In My Mailbox (65)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to goodreads.com. Summaries are also from goodreads.com.

Just one book from the library again this week. I’m really trying to read more of my books that I have instead of getting lots from the library.

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Images: Goodreads

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Published By: Penguin

Date of Publication: 2008

Categories: Adult, Food, Non Fiction. 

Pages: 205

Summary (from goodreads.com): Michael Pollan’s last book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

Review: Awhile ago I put this book on hold at the library. I forget what made me want to read it, but when I got home with it and read the summary, it sounded pretty good. I was excited to read it.

While I thought some of it made a lot of sense (eating as much as you can unprocessed), some just didn’t make sense to me (don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients). Um, most of the salads I make have more than 5 ingredients. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make them unhealthy.

Something I’m going to try really hard to do it eat more local produce. Generally that’s only something that can happen during the summer here. 6 months out of the year there’s snow on the ground, so that makes growing things here pretty hard. But there’s a farmer’s market that’s pretty close to me during the summer that I can buy all kinds of veggies at. While I’ve made trips there previous summers, I’ll try to get there most weeks this year.

Another thing that it really made me think about is the processed food I eat. I’ve found myself reading ingredient lists more and trying to pick things that have the least amount of additives. At least it’s a start, right? I think I’m going to try making things at home rather than always buying the grocery store version just because it’s quicker and easier.

All in all I thought this was a good read that makes me think more about what I eat. Have you read it? What did you think?

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

In My Mailbox (64)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to goodreads.com. Summaries are also from goodreads.com.

I only ended up getting one book from the library this week.

The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

As a new queen, Elizabeth faces two great dangers: the French invasion of Scotland, which threatens to put Mary Queen of Scots on her throne, and her passion for the convicted traitor Robert Dudley.
But Dudley is already married, and his devoted wife Amy will never give him up, least of all to an upstart Protestant Princess. She refuses to set her beloved husband free to marry the queen; but she cannot prevent him from becoming the favorite and the focus of the feverishly plotting, pleasure seeking court.
Others too oppose the marriage, but for very different reasons. William Cecil, the queen’s wisest counselor, knows she must marry for policy; her uncle hates Dudley and swears he will be murder him first. Behind the triangle of lovers, the factions take up their places: the Protestants, the priests, the assassins, the diplomats and the moneymakers. The very coin of England is shaved and clipped to nothing as Elizabeth uncertainly leads her bankrupt country into a war that no-one thinks can be won.
Then someone acts in secret, and for Elizabeth, Dudley and the emerging kingdom, nothing will be as planned.

Images: Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday (54)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Jill at Breaking The Spine highlighting books that are going to be published soon. Here’s what I’m looking forward to.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends – the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art – and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

Image: goodreads.com

Waiting on Wednesday (53)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Jill at Breaking The Spine highlighting books that are going to be published soon. Here’s what I’m looking forward to.

Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all… Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family’s deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own – one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all…

Image: goodreads.com

An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina

Published By: Viking Adult

Date of Publication: April 6 2006

Categories: Adult, biography, genocide, humanitarianism, non fiction.

Pages: 207

Summary (from goodreads.com): An Ordinary Man explores what the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda could not: the inner life of the man who became one of the most prominent public faces of that terrible conflict. Rusesabagina tells for the first time the full story of his life-growing up as the son of a rural farmer, the child of a mixed marriage, his extraordinary career path which led him to become the first Rwandan manager of the Belgian-owned Hotel Milles Collines-all of which contributed to his heroic actions in the face of such horror. He will also bring the reader inside the hotel for those one hundred terrible days depicted in the film, relating the anguish of those who watched as their loved ones were hacked to pieces and the betrayal that he felt as a result of the UN’s refusal to help at this time of crisis.

Including never-before-reported details of the Rwandan genocide, An Ordinary Man is sure to become a classic of tolerance literature, joining such books as Thomas Keneally’sSchindler’s List, Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, and Elie Wiesel’s Night. Paul Rusesabagina’s autobiography is the story of one man who did not let fear get the better of him-a man who found within himself a vast reserve of courage and bravery, and showed the world how one “ordinary man” can become a hero.

Review: This was definitely a hard book to read, but it’s a book that should be read. Paul Rusesabagina writes about how he survived the Rwandan genocide and was able to protect almost 1300 people hiding in his hotel.

If you’ve seen Hotel Rwanda you know the jist of how things happened. I really enjoyed the details in the book though. There was a lot of history which helped to set up how a genocide could happen. It put things in context. It’s pretty shocking to think that friends and neighbors would kill each other, but with the history of colonialism and racism in Rwanda, it was easier to understand how it could have happened.

It’s amazing to think that Rusesabagina was able to keep 1300 people safe with just money, liquor, and the ability to talk. He never picked up a gun but he was able to fight against the genocide.

It’s shocking to think the international community could have cared less about a nearly a million people. The UN and the western world had more than enough information to stop the killing, but they decided not to. They let people be killed, traumatized, and pushed from their homes to become refugees.

All in all if you’re wanting a great non-fiction read, go with this book. If you’re looking for something else to read about the Rwandan genocide, I would definitely recommend Shake Hands with the Devil by Romeo Dallaire, the head of the UN mission in Rwanda.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I bought this book.

Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

Published By: Starfire

Date of Publication: 1908

Categories: Classic, Canada, YA, series.

Pages: 336

Summary (from goodreads.com): As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug,  white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she  wanted to stay forever… but would the Cuthberts  send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not  what they expected — a skinny girl with decidedly  red hair and a temper to match. If only she could  convince them to let her stay, she’d try very hard  not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt  out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was  not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables  agreed; she was special — a girl with an enormous  imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day  when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables.

Review: This has to be one of my favorite classics. You can’t help but have fun reading about all of Anne’s adventures in Avonlea.

I think one of the big reasons why I like this book so much is the characters. They seem so real to me. Anne seems like such a genuine little girl when you first meet her, and she has trouble getting chores done without letting her imagination get away from her. As hard as Marilla likes to seem, you know that  deep down inside she loves Anne like crazy.

Every time I get to the part where Matthew dies I cry. I can’t help it. I know it’s coming, but it’s always still so sad. By the time it happens I’m attached to him, and it breaks my heart to have him not be there to see how Anne will grow up, and the woman she’ll become. As much as he left raising Anne to Marilla, he obviously had quite an impact on Anne.

The setting was another great part of this book. Although I’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, I would love to go one day. It would be so much fun to see the place where all of Anne’s adventures happen. The way Montgomery describes Green Gables and the Haunted Wood adds so much.

I know I’ve read a few other books in the series, but I don’t think I’ve read all of them yet. I’m pretty excited about reading the rest of them now. I want to know what happens to Anne.

Image: goodreads.com

Disclosure: I bought this book.