Three Willows - Ann Brashares (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes)
- In keeping with my recent trend of reading teen titles, this book is a great new offering from the author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It's the first in a new series, about a new sisterhood. Three girls, who were friends in elementary school but have gone their separate ways, face the summer before the start of their freshman year. Each has challenges to overcome... the divorce of parents, boy issues, mom's drinking, an adventure in the mountains that goes seriously wrong, and an eating disorder... just to name a few. It was well written, and it's interesting how Brashares tackles the theme of friendship from a different perspective than the original Sisterhood. Oh, and some of the original sisters make an appearance.
- Ok... really... what do you expect me to say? A classic fantasy tale that speaks to me in a different way each time I read it. This time I seemed to be more focussed on Gandalf (the grey wizard) than the Bilbo or his dwarf companions. I love how he always seeks to come across as gruff and short-tempered, but his soft heart wins out. His affection for all of the travellers is apparent in all his actions, including when he takes his leave. And the journey... every good fantasy... every good story for that matter... needs a journey, and Bilbo's journey to find the treasure under the mountain is among the best ever written.
- I'm not quite finished this one yet. It's my 'break' book at work so I'm only reading it a bit at a time, but I'm about three quarters of the way through it, and enjoying it. I will say that I think she could have been editted a bit better (some lengthy boring bits) and the translation is clunky in places (originally written in German). Beyond those two issues tho, it is a great story and I particularly love all the quotes from children's stories at the beginning of each chapter. And I will admit that I have in the past wished that I could read some of my storybook characters into life, but I have been re-thinking that after reading Mo and Meggie's adventures. I have purchased books two and three already... but I'm going to take a break before I read them.
- This is the other book that I'm not quite finished. Written by the author of "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas", it is a different look at the story of Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian than I have encountered before. Told from the perspective of a 14 year old cabin boy, who escaped incarceration for being a pick-pocket by committing to serve on the Bounty, the story is an intriguing account of life at sea and the state of mind of the captain and crew. Initially I thought that this book might be a good addition to a list for teen boys (as there really is so little fiction written for them) but after getting about two thirds of the way through, I can adamantly admit that it is for an adult audience only. It's been a bit of a slow go getting through it, but I think I'm just getting to the climax of the story.
- I came across this one quite by accident. The subtitle is what intrigued me ('How I Had A Baby, A Breakdown, and A Much Needed Margarita') and I read it in just a couple days. It's the story of Heather Armstrong, apparently a famous blogger (never heard of her until I picked up her book), the story of her walk through ttc, birth, post-partum depression, checking herself into a mental hospital and eventually reclaiming her mental equilibrium and her life. As hilarious as it is heart-breaking, her story is one I think all women can relate to at some level (whether you are a mother or not). The desire to be a good wife, the heart to be a mom, the indiginities of the medical world, the hope that you aren't screwing things up too badly. There were times when I was laughing so hard that I was shaking the bed and woke my beloved out of a dead sleep. Her descriptions of the hunger experienced while breastfeeding were incredibly funny.