Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It has been an incredibly busy, emotional and eventful week. My first born "baby" turned 18. She can now sign legal documents, vote, serve in the military, or purchase cigarettes. Not that she has any desire to smoke or perform military service. :-P

My 75-year-old father got married for the third time. It was a beautiful wedding, and I have to say that my fellow native North Carolinians DO know how to throw a party!

My dad and my new stepmother were surrounded by friends and loved ones and many, many speeches and toasts. Including a speech by the bride's brother-in-law, Dick, who expressed gratitude that he is now only the second oldest man in the family. :-D The bride's sister and the groom's son (my brother) stood up for them, and their three youngest granddaughters -- including one of my daughters -- were beautiful flower girls.


This weekly round-up is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a chance to check in with other bookish bloggers and get more fodder for one's ever growing "To Read" list.


I published one review post this week:













The Siren of Paris by David Leroy 

Here's a snippet:
Born in Paris and raised in the United States, 21-year-old Marc Tolbert enjoys the advantages of being born to a wealthy, well-connected family.. Reaching a turning point in his life, he decides to abandon his plans of going to medical school and study art in Paris. In 1939, he boards a ship and heads to France, blissfully unaware that Europe -- along with the rest of the world -- is on the brink of an especially devastating war.

However the story begins at the close of Marc's life. In the opening lines of this novel, we find ourselves at a graveside, in 1967, as Marc's spirit watches the living pay their final respects. Surrounded by the ghosts of men lost in the war, Marc sees snippets of his life flash before him. Before he can leave this world in peace, he must reconcile the sadness and guilt that burden him.

My daughter and partner in crime reposted several reviews from her old blog:















The Hunger Games















Hunger (2008)


I just finished reading this book and will review it soon:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Excerpt: It was predictable, in hindsight. Everything about the history of the Society of Jesus bespoke deft and efficient action, exploration and research. During what Europeans were pleased to call the Age of Discovery, Jesuit priests were never more than a year or two behind the men who made initial contact with previously unknown peoples; indeed, Jesuits were often the vanguard of exploration.

The United Nations required years to come to a decision that the Society of Jesus reached in ten days. In New York, diplomats debated long and hard, with many recesses and tablings of the issue, whether and why human resources should be expended in an attempt to contact the world that would become known as Rakhat when there were so many pressing needs on Earth. In Rome, the questions were not whether or why but how soon the mission could be attempted and whom to send.

The Society asked leave of no temporal government. It acted on its own principles, with its own assets, on Papal authority. The mission to Rakhat was undertaken not so much secretly as privately – a fine distinction but one that the Society felt no compulsion to explain or justify when the news broke several years later.

The Jesuit scientists went to learn, not to proselytize. They went so that they might come to know and love God’s other children. They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the furthest frontiers of human exploration. They went ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.













I'm currently re-reading Blackout by Connie Willis
From Goodreads:  Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place, with scores of time-traveling historians being sent into the past. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser into letting her go to VE-Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, and dive-bombing Stukas—to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

29 comments:

  1. Wow - what a week indeed - so much good news :-) I haven't read Blackout yet, bu it's on my list of books to be read.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. After this week, the rest of the summer is likely to seem uneventful. :-)

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  2. You did have an emotional week! Congrats to your Dad. I have heard so much about Connie Willis and I want to read The Doomsday Book from her when I get the chance.

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    1. Thank you for the congratulations. :-) I want to read The Doomsday Book, too.

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  3. Blackout sounds really intriguing. And it must be good if you're re-reading it. I'm going to have to keep it in mind.

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    1. Blackout is a bit of a slow read in places, but I found it fascinating.

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  4. Best wishes to the bride and groom!

    Looks like a great week of reading!

    Joy's Book Blog

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  5. Congrats on your father's wedding. It sounds like a really nice event. And congrats on your daughter, too!

    I've only read one book by Connie Willis and this looks like one I really want to read. Hope you'll enjoy it.

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    1. Thank you! I'd be interested in hearing what you think of Blackout.

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  6. Replies
    1. It's very cliched but true -- our kids grow up in the blink of an eye.

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  7. What a lovely week!
    I love the sound of The Sparrow
    Have a good week :)

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  8. Blackout is on my to-be-read list. The fact that you are re-reading it probably means I should push it up to the top!
    Happy reading!

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    1. I'd be really interested to hear what you think of Blackout. I found it fascinating.

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  9. Have a great week and enjoy your reading!

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  10. It is nice to get the kids to that 'adult' stage. :-)
    Glad your dad had a nice wedding and everyone enjoyed.
    The Sparrow caught my eye.
    Have a great week!

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    1. I'm still adjusting to the idea of having an adult "child." :-)

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  11. happy Birthday to your daughter and happy wishes for the new couple!

    Thanks for stopping by Book'd Out earlier,

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  12. The Sparrow has been on my to-read list for quite some time. I heard Mary Doria Russell speak at BookFest last year and she talked a little about the book, plus her newest one, Doc.

    I loved Blackout... but I haven't read the next book which is actually the second half. I didn't like the way it was split up. We were just left hanging.

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    1. I didn't like the way the story was split up either. That's why I'm re-reading Blackout. I wanted it to be fresh in my mind, and to regain my sense of suspense and curiosity about what comes next, before starting the sequel, All Clear. :-)

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  13. Huge week! I love time travel stories, so I'd probably get right into Blackout - sounds good! :)

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    1. I have a great weakness for time travel too; I always have. :-)

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  14. Hey Steph. I guess you are blogging over here now! I am so glad I checked and 'found' you. I love book reviews and can't wait to peruse your site. "The Sparrows" sound good. I will read what you thought of it when you post. I didn't know your oldest was 18! Wow. And congrats to your Father! :)

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    1. Hi Karen -- I'm still blogging at the old place -- I've just been on a hiatus and haven't posted for a while. :-) Thanks for all your kind thoughts.

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  15. What a week! I read The Sparrow last month, but I haven't been able to figure out how to review it yet. It was so awesome.

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Hello, and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts -- reader comments make this blogging gig worthwhile. :-) Due to excessive spam, we are now moderating all comments. Like that dude in the Monty Python skit, we just Don't ... Like ... Spam. I will try to post and respond to your comments as quickly as possibly.