Monday, January 02, 2012

books 2011 #36-41

Apologize, Apologize!Apologize, Apologize! by Elizabeth Kelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I saw that one critic compared the family in this book to the Royal Tenenbaums, and I can see it. Each character is rather one-note, so it's the interaction between them that creates the most interest. Collie, the narrator, is probably the most complex of the characters (or maybe that's just how it seems because we see everything from his point of view). I like it that he's not so cut and dry, that his grief, his frustration are not so easily overcome.

Warning: this book contains a decent amount of vulgar language.

The Heretic's DaughterThe Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Historical novel about the Salem witch trials, written from the point of view of a girl whose mother (and most of her family) was accused. It was fascinating to see how the mass hysteria built up around suspected witchcraft. With essentially no evidence, so many were imprisoned and many hanged. I knew very little about this time period, and was actually surprised that there were not more people involved and that it all happened in a matter of a few months.

I loved the depth of the characters and the development of the relationships.

The Girl She Used to BeThe Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting story about a girl who's been in the witness protection program for most of her life. I'm not sure the characters are all that believable, but it was a quick read about something new to me, and I liked that.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm wavering between 4 and 5 stars on this one.

I've read other books about WWII, but never from the perspective of soldiers in Japanese POW camps. Louie Zamperini is amazing, a true testament to the amazing ability of (some) people to persevere, survive, and even flourish. I can't even imagine.

A fascinating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying book.

The Continuous AtonementThe Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard the author talk about much of the material in this book and I preferred his speaking to his writing. That said, I still found this to be an inspiring and useful book.

some favorite quotes:

"Changes in belief always precede changes in behavior."

"It is one thing to follow Christ and another thing entirely to be led by Him."

"True faith in Christ is more than just knowing about Him or even believing He is divine. It is knowing that His Atonement is real, that its purpose is to transform us, and that it will be available as long as that perfecting process takes."

"Our needs—including the need for forgiveness—are continuous, and so is Christ's Atonement in its ability to meet those needs."

"[Christ] doesn't always clear the path, but He does illuminate it."

"One who chooses Christ chooses to be changed... [The Atonement] rehabilitates, regenerates, renews, and transforms human nature."

"We should recognize that God is pleased with every effort we make—no matter how faltering—to better ourselves."

"Save for the exception of the very few who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the Atonement of Christ. (Boyd K. Packer)"

Wilcox's down-to-earth writing and clear examples make a difficult subject much easier to understand.

The Book of Ruth The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ruth is a very complex character — beaten down, made to feel that she is unintelligent, stuck in her smallest of small town lives. She begins corresponding with her estranged Aunt Sid, the only person to encourage her and lift her. Ruth says that Sid saved her life a million times over.

Even after becoming a mother and wife, Ruth exists in a childlike, innocent state, until a violent act throws her life into complete upheaval. There is a sense of hopefulness throughout that things will turn out okay for Ruth in the end. Despite her awkwardness, she has dignity and resilience.

View all my reviews


Melinda said...

Am I going crazy or did you post a recipe that was "damn good"? It has sweet potato? I've looked all over your food blog and can't find it, but it did look so good and I want to make it.

Jill said...

You're a reading machine!

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