Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another month, another book review! Haha!

Well, I kind of have been having a super exciting and crazy and fun filled couple weeks, so instead of posting about that....I'm going to wait until it is all finished, then do a couple posts all together about it. So in the meantime, here is my most recent book review. It might be a while until I do another one, since I am going to be bouncing around traveling so much, so here is a little :)

The Telling Pool. This book was just okay. It is kind of a King Arthur story...sort of. A young man during the crusades finds the Telling Pool, which can tell past events and current events in a different part of the world, and has to rescue his dad from an evil sorceress. The plot was pretty entertaining, but I wish the author had have gone into more detail with the story. A pretty fast read...good beach read :)

Crippen. Murder mystery. Based on an actual murder that was investigated....but a lot of people aren't completely convinced the verdict was accurate. So this is the authors interpretation of who who HE thinks did it. Part of it is kind of slow, and it is a little predictable. But it was pretty interesting. I would give this book one thumbs up...but not a full two thumbs up. :)

I Capture the Castle - now a motion picture :) I definitely enjoyed this book. The plot is kind of predictable, but the writing style was REALLY nice. It is written in journal entries by a very contemplative young girl who tries desperately to be self critical and self aware. I really liked this, as it delves into her ideas of who people really are and who she really is. This was beautifully written and very romantic. I give this book two thumbs up :) Good book club pick!
Song of the Exile (yes, I stole the image from :)) I REALLY liked this book. It was REALLY REALLY sad and the ending was still kind of a downer, but it was REALLY interesting. This book is about World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor from local Hawaiians. The main character is a full blooded Hawaiian who plays trumpet in a band and wants to travel the world with his girlfriend, who is half chinese, half Hawaiian. She wants to go back to China to find her abandoned club footed sister. It is about their separate travels and and their desperate attempts to find one another. It was REALLY sad, but it helps you see things from Hawaiian's point of view, which I think is definitely a point of view most people don't think of. I know I didn't! I give this book two BIG thumbs up. Be prepared, though...its a tear jerker! I also really liked how the main character is a jazz musician and a lot of the book is trying to explain what Jazz is...both in the emotional, social, and musical sense :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Videos of Ella :)

Dancing Baby! :)

Playing at church!

God Bless America!

Being the 4th of July, I started getting very thoughtful about the things I am grateful here is a list in no particular order. This list started out by being things I am grateful for because I am American and the blessings that that entails, but it ended up being a list of things in general. So I guess this could be more of a Thanksgiving post? But whatever :)

  • My husband. More specifically: the characteristics and attributes he possesses that makes me so deeply in love with him: his ability to put up with me, his ability to reason with me, his extreme work ethic, his ability to entertain me and be patient with me as he explains his medical jargon, the way he gets so excited about things...but barely shows it ("Oh, cool." hehe), the little things he does like takes out the trash without being told, picks up the house just because, is so sweet and tender with Ella, buys me random little presents to show he loves me, the way he tries so hard to make everything so perfect, okay, this list could just go on and on, but I don't think people want to read a sappy paragraph about that - I know I don't like to read it about other couples! Ha!

  • My baby. Yeah, I know, here comes another sappy paragraph, but I don't think its as bad when its a kid :) So here goes a little paragraph to my wittle baby (oh yes...I said wittle). I love how excited she is to see me in the morning, I'm grateful that she has never been sick and is so easily consolable (with an otter pop...or three or four of them...) I'm grateful that she is so beautiful and every time I look into her face I can see part of my husband. I'm grateful for finding her random shoes around the apartment and her random toys in random places after she has played with them. I'm grateful for her babble talk and how it makes me laugh so hard when she gets so excited. I'm grateful for watching Disney movies with her over and over and over and over and over...I'm grateful that she is growing into a smart, yet still speechless, little toddler. I am so grateful for her happy face.

  • My family. I'm grateful for the support they have shown me in my older years, and the tolerance and patience they showed me in my earlier years. I'm grateful they never gave up on me, even in my rebellious stage. I'm grateful that I have so many siblings to call my friends and that we all get along so well. I'm grateful for my older brother for being such a good example. I'm grateful for my younger sister for being an example and for being a missionary. I'm grateful for my other younger sister for being such a shining beam of happiness and silliness. I hope she never grows out of that ;) I'm grateful for my youngest brother for being such a stud and for working so hard in everything. I'm grateful for my family and all the love they show me.

  • My education. I'm grateful that I was able to receive a college education and will have the opportunity to pursue an even higher degree of education (and I'm grateful that my husband supports me in this!). I'm grateful for being able to learn about so many different things that help me understand the way people act and the way people think.

  • My country. I'm grateful that I live (well...will go back to living...) in the most wonderful country in the world. Yes, thats patriotism for you. Even though there are some crappy things in our country, it still rocks. I'm grateful that there are so many freedoms to choose from and so many opportunities for everyone. I'm grateful that I can practice my beliefs without it being against the law! I'm grateful that I live in a country where I can be grateful for living there!
This is just a short list, since I keep getting interrupted and can never finish it! :) Ha! For the actual day of Fourth of July, we kept it pretty low key. On Friday, we went up to Le Galion beach with our friends Roger and Alicia. Ella got sunburnt pretty badly on her back and shoulders, (Yes, I felt like a terrible mother!) so on Saturday I didn't want her out in the sun very much. We slept in on Saturday morning (even Ella slept in until 9:00! WOO!) then just hung out all afternoon until about 3:30-4:00ish when we headed over to Mullet Beach for the Spouses Org BBQ. It was really nice that there were so many people there! There were quite a few couples that I didn't know, too? Weird...I thought I knew almost everyone! Haha! :)

We stayed for an hour or so and had to leave 'cause it was getting really hot and we were just in normal clothes, not swim clothes. The decorations were very cute and everyone brought a side dish while some of the husbands BBQ's burgers and hot dogs. I made a HUGE pot of baked beans that I don't think anyone needless to say, we will be eating lots of baked beans for the next couple of days! Good thing Ella likes them, too! Haha! :) There was even a pinata that was REALLY cute! Ella even got in on the action and thought it was really funny hitting it with the stick. She didn't quite get the concept of candy coming out though. She kept picking up one piece at a time and putting it down...then picking up another one...then putting it down. When one of the husbands, Steve, tried to hand her a big handful of candy, she just took one and walked away. Haha! Silly girl :)

Later that night after Ella went to bed, Tom and I watched the New York fire works and the Boston fireworks on T.V. It was really nice to just cuddle and take a long easy day together! Tom has been studying like a mad man for his pharmacology class, so it was nice to take a little break :) Anyway, God Bless the U.S.A.!!!!!

p.s. Two more weeks! WOO!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Book Update

It's time for another book review! Yes, it looks like I'm doing one of these a month...but that's just how much free time I have :) Also, we have to read a book every three weeks for book club - so that keeps me going, too! :) Here they are, in no particular order:

The Wheel of Time: Book 1. LOVED IT. Talk about a cool book! This was given to me as a birthday present from my dear friend, Sharill :) It is a fantasy series that is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. I highly recommend it. It is fast paced, the characters are unique and interesting, and the plot is very intriguing. Not stupid, at all. I definitely will be reading the rest of the series!

The Red Scarf. This was given to me by my Grandma. I think it was one of her book club books! Good, but sad. It is about a convict girl in communist Russia. It gives an insiders view on the world of Communism (pssssyyycchhooo!!!) and is all about how she is trying to rescue her other friend that is stuck on the chain gang! The story is very realistic and really makes you wonder...there is a little bit of gypsy-mysticism in the end, though. That kind of makes the story less believable, but it is still really interesting. Some parts of it are VERY heart breaking and it even has a CRAZY twist at the end!

Gentlemen and Players - WOAH! So CRAZY! :) It is by the same author who wrote Chocolat (the movie with Johnny Depp *love sigh*) and Five Quarters of an Orange (also a very good book, refer to previous book reviews). It is kind of hard to follow at the beginning and it took me about 50 pages before I really understood what was going on. It alternates between the King piece (a professor at the school) and a pawn (mystery character to be revealed at the end of the book). It is about the pawn trying to destroy this private school from the inside out. Very crazy murder mystery book :) Loved it.

The Hiding Place. Book Club Book. Portions of this book are used A LOT in general conference, actually. After reading it I was like, "oh yeah....this is THAT lady??" Crazy! True story of a woman in Holland during World War II running a Jewish Underground. It is REALLY sad, but she is so positive and has so much faith that it is actually a pretty uplifting book. She always refers to everything in a religious sense, which is refreshing for World War II! Sad...but uplifting...

Atonement - yes, the movie one. Boo. Two thumbs down for this book. I didn't like it. It was really depressing and nothing gets resolved in the end. I suppose this is more "realistic" and "lifelike" than other novels, but I don't want to read a book for life like situations! Life is depressing enough! I want to read a book where good prevails and evil is punished. This book was pretty depressing. The writing style was interesting, since it is written from a critical first person, but overall...kind of a downer.

Hanna's Daughters. VERY interesting. It goes through three generations of women and really helps you appreciate your grandmother! It talks about how it is your grandmother that created your mother and your mother that created you. We are all part of our grandmother, mother, and great-grandmothers. It is a little confusing with the character names: Johanna, Hannah, and Anna, but it works it out in the end :) There were parts of this that were kind of a downer, but overall, pretty entertaining and fast paced.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling. Very cute. Very quick. Very easy. It is only, like, 100 pages so you can read it in an hour or so (or if you're like me....20 minutes) but anyway - very cute! It is kind of "fairy tales" for the wizard world. Each story has a moral and it is just how I like it: good prevails, evil is punished. Very cute. Dumbledor has little tidbits of his point of view at the end of every chapter - I found these to be pretty redundant and often skimmed over them. He only states the obvious...but if you are unsure of what the moral of each story is...then maybe you should read his notes :)

Beethoven's Hair. My non-fiction for the month. A piece of Beethoven's hair is snipped on his death bed and it travels through different centuries and countries until it is on auction by Sotheby's. The Beethoven chapters are REALLY interesting - all about his personal life, his friends, and what the general population really thought about him. The modern chapters are a little less interesting. They are trying to test his hair to see what diseases and problems he had: why he went deaf, why he had so many intestinal problems, etc. It turns out, they think he had lead poisoning! CRAZY! It explains so many things, but they can't figure out where he would have ingested such a high dosage...interesting. Anyway, I recommend this book for all you music lovers and for all you medical minded people :)

There they are! I'm in the middle of another book right now and have a big stack from my grandma to go through, so expect more! :) Does anyone even read my reviews?