Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Life on the farm

Coming of age books can be iffy. "A Day No Pigs Would Die" is a sweet book that gives you a look into the life of a young boy growing up as a Shaker. I had an image of Jethro Bowdean (sp?) from the Beverly Hillbillys show as I heard the thoughts and conversation of young Robert Peck. Since Robert Peck is also the author of the book it is probably autobiographical, although written as a novel. You will delight in his stories of life on the farm, even as you agonize with the harsh realities of that same life. A young boy or young man would find this book a good read - and perhaps learn a thing or two about what it means to take on the responsibilities of manhood.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Book theft, book madness and cheese...

Books about books - what more could a booklover want? "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak almost slipped through my fingers. In the first few pages we learn that the narrator of the book is Death himself. Weird, I thought. Worth my time? Give it a few more pages, I decided. And I was hooked. This book bursts with words and word pictures. Some authors use the technique of personification to add color to their stories. This book has personification on every page. It's alive with it. If you love words and the images that words conjure up you will love this novel. At the same time it is a heartbreaking story of a young girl growing up in Germany during WWII. "The Book Thief" touched my heart. Take note that Chapters rates this for ages 10 - 12. I found it in the Young Adult section of the library. I wouldn't want my 12 year old son to read it. The language is sometimes questionable and it's too sophisticated a storyline. There are plenty of other books on this time period that would be more suited to this age group.

"The Bookwoman's Last Fling". A murder mystery about books! I love it! John Dunning obviously loves books and horses, as that is the framework of this book. Can we ever have enough books? Is there such a thing as too many? This book will probably give you a bit of a twinge if you're like me and have books everywhere. I finished it in several days and consider it a great summer read. I'll definitely look for others in the Cliff Janeway series.

So that's the book theft and book madness. Where does the cheese come in? In this fast paced world you MUST read (and reread) or in my case, listen to the audio of, "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson. The short parable speaks about change and how we react to it in healthy and unhealthy ways. His amusing metaphors will linger with you and cause you to rethink your reactions to the unavoidable changes that come along in life.