Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have not really cared for the movie versions of this book, but I wanted to read a Christmas themed book for the holidays so I decided to read the book.  I am SO glad I did!  The book is a beautiful story of the realization that life  is short and our impact on others lives can either be positive or negative, we must choose between the two.

I read this on dailylit.com and love that you are sent short emails with portions of the book daily.  I found myself requesting the next installment over and over because I wanted to find out what happened next!  (Yes, I knew what happened next, but the book does differ from the movies we've all seen!)

A great christmas read to get you in the spirit of the season!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a TimeThree Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually read the "Young Readers Edition" of this because I had tried to read the regular edition a couple of years ago and found it very dry.  After a friend said she was reading it with her 5th grader and was really enjoying it, I decided to try her version.  Yes, she was right, that was the right version for me, I read it in two days!  I am amazed at Mr. Mortenson's drive to build schools in the circumstances that he did and am beginning to understand that when you have a calling, you can't rest until you fulfill it….

Here are a couple of my favorite passages:

But Greg hadn't reached the summit of K2.  And now in the fall of 1993, back home from Pakistan, Greg had a new challenge ahead of him.  He packed his climbing gear away in a rented storage space and tried to figure out how he was going to accomplish his new goal: raising enough money to build a school in Korphe.  How could he convince Americans to care about a circle of children sitting in the cold on the other side of the world, scratching their lessons in the dirt with sticks?  This might be even harder than climbing the second-highest mountain on earth.

After a long, satisfying day of working on the bridge, Greg loved washing down a bowl of rice and lentil stew with strong tea, basking  in the sun with Haji Ali's family, and chatting across the rooftops to the other families doing the same thing.  On the warm, dry roof, eating, smoking, and gossiping, Greg felt sure that, although there were many things the Balti did not have, they did have an uncomplicated happiness that was becoming very rare in the world.

"In times of war," he went on, "you often hear leaders - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim - saying, 'God is on our side.'  But that isn't true.  God is on the side of refugees, widows, and orphans."

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The BFG (Puffin Fiction)The BFG by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My oldest daughter has always raved about how much she loves this book and that I should read it, but for some reason I never did.  Why did I wait so long?

I first listened to this book on my ipod because I just LOVE to listen to books while I work around the house doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, etc. The book was narrated by Natasha Richardson whom I adore; may she rest in peace :(  I found myself laughing out loud over and over while scrubbing the toilet or making school lunches.  I even listened to a couple of chapters over and over they were so stinking silly!

I promptly read it out loud to my two little ones (ages 5 & 6) and they giggled and begged me to "read more, Mommy!" every night.  My hubby hadn't read it yet, so we listened to it in the car on our long "over the river and through the woods" Thanksgiving weekend drive.

The BFG is my new favorite children's book!  I don't want to give anything away, but it is a scrumdiddleyumptious tale; my favorite chapter is Frobscottle & Whizzpoppers!

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