been written about it. One book about it is enough for me though.While I like the book and it concepts there is only a certain amount they can say without rehashing the same stuff over and over again. When they make a book that can actually do the organizing for me then I will be more interested.  In all fairness though the book does work so read it if you are looking to put some order in chaos.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Salon


Good Morning everyone!

Yesterday was the read-a-thon and I read from 8 am to 12 midnight with an hours nap. I tried to stay awake but I fell asleep with a book and when I woke up it was 8 am. I still got a huge chunk of reading time. In fact I enjoyed it so much I may make a habit of it! I am glad that I finally got my reading mojo back.

This week was a good week in books. I read 4 books. I am going to try to do what I used to do. Focus on my reading and responding to blogs then one day a week write up all my reviews. In fact that is what I will be doing today.

Springtime is on its way. I look forward to when I can go outdoors and read. That is one of my favorite things to do. I am off to write and maybe read the books that will be coming up this week are

The happiness project

Winter Ghost-an ARC

Become a Better You

Darkness Visible

Check back this week for the reviews.

I hope everyone has a good day!

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