Sunday, June 22, 2014

10 things I cherish (Monday Listicles)

I haven't done Monday Listicles for ages--I think the last time was before my April blogging extravaganza (Portlandia from A to Z), after which my blogging has quieted down a bit...but I miss it! So what better way to get back in the groove than to start up again with Monday Listicles? This week, it's:

10 Things I Can't Get Enough Of!

1. Babies (just borrowing them for a bit--I had some good baby bonding time this weekend with this cutie this weekend!)
2. Raspberries
3. Books
4. TV shows with strong female leads (e.g., Homeland, Scandal, Orange Is the New Black)
5. Book group (love my book group!)
6. Listening to my 7-year-old sing Michael Jackson songs
7. Girlfriend getaways
8. My lovely husband! (looking forward to a getaway this week)
9. Watching my kids perform on stage
10. Time with my loved ones
Want to join in? Link up or read others at The Good Life!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What I read in May (2014)

Oh my poor neglected blog! I hope to return to you soon! 

Here's what I read in May. For full reviews of these books (these are just excerpts of the reviews), click on the title to go to Marie's Book Garden.

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman

Tom Sherbourne, returned WWI vet and introvert, signs up as lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock in Australia. Then he gets married and takes his wife Isabel to the lighthouse. At first she loves it, but then she experiences two miscarriages and a stillbirth. Racked with grief, she's also told that she has entered menopause and she won't be able to have any more babies. When a boat washes ashore with a dead man and a live baby, the couple decides to keep the baby and not tell anyone. Tom is uncomfortable with the idea, but Isabel persuades him. They both fall in love with "Lucy," their adopted baby, and claim her as their own. If you like books laden with ethical dilemmas and no easy choices, you'll enjoy this beautifully written novel.

House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey HomeHouse of Prayer No. 2, by Mark Richard

The Fault in Our StarsClearly, Mark Richard has a gift for writing. The end of this memoir made it all worth while for me, but my mind wandered a bit along the way. I found it awkward that the book starts out in third person and then goes into second person, making the narrator appear if he's observing his disaster of a life from afar, absolving himself of any responsibility. As a child, he's labeled as "special" because of his deformed hips and spends a great deal of time in charity hospitals. It's a wonder he made it to adulthood, with some of the risks he took. Although the book was lyrically written, I was looking for something more compelling.

The Fault in our Stars, by John Green

People either love this book or hate it (calling it cancer porn). I am one of the lovers, and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and crying my eyes out.
So this book is about two teenagers with cancer. It's a love story. Hazel and Gus are keenly intelligent, down to earth, bookish, and unconcerned with what other people think of them. They have strong family connections, and they fall in love over a book. What's not to love? No spoilers here, but be warned: it's unflinchingly, heartbreakingly sad. It's also raw and honest about cancer.

Happy reading!