Tuesday, May 31, 2011

books 2011 #11-13

God Wants A Powerful PeopleGod Wants A Powerful People by Sheri L. Dew

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Sheri Dew, and while this wasn't necessarily a page-turner, it has real depth and wisdom, and I found myself marking things on nearly every page. I think it's going to take some time (and probably a little re-reading) to digest.

For example, early in the book, she says, "The simple fact is that our Father did not recommend Sarah or Moses or Nephi or countless other magnificent exemplars for this dispensation. He recommended you and me." !! That is a mind-bender, for sure.

This book contains my favorite Sheri Dew quote of all time:

"It is not possible to sin enough to be happy. It isn't possible to buy enough to be happy, or to entertain or indulge or pamper ourselves enough to be happy. It is not possible to hide enough or run far enough away from trials and troubles to be happy. Happiness and joy come only when we are living up to who we are."

Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I debated about giving this book 5 stars. It's somewhere between 4 and 5 stars, but probably closer to 5, so... Although it's quite long and it took me a long time to read, I felt like I didn't want to put it down.

This is one of those epic books that spans a long time period in the lives of a family and its members. I love those kinds of books, because they are long enough, and involved enough, that the characters are richly developed. You almost feel like you are there in the action.

This one takes place in Ethiopia, which I knew virtually nothing about. Now I have a feel for Addis Ababa, and I always enjoy getting a feel for a new place as well (just as I enjoy reading about a familiar place - I guess they are twin pleasures). I never knew that liver transplants could be so fascinating! Almost as fascinating as the conjoined twins who were separated at birth and both grew up to be surgeons. Almost as fascinating as their parents, an American surgeon and an Indian nun. Almost as fascinating as their adoptive parents, both Indian doctors, their friends, their neighbors.

One of my favorite quotes:

"The key to your happiness is to... own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don't. If you keep saying your slippers aren't yours, you'll die searching, you'll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny."

Highly recommended.

Sarah's KeySarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I had known how much I would enjoy this book, I wouldn't have waited so long to get to it!

I really loved the story about Sarah, a young Jewish girl who was part of the Vel d'Hiv roundup in WWII Paris. I feel funny saying that I loved something that was so heartbreaking, but it was wonderfully told through an 11-year-old's eyes. Such horror and pain, and yet she survived and went on to love and be loved.

I didn't really love the story about Julia, a modern-day journalist living in Paris who becomes wrapped up in Sarah's story. (Although I did really enjoy reading about where she was going in Paris, especially since she lived in the same neighborhood we did the first time we lived there. Such fond memories of familiar streets, caf├ęs, parks...)

If the whole thing had been about Sarah and her experience, I would probably have given it 5 stars.

View all my reviews


Jill said...

I need to borrow Sarah's Key, and really wish I had it here now so I could take it to my read-a-thon tomorrow at school. I guess I'll have to look forward to it being on my summer list instead.

rmt said...

Excellent! I have been wondering about both Cutting For Stone and Sarah's Key. Thanks for the reviews. :)

Susan said...

I love Sherri Dew as well, and enjoyed that book. And I agree that her quote is about the best yet.

Someday, I'll have time to read some of your other suggestions. *sigh*

shannon said...

LOVED Sarah's Key...but you know me and those Holocaust books...I seem to go back and forth between that and slavery books. I just recently read Someone Knows My Name (was that per your recommendation?--I loved that, too!) as well as The Kitchen House...great book!!
I temporarily abandoned Ride the Wind...it's not speaking to me just yet. I just can't picture your grandma loving that book for some reason. I'm not giving up on it yet, though.
Right now I'm reading Here Be Dragons and am quite enjoying it.

I'm for sure putting Cutting For Stone on my list of "to reads"...

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I always appreciate your recommendations, Michelle.

I just finished Sheri Dew's book, too. (I read it on the piano bench during primary, it was a delightful way to pass time.)

Charlotte said...

I have Sarah's Key waiting for me at the library! I'm very excited to start, because I've heard such great things.

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