"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Favourite Books I Read in 2012

Favourite Mystery:

Annie Darling has planned another exciting event, this time aboard a ship cruising in the waters near Broward Rock, South Carolina. (fictional island). Annie is pleased to see so many in costumes of popular book sleuths and all is going well when there's a scream and someone is overboard. Is it a suicide or murder? Within days, the body count grows as shortly thereafter another murder occurs, a car is missing and a wealthy senior is dead, presumably another suicide. Things just don't seem to be so cut and dry to Annie who proceeds, with the enlistment of her husband and some local friends, to uncover the mystery of these occurrences and find the murderer before he/she strikes again.  

Favourite Memoir:

The End of Your Life Book Club is touching, thoughtful, inspirational and most definitely my favourite book of 2012.  If you are looking for a book that will touch your heart and soul and linger in your thoughts long after you closed the cover, this is the book for you.  Better still, give a copy to your loved ones.  It's just that good!

Favourite Business:

As children, we were all curious and full of questions.  The favourite word for a five year old is usually "why?"  Not because they are trying to be difficult, but because they really want to know.  Over the years spent in the educational system children are discouraged from being disruptive, the fear of failure grows and children are less inclined/discouraged to ask questions.  Amanda Lang's theory of The Power of Whyencourages that childlike wonderment, the curiosity, the lack of fear of failure, and a desire to learn.  By allowing ourselves, our employees, our co-workers, our family members to think laterally, to embrace the challenges, and to respectfully question, we unleash the power of innovation and creative solutions.  

Favourite Children's 

I squealed with glee!  Yes, I did!  A co-worker showed me The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore today and I was thrilled to see this new release in children's books!  I saw the animated Acadamy Award winning feature a while ago and fell in love.  Needless to say, when I found this book upon which the animated featurette was based, I just had to have it.  I read it....devoured it in minutes, and then returned to the beginning to appreciate the artwork!  As you can see from the sample pages above and below, this book is a feast for the eyes.  The way William Joyce wrote it, in a tale with messages that reveal themselves with the maturity of the reader, intermingled with terrific illustrations done by Joe Blum, it is a treasure!  

Favourite Fiction:

State of Wonder is definitely one of the very best books I've read...ever!  When I first introduced this novel, I had barely begun the journey that I will not soon forget.  Here's what I said, "Now I know what all the fuss is about! This book is phenomenal! It had me wiping away the tears in the first chapter, sitting at the edge of my seat, feeling astounded by elements of the story, and mesmerized by the entirety of it all!" (GoodReads and My Bookshelf)

Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a story with wide appeal.  For the history buff, the lover of art, a supporter of feminism, a fan of love stories, triumph over trials....it's all here.  Susan has fleshed out each character and the ensuing relationships, allowing the individuals to live and breathe as vividly as if the reader knew them personally. 

I loved this novel. for within the pages of Falling Together, I found true heart, real love, and soul.    If you are looking for a book of substance and humour to warm those chilly days and nights, you simply must give this one a read.  Falling Together is definitely a good thing!

Favourite Christmas:

The accomplishments of the power of infinite love, through various trials and triumphs,   are the perfect examples of love, courage, and fine humanity we wish the world would embrace.  Kris Kringle may not be perfect in his efforts but he means well and in the end he shines as beautifully and fantastic as a fairy tale Prince Charming.  Strong messages of charity and love abound in this short novel which reinforce the message of Christmas:  to love one another.

Highly recommended as a family read for Christmas.  Kris Kringle's Magic is sure to be a welcome tradition in your home!

Favourite YA:

I wholeheartedly admit to LOVING this book!!  I read it on the transit to and from work, during my breaks, including my lunch breaks.  I was so involved in the story that I longed for lunch time just so I could pick up the book again!  It's been a while since I've read a book of this magnitude!  I am just sorry it took so long for me to discover The Hunger Games.  The plot is unique, the characters well-fleshed out and realistic, their emotions and thought processes genuine.  It's an "on the edge of your seat" kind of read. One that stays with you and makes you long incessantly for the next book in the series, which is Catching Fire.  

Suzanne Collins authors another powerful novel in Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games series.  She manipulates the environment, the mood, the plot masterfully, weaving in subplots and new characters while maintaining the hold she has on the readers' attention.  It is hard to put down, though not so difficult as The Hunger Games was (probably because The Hunger Gameswas so action-packed).  Catching Fire ends with a lovely little cliffhanger, just to keep the reader excited and eager to read the next book in the series, Mockingjay.  

 I was 257 pages into Mockingjay when I just knew I had to buy the entire series.  I had originally borrowed each book in turn but by book 2, I knew it was a buyer!  I didn't finish reading the original borrowed copy, but rather returned it and bought the set for myself and finished reading from my own copy.  I know my daughter will like it too!

Mockingjay is a roller coaster ride of events, danger, joy, sadness, thrills, edge of your seat reading.  In conclusion, Mockingjay sings!

I loved this book!  I know, my readers know I don't read much Young Adult Fiction but this one is definitely worth every second of your time!!  I was mesmerized as I read of this society, captivated by the story, drawn into Lena's life.  I laughed. I cried. I cheered.  Not necessarily in that order.  

Do I recommend it?  Wholeheartedly!!  Am I following author Lauren Oliver's blog?  You bet!!!  Am I anxious and excited for the second book in the series?  That is an automatic and enthusiastic yes!! 

Pandemonium finds Lena vulnerable, afraid and weak from her injuries.  Time heals her physical wounds and the emotional despair lessens and Lena finds herself acting as a spy.  She is in New York, spying on the son of the DFA leader, pretending to be one of them, acting cured and in favour of the cause to eradicate the disease called love.  But in all this, Lena finds herself in physical and emotional danger... danger of falling in love...again.  Where does this all lead her?  From vulnerable to resistance fighter, from sorrow to hope, and possibly to love.  But then, in the last few paragraphs, a twist is unveiled that leaves the reader hanging.....

From the first chapter, I was taken in by Cinder's story.  Cinder is a strong protagonist who battles herself as much as she battles the environment of the day.  I love the unique angle on what was once a favourite fairy tale.  With a twist here and there, Cinder sweeps you along until the last chapter where you are left dangling, hoping the second book will answer the questions of the cliffhanger ending.

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