Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abudullah

Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: Modern History Press; 1st edition (January 12, 2009)
Language: English

Another lovely novel. I really enjoy stories that I know are fiction but the author leaves you with something to think about when the story ends. This is how the story started out for me. This story is from the perspective of an ordinary muslim women affected by the 9/11 tragedy.

This story starts out with young women(Arissa) from Pakistan in the process of an arranged marriage. Arissa is a planner and thought she had her life all planned out until one tragic day. She is faced with her husband being killed in the 9-11 tragedy. She is now a widow faced with emotional survival; a muslim victim. She is also faced with what her faith really means to her. All Arissa wants besides her loving husband, is to be accepted in a society where society blames her. Added to all that, she is pregnant with a Special Needs child and will have to raise this child alone.

I enjoyed how Shaila Abudullah uses fashbacks of Arissa's childhood, giving us the opportunity to see how her childhood and her relationship with her husband Faizan prior to the attack, and not only her relationship with her own mother, but with her husbands parents will affect her survival and her forgiveness. The author, Shaila Abudullah shows us how strong of a mom (person) Arissa becomes while dealing with all the challenges she faces with her son faces with special needs, which was very heartfelt to me. I found myself really routing for Arissa and just wanting the best for her.

After doing some research, I found that the author was inspired to write this novel by a real-life family. I included the link for anyone who is interested. This article written by Rekha Baslu actually brought tears to my eyes,

I am giving this novel an B. I enjoyed this author that I am adding her previous novel "Beyond The Cayenne Wall" to my TBR pile.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout
My TBR Pile is full for the month of March starting with

Shaila Abudallah Saffron Dreams ................FINISHED
Stephanie Baron Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scar
Mindy Starns Clark Secrets of Harmony Grove
Prue Leith Choral Society
Katherine Rasmin If You Knew Susie
Kathryn Stockett Help
Edward Rutherford New York
FLAVORS by Emily Sue Harvey(just added 3/3/11)

Here's hoping I can read, enjoy and review all of the above by the end of March


Friday, February 25, 2011

Galileo's Daughter

Well as I said, I was going to give this book the 50 page rule (25%-Kindle). I read to 25% and the story still did not pick up for me. Before giving up on this book, I read some reviews to see if I was missing something. The reviews that I read all stated that this was actually about Galileo's life and not alot (except for letters his daughter wrote) about his daughters. I have never really enjoyed Science or Astronomy. There are just so many other books out there and other challenges I am involved with, that it was time to say "Not Now" I still have this book saved on my Kindle, so that maybe later I will go back to "Galileo's Daughter. This is not to say that I wouldn't read another Dava Sobel book.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Alice I Have Been

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (January 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385344139
ISBN-13: 978-0385344135

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Benjamin draws on one of the most enduring relationships in children's literature in her excellent debut, spinning out the heartbreaking story of Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Her research into the lives of Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and the family of Alice Liddell is apparent as she takes circumstances shrouded in mystery and colors in the spaces to reveal a vibrant and passionate Alice. Born into a Victorian family of privilege, free-spirited Alice catches the attention of family friend Dodgson and serves as the muse for both his photography and writing. Their bond, however, is misunderstood by Alice's family, and though she is forced to sever their friendship, she is forever haunted by their connection as her life becomes something of a chain of heartbreaks. As an adult, Alice tries to escape her past, but it is only when she finally embraces it that she truly finds the happiness that eluded her. Focusing on three eras in Alice's life, Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

This is my review of ALICE I HAVE BEEN

Not only did I choose this book for a group read but also because I really enjoy a Victorian Atmosphere. This story is set in Oxford London in the 1800's when Alice Lindell was 7 years old. I thought Melanie Benjamin did a great job of describing the area. I could picture the beautiful grounds, the lakes, and even the house (Dreanery) that Alice and her family lived.

At first the story was a little unsettling. The way the author described the relationship between Alice and Mr. Dedgdon left me wondering --was this child abuse or just fantasy in the minds of both Alice and Mr Dodgdon????? As Ms Benjamin wrote this story is of " A man who fancies himself and a child who thought she was a women turned to each other on a hot summer day, mindful of nothing and no one, but each other " best describes the Alice of 7 years old.

Alice viewed her life as divided into 2 different parts of lands before and after. Sounds like Alice has past regrets. While reading this novel, I kept wondering what happens to Alice when she grows up. My Polly Anna ignorance told me that she would find true love and live happily ever after --- my belief came true but after much tragedy.

The novel takes us through Alice's relationships with not only with family, Mr Dodgdon, but also her love affair with Prince Leopold, the love of her life and her marriage to Reginald Hargreaves. She becomes a mother of 3 sons, at this point her life seems fulfilled with being a mother, wife and homemake, as she continues to put her past behind her.

At this point in the novel, I could not put the book down. I could not wait to see how this charming story was going to end. Even with my Polly Anna ignorance, I was not dissappointed, just the opposite.

I would definitely recommend this book to any who enjoys a little historical history, love affairs

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1st In A Series Challenge

Guidelines for the 1st in a Series Challenge 2011

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. If you're not a blogger, leave your information in the comments.

2. There are four levels for this challenge:

Series Novice: Read 3 books that are the first in any series.
Series Lover: Read 6 books that are the first in any series.
Series Expert: Read 12 books that are the first in any series.
Series Fanatic: Read 20 books that are the first in any series.
You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you. Any genre counts.

3. The challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2011.

4. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2011.

5. If you're a blogger, write up a sign-up post that includes the URL to this post so that others can join in. Feel free to use the button above. When you sign up in the Linky, put the direct link to your 1st in a Series Challenge sign-up post.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fictional Tapestry Challenge 2011

I am now starting The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen - My second book in the Fictional Tapestry Challenge 2011

Fictional Tapestry Challenge 2011

Fictional Tapestry Challenge

Galileo's Daughter by David Sobel
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Madame Tussaud - by Michelle Moran
New York -by Edward Rutherford
Orchard Affair by Lauren Willig
Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth
Rebekah's Journey by Ann Bell
Secret's of the Tudor Court by Ray Decree
Queen Hereafter by Susan Frazer King
Vanishing Point by Mary Shaffett
Winter Sea by Suzanna Keally

Jane Austen Mystery

My Choices for the Jane Austen Mystery Challenge 2011

√ Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor (1996)
Jane and the Man of the Cloth (1997)
Jane and the Wandering Eye (1998)
Jane and the Genius of the Place (1999)
Jane and the Stillroom Maid (2000)
Jane and the Prisoner of the Wool House (2001)
Jane and the Ghosts of Netley (2003)
Jane and His Lordship’s Legacy (2005)
Jane and the Barque of Frailty (2006)
Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron (2010)
Jane and the Canterbury Tale (2011)
Challenge Details
Time-line: The Being a Jane Austen Mystery Challenge runs January 1, through December 31, 2011.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Galileo's Daughter - First Impression

I am finding it a little difficult to get into this book. Too much technical discription of astrology. If I was into astrology, this would probably be interesting. I am going to give this the 50 page rule, except that I am reading on a Kindle, so I will give this book to 25% to pick up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Galileo's Daughter

Publishers Weekly
Despite its title, this impressive book proves to be less the story of Galileo's elder daughter, the oldest of his three illegitimate children, and more the story of Galileo himself and his trial before the Inquisition for arguing that Earth moves around the Sun. That familiar tale is given a new slant by Sobel's translation for the first time into English of the 124 surviving letters to Galileo by his daughter, Suor Maria Celeste, a Clarisse nun who died at age 33....It's a wholly involving tale, a worthy follow-up (after four years) to Sobel's surprise bestseller, Longitude.

Kirkus Reviews
Sobel, author of the bestselling Longitude (1995), has elegantly translated the letters Galileo's eldest child, Virginia, wrote to him and uses them as a leitmotif to illuminate their deep mutual love, religious faith, and dedication to science. .... Sobel provides a few correctives to tradition and fills out the cast of personae who were Galileo's chief defenders and enemies. But it's the deft apposition of the devoted and pious letters of Suor Maria Celeste that add not only verisimilitude, but depth to the character of the writer and her father--- revealed as a man of great intellect as well as religious faith and loving kindness. Alas, his letters to her are lost.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Choices for the Historical Tapestry Challenge

This is the first Challenge I have entered. I hope I can pull it off. Here goes.!!!

Galileo's Daughter by David Sobel
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Madame Tussaud - by Michelle Moran
New York -by Edward Rutherford
Orchard Affair by Lauren Willig
Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth
Rebekah's Journey by Ann Bell
Secret's of the Tudor Court by Ray Decree
Queen Hereafter by Susan Frazer King
Vanishing Point by Mary Shaffett
Winter Sea by Suzanna Kearsley