Quote of the Week

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Have I Told You How Much I Love This Book?

My mom and I hosted our book club meeting this month and of course I wanted to talk about a young adult novel because, as you all know, I love them!  It was a great meeting with good food and I think we had a pretty good discussion.  Any chance I get to talk about books is a good time for me.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to talk about one of my very favorite books.  The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.  I read this book about three years ago and loved it.  It's such a great book with a very human main character to overcomes her own personal challenges and in finds that her greatest triumph comes by staying true to herself.  I had the opportunity to read, nay, devour, this book again thanks to our book club.  I believe I loved it even more the second time. 
Not only is it a great book but the author is another LDS woman who has made it in the writing world and written a story that is absolutely worth reading.  Thank you Shannon!
I highly recommend this book.  As my mom says, "I think every girl should read this book."  And I would have to agree.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


In the midst of all the writing I've been doing I've also been reading quite a bit.  I just finished Matched by Ally Condie.  I was first drawn to this book by a reader on Shelfari.  She said she simply couldn't wait for this book because she loves Ally Condie.  I couldn't remember having heard about her.  The cover is beautiful and intriguing and the synopsis were enough to make me buy the book. 
This book is about a dystopian society (yeah, I know, Mal read another dystopian book) that is unlike any other I've read.  The people in this society are matched with their significant other when they are 16 and court each other until they are able to marry at the age of 21.  Everything goes perfectly until the main character, Cassia, finds out that maybe her match was not the only person that she could be matched with.  She begins to discover how to think for herself and realizes that "they" might not always know what's best for everyone.
It was a good book, and of course the first in a series that I will be anxiously awaiting to read the next.  More than anything I'm so excited that Ally Condie is another LDS writer who has written a great book.  Another woman who is making it with a great book that is worth reading without all the junk that's in today's world.
This semester started out as a rather depressing one.  I thought I was going to get all this time to write over the Christmas break and I don't think I wrote more than a sticky note's worth.  However, this semester I've actually had some inspiration.  Thanks to Jernae, I decided that I would just start writing a scene that I've been wanting to write.  So, that's what I did.  In the process I've had another realization: I'm a slow writer.  I've tried to forget about my perfectionism while I write so I could simply get the story on paper and tweak later.  But, I always find myself thinking too carefully about every word.  I've just decided that's going to have to be okay for now.  Someday I will learn to write faster.  Because that piece is still in progress I'm not going to post anything about it yet.  Not to worry though, here's the prologue.  :)

Isaac walked into the dark room where his mother stood in front of a large, glass projection screen.  She stood with her arms folded and hip cocked to one side.  The heels on her four-inch stilettos looked more like knives than shoes, but people seemed to pay more attention to her fitted lab coat than what she wore on her feet.    By her stance, he knew that she had discovered something.
Images and videos of a young woman illuminated the screen.  She couldn’t have been more than seventeen.  She and another boy with the same emerald eyes and dark hair laughed while they played cards.  In another she was young and had been crying.  One image showed her gazing out at something he couldn’t see.  Her eyes concentrated on something distant, while the curve of her jaw was relaxed.
On a video screen labeled September 19, 2057, today’s date, she was running through a forest.  The forest looked wet and challenging, but her slender frame gracefully moved between the trees, avoiding branches and rocks.  Her eyes always looked forward in unwavering determination.
He stood next to his mother to watch the screen more closely.  “Are you sure she’s the one?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said, still looking at the screen.
“But how can you be sure?” 
“I suppose there’s really no way to tell.”  Still, somehow he knew that she’d found the right girl.
She’s beautiful, he thought.  “Who is she?”
“She’s the one that will try to overthrow us.  We must make sure that she succeeds.”
“Isaac,” his mother said condescendingly, “we must make her think that she will succeed.”
“What do you want me for?”
She turned to look at him directly.  Her eyes flashed as a smile crept up the side of her face.  “We have a mission for you.”

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Circus

A couple of days ago I finished reading Water For Elephants.  I must say that I quite enjoyed it.  It gives the reader and inside view of what a circus was really like in the 1930s.  The story was kind of told in an almost fairytale-like way.  It switches back and forth between the 90 (or 93) and 23 year old versions of the main character and you get his days when he hopped aboard the circus train contrasting with the circus coming to town while he sits in a nearby nursing home.
While I liked this book there were a few things that I didn't like so well.  First, as Natalie mentioned, there were several sexual references or scenes that I wish weren't there.  Second, in the main character's older years when he's 90 (or 93) he looks back on the circus with such fondness and he can't wait to see this circus that's come to town, but his days in the circus were not happy.  I didn't understand why he would want to go back so badly.  He obviously grew more fond of it later, but that's not the happy part that this book is about.
I will say that I liked this book well enough that I'm excited for the movie to come out.  I would recommend it, but with a work of caution because of a few scenes of "adult content."