Wednesday, July 20, 2011

books 2011 #14-19

Curly GirlCurly Girl by Lorraine Massey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book kind of rocked my world. I especially liked all of the interviews with curly-haired women: they know my pain! They have been struggling with their hair their whole lives! And they are in various stages of acceptance, they don't all love their hair now. Just keeping it real.

My life would seriously be so much easier if I could just like my hair the way it is and stop wishing it were straight, trying to straighten it, wanting a different style, etc. I'm trying. I tried not shampooing, as the author recommends, and just using conditioner, but I gave up after a week. I just had to wash my hair!

Her tips about using clips to shape and speed the air-drying process were very helpful. I bought some lavender essential oil to make some lavender mist (haven't made it yet).

I think I want to get a hold of the newer edition to see if there are any changes that might help me with my journey to hair acceptance...

Far from the Madding Crowd (Penguin Classics)Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Finally!! I don't why it took me a month to get through this book. I liked it! But for whatever reason, it was just really. slow. going. I felt rather guilty for having chosen it for book club (sorry, guys!).

I loved the depth of the character development. Even when some of the action was surprising, it really wasn't, given the characters that had been so fully fleshed-out. I also really liked the maturing of Bathsheba that we witnessed - she went from sort of a flighty girl to a woman of substance and strength.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2)The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just love Flavia de Luce, and I'm sure I'll have to read any and all books written about her. She is utterly beyond her 11 years, and then not... just like other tweens I've known. She is fascinated by chemistry, particularly poisons, and is quite a little detective, and yet she is still a child in many ways. She can distill poisons and solve murders, yet she still falls victim to her older sisters' taunts and tales about her being adopted or being voted out of the family. I love that hovering between childhood and more grown-up thoughts and interests.

Aunt Felicity showed herself to be a good ally for Flavia, perhaps more than Flavia herself can recognize at this point. I love their conversation about Harriet and carrying on the torch:

". . . carry on the glorious name of De Luce," she said. "Wherever it may lead you."

This was an interesting thought; it had never occurred to me that one's name could be a compass.

"And where might that be?" I asked, somewhat slyly.

"You must listen to your inspiration. You must let your inner vision be your Pole Star."

I also love the character of Dogger. He is alternately someone that Flavia looks after and someone who looks after her. The entertaining writing as well as the complexity of the characters will keep me coming back for more.

MudboundMudbound by Hillary Jordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Again, great characters set in the South, but this time there is no happy happy joy joy matriarchal society. There is hatred, bigotry, injustice, and the KKK, but I loved it all the same.

I can't wait to discuss this at book club.

Saving CeeCee HoneycuttSaving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Apparently I just love Southern fiction. I love stories about strong women, inter-generational relationships between women, and stories about strong inter-racial relationships. I just love it when the blacks and whites not only get along, but love each other! Love it.

I love CeeCee, and I am so glad that she was saved from her awful life and rescued, that she ended up with a whole gaggle of women who loved her and that she loved in return. I want that for my daughter. I hope I can be instrumental in that.

Favorite quotes:

"Everyone needs to find the one thing that brings out her passion. It's what we do and share with the world that matters. I believe it's important that we leave our communities in better shape than we found them.

"Cecelia Rose", she said, reaching for my hand, "far too many people die with a heart that's gone flat with indifference, and it surely must be a terrible way to go. Life will offer us amazing opportunities, but we've got to be wide-awake to recognize them. . . if there's one thing I'd like most for you, it's that you'll find your calling in life. That's where true happiness and purpose lies. . . you've got to find your fire, sugar. You'll never be fulfilled if you don't."

". . . But how will I know what my fire is?"

". . . Oh you'll know. One day you'll do something, see something, or get an idea that seems to pop up from nowhere. And you'll feel a kind of stirring–like a warm flicker inside your chest. When that happens, whatever you do, don't ignore it. Open your mind and explore the idea. Fan your flame. And when you do, you'll have found it."


"When we're born, the Good Lord gives each of us a Life Book. Chapter by chapter, we live and learn."

"But, Mrs. Odell, I've never heard of a Life Book."

"It's not a book you can see or touch. It's a book that's held deep within your heart. It's guarded by your spirit. . . When a chapter of your Life Book is complete, your spirit knows it's time to turn the page so a new chapter can begin. Even when you're scared or think you're not ready, your spirit knows you are."


"It's what we believe about ourselves that determines how others see us."

The Wholeness of a Broken Heart: A NovelThe Wholeness of a Broken Heart: A Novel by Katie Singer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just love multi-generational novels, particularly those about women. I also tend to like novels told from multiple perspectives. This fills the bill on both counts.

When Hannah's formerly adoring mother suddenly shuts her out, I am shocked. I am angry on Hannah's behalf. I am mystified. The rest of the story, and the differing viewpoints and experiences that are revealed, helps me to understand more. I still don't agree with what she did, but I can understand her better.

I love Hannah's grandmothers. Is there any hurt a loving grandmother can't help to heal?

View all my reviews


Jill said...

Wow, you're cruising through the books, I think that's the silver lining to your bronchitis eh?!

Alisa said...

Oh I am so glad I checked your blog today. I needed a good reference of something to read. I just put several on reserve all ready for our family's "beach week." Thank you for the recommendations!

patsy said...

I hope you are feeling better!

You amaze me

melanie said...

I love Flavia too. I have the 3rd book on order. I sure hope you're feeling better by now!

Charlotte said...

I love reading your book reviews! I always end up adding to my to-read list after perusing yours.

Rebekah said...

I wish you luck on your journey to curly hair acceptance. I've recently dealt with some excessive breakage up front and it really annoys me! I didn't bring my silk pillowcase to California with me, so I've had to go buy one. I'm confident that sleeping on a regular pillow case was part of the problem.

I don't shampoo everyday and more. I think I go about two or three days in between using shampoo. And if, when I access my hair in the morning, I feel like I can fudge a hairstyle for a second day without wetting it in the shower, then I do. I always wear my hair up though, so I think that makes it easier for me.

Onward, curly soldiers...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...