I chose to savor this perfect children's book over the last week. The first time I read L. M Boston's books was many years ago when we had just moved,I chose to savor this perfect children's book over the last week. The first time I read L. M Boston's books was many years ago when we had just moved, yet again, to a new home. So the adventures of Tolly filled my child's imagination with a group of friends that I loved passionately. This was one of my favorite magical books as a child.
Now as an adult I still feel the magic, but also am drawn into an examination of the art of creation that has gone into this story, and how the imagery both fills the reader with delight, anticipation, and even at times, fear as Tolly experiences the magic of Green Knowe.
If you enjoy stories such as Frances Burnett Hodson's the Secret Garden or George McDonald's The Princess and Curdie, this might be a book for you. ...more
Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award at NCTE this year, I first discovered Sharon Draper years ago when she published a multigenre title called "Tears ofWinner of the Orbis Pictus Award at NCTE this year, I first discovered Sharon Draper years ago when she published a multigenre title called "Tears of a Tiger." Since that time Draper has continue to write award-winning books for young people.
The story is based upon Draper's own grandmother and her experience with the Klu Klux Klan as a fifth-grader growing up in the Deep South. It's rich in detail and beautifully written, and best of all, describes the struggle and desire that Stella has to become a nonfiction writer.
"Stella gave Mama her school notebook, the one that held the paper marked with an F, the incomplete assignments that sat there like half-plowed furrows, the jumble of scribbles and thoughts." P. 101...more
A beautiful book from one of the most thoughtful of LDS writers. If meditation sounds new age to you, this might not be your favorite read, but if youA beautiful book from one of the most thoughtful of LDS writers. If meditation sounds new age to you, this might not be your favorite read, but if you enjoy analyzing and contemplating scriptures with a comparative religion approach and are looking for insights into personal spiritual development there is a lot of meat here to ponder. Catharine Thomas has spent years thinking about the meaning of scriptures and much of this text resonates.
Quote from Wordsworth: (The Prelude 1.340-50) "Dust as we are, the mortal spirit grows Like harmony in music; . . . How strange, that all The terrors, pains, and early miseries, Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused Within my mind, should e're have borne a part, And that a needful part, in making up The calm existence that is mine when I Am worthy of myself."...more
Watched the series when it first came out and enjoyed it so I began on the books and read all 12 over the summer. Winston Graham is a first-rate authoWatched the series when it first came out and enjoyed it so I began on the books and read all 12 over the summer. Winston Graham is a first-rate author. The books cover a period of time from 1776 and the American revolution through 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars. I enjoyed the historical aspects of the novels, although in a few of the stories the political sections got a little over-long for a leisure read so I skimmed them, only to come back to reread as I wanted to know what happened.
I found the characters, especially the Polark family, to be well-drawn, compelling, and complex. They have human foibles and at times I was frustrated with the decisions that they would make to the point of not wanting to read what I anticipated would occur next, which is for me, a sign of an engaging text.
Graham wrote the first four books in the series and then years later wanted to find out what happened to his characters and wrote another eight, so it was quite a time commitment to read the complete series. Definitely worth it if you are a quick reader. The books are lengthy so each book took several days to read. Overall, the Poldarks are one of my new favorite literary families.
The books are full of pithy quotes and lovely writing:
"They spoke little, all preferring to keep their own thoughts tight and tidy and untouched."...more
Delightful detective novel from the daughter of Tony Hillerman. Found this in the Chaco Canyon National Park Station store in New Mexico. The ranger rDelightful detective novel from the daughter of Tony Hillerman. Found this in the Chaco Canyon National Park Station store in New Mexico. The ranger recommended it as it takes place in the surrounding area between Bloomfield and Gallup, NM. A quick read, but with a lot of fascinating insights and details about the Navajo Nation. It brings back the characters of Chee and Leaphorn from Tony Hillerman's novels and gives us the point of view of Chee's wife, Bernadette, Manuelito. Having just driven through and explored the area, this winner of the Spur Award was a perfect holiday read. ...more
Historically women have sadly been invisible or often maligned. The older I get, the more I appreciate mothers and the important, essential work of moHistorically women have sadly been invisible or often maligned. The older I get, the more I appreciate mothers and the important, essential work of mothering. Elder Holland and his wife, Patricia have in this slim volume included so much wisdom, honesty, and peace about this topic. Thanks Holly for this wonderful Mother's Day gift!
Favorite quotes: From Gordon B. Hinckley, "As His final creation, the crowning of His glorious work, He created woman. I like to regard Eve as His masterpiece after all that has gone before, the final work before He rested from His labors."
Pat Holland: "May I say that one of my great wishes is that ours will be a time when we stop "beating up" on ourselves and let the grace of heaven wash over us and make us whole – truly "holy." 65...more
To appreciate this book, we have to first understand and contextualize it as a by-product of a remarkable time--the restoration of the Gospel during aTo appreciate this book, we have to first understand and contextualize it as a by-product of a remarkable time--the restoration of the Gospel during a time of great advances in knowledge. Written in the passionate, often poetic style of the mid-1800s by Elder Parley Parker Pratt, who joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just five months after it had been organized on April 6, 1830, the book touches on a broad array of ideas ranging from the purpose of government, through the creation of the universe, the purpose of science and the arts, and of course, the mysteries of the Godhead. An indefatigable missionary and writer, Elder Pratt wanted members throughout the fledgling Church to know about the concepts that the Prophet taught. So Pratt wrote countless missionary tracts, books including the History of the Missouri Persecutions, and founded the Millennial Star, the oldest publication issued by the Church. He served numerous missions, was imprisoned for his views, as well called as an apostle on the first Council of Twelve for the Church along with his brother Orson Pratt. To know more about his remarkable life, I would recommend the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Deseret Book, 1874).
This book is fascinating as it shows how the time Elder Pratt spent with the Prophet Joseph Smith broadened his vision of what life holds for the follower of Christ. For Elder Pratt, truth was all encompassed within the Gospel--all part of what he called the science of theology. Some of the most interesting chapters span the second half of the book, including ruminations on the powers and calling of angels, the divine nature of dreams, qualifications for understanding the "science" of theology, the differentiation of spirits, and the power of miracles. Some members of the Church may not feel that there is anything new here, but a careful contextualization reminds us that these ideas were for the time, almost unimaginable and often breathtaking in their scope.
The book has many often quoted passages including a personal favorite on the refining influence of the Holy Ghost: "It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being."
I thoroughly enjoyed John Adams as well as 1776 by McCullough, but for my reading style made a mistake by attempting to listen to this book on AudibleI thoroughly enjoyed John Adams as well as 1776 by McCullough, but for my reading style made a mistake by attempting to listen to this book on Audible. Over 17 hours of narration long, the Greater Journey, literally dragged on for almost a year. There is so much of interest from politics and medicine, through architecture, fashion, and fine art in this expansive retelling of a time period (approx. 1830-1900) when everything worthwhile appeared to be found on the Continent, especially in Paris, the City of Lights.
As I generally can read so quickly, I found myself bogged down as I listened and then discovered that speeding up the reading ruined the storytelling for me. The moral of my experience is that paper texts have an actual landscape that one can return to, an experience that is unavailable to a listener. Plus, this is a book I would have enjoyed much better if I could have annotated it. I will probably want to revisit it in paperback....more
A magical garden, a pair of half-sisters with secrets long kept from one another, a Southern town, and of course, some handsome men and an eccentric aA magical garden, a pair of half-sisters with secrets long kept from one another, a Southern town, and of course, some handsome men and an eccentric aunt are stirred together into a delightful read. Parts of this novel reminded me of childhood magic--apple trees that seemed to be alive and an abundance of flowers that we could use to change emotions and perhaps fate. This was Allen's first novel and if you enjoy gardens and romance, this just might be your summer read.
Reader's warning: this is an adult novel with some sexual references. My younger friends tell me it is tame for today, but I thought I would mention it anyway. ...more
Some books take a while to get caught up in, but with a cold, some chicken noodle soup, and a blanket, this was a perfect escape once I got past a fewSome books take a while to get caught up in, but with a cold, some chicken noodle soup, and a blanket, this was a perfect escape once I got past a few literary things which bothered me. I would have adored this as a teen reader. ...more