David Baldacci is a worldwide bestselling novelist. His books have been published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 110 million copies in print. He is one of the world's favorite storytellers.
This book isn't his typical offering as the writer of blockbuster thrillers, but it is a moving account of one family who learned to love and reconnect after being exposed to terrible tragedy.
It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together. Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie's death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie's childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.
David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. You can find out more about him by going to www.davidbaldacci.com and his foundation by going to www.wishyouwellfoundation.org. He also has a program designed to spread books across America. You can find out more about this by going to www.feedingbodyandmind.com .
This was my first Baldacci book, but it won't be my last. I intend to catch up on his other titles and I highly recommend him to you.
This book was passed on to me by a Book Club member, because she thought I might like it--and, indeed I did. It is a mystery that was released in 2008 by Australian author Kate Morton.
On the eve of the first world war, a little girl is found abandoned on a ship to Australia. A mysterious woman called the Authoress had promised to look after her--but the Authoress has disappeared without a trace.
On the night of her twenty-first birthday, Nell O'Connor learns a secret that will change her life forever. Decades later, she embarks upon a search for the truth that leads her to the windswept Cornish coast and the strange and beautiful Blackhurst Manor, once owned by the aristocratic Mountrachet family.
On Nell's death, her grand-daughter, Cassandra, comes into an unexpected inheritance. Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold--secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales. It is here that Cassandra will finally uncover the truth about the family, and solve the century-old mystery of a little girl lost.
This is a story that explores the present and the past, a theme that the author is particularly interested in. There are three strands woven together to form a single narrative--the lives of three women from three different eras. At first, it jumped around a little too much for me, but once I got used to jumping back and forth in time, the magical narrative captivated me. We even get a few dark fairytales woven into the narrative as well. You can tell that the book has been carefully researched and crafted with mysteries to be solved and many puzzle pieces to be followed till the very end (where there is a payoff). It was a fast and easy read and the atmosphere and setting made for a compelling read.
Read an interesting article by Suzy Staubach about the curious rise of bibliographics. Just wanted to share it with you all here because she has a lot of good links listed for Pinterest sites and web pages having to do with books. Truly delightful to browse for any book lover. They make this girl's heart beat a bit faster, and maybe they will work their magic on you too. Check it out.
The following article from the Wall Street Journal gives lovers of ink and paper heart. Reports of the death of the printed book may be exaggerated.
"Ever since Amazon introduced its popular Kindle e-reader five years ago,
pundits have assumed that the future of book publishing is digital. Opinions
about the speed of the shift from page to screen have varied. But the consensus
has been that digitization, having had its way with music and photographs and
maps, would in due course have its way with books as well. By 2015, one media
maven predicted a few years back, traditional books would be gone.
Half a decade into the e-book revolution, though, the prognosis for
traditional books is suddenly looking brighter. Hardcover books are displaying
surprising resiliency. The growth in e-book sales is slowing markedly. And
purchases of e-readers are actually shrinking, as consumers opt instead for
multipurpose tablets. It may be that e-books, rather than replacing printed
books, will ultimately serve a role more like that of audio books—a complement
to traditional reading, not a substitute.
How attached are Americans to old-fashioned books? Just look at the results
of a Pew Research Center survey released last month. The report showed that the
percentage of adults who have read an e-book rose modestly over the past year,
from 16% to 23%. But it also revealed that fully 89% of regular book readers
said that they had read at least one printed book during the preceding 12
months. Only 30% reported reading even a single e-book in the past year.
What's more, the Association of American Publishers reported that the annual
growth rate for e-book sales fell abruptly during 2012, to about 34%. That's
still a healthy clip, but it is a sharp decline from the triple-digit growth
rates of the preceding four years.
The initial e-book explosion is starting to look like an aberration. The
technology's early adopters, a small but enthusiastic bunch, made the move to
e-books quickly and in a concentrated period. Further converts will be harder to
come by. A 2012 survey by Bowker Market Research revealed that just 16% of
Americans have actually purchased an e-book and that a whopping 59% say they
have "no interest" in buying one.
Meanwhile, the shift from e-readers to tablets may also be dampening e-book
purchases. Sales of e-readers plunged 36% in 2012, according to estimates from
IHS iSuppli, while tablet sales exploded. When forced to compete with the easy
pleasures of games, videos and Facebook on devices like the iPad and the Kindle
Fire, e-books lose a lot of their allure. The fact that an e-book can't be sold
or given away after it's read also reduces the perceived value of the
Beyond the practical reasons for the decline in e-book growth, something
deeper may be going on. We may have misjudged the nature of the electronic
From the start, e-book purchases have skewed disproportionately toward
fiction, with novels representing close to two-thirds of sales. Digital
best-seller lists are dominated in particular by genre novels, like thrillers
and romances. Screen reading seems particularly well-suited to the kind of light
entertainments that have traditionally been sold in supermarkets and airports as
These are, by design, the most disposable of books. We read them quickly and
have no desire to hang onto them after we've turned the last page. We may even
be a little embarrassed to be seen reading them, which makes anonymous digital
versions all the more appealing. The "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenomenon probably
wouldn't have happened if e-books didn't exist.
Readers of weightier fare, including literary fiction and narrative
nonfiction, have been less inclined to go digital. They seem to prefer the heft
and durability, the tactile pleasures, of what we still call "real books"—the
kind you can set on a shelf.
E-books, in other words, may turn out to be just another format—an even
lighter-weight, more disposable paperback. That would fit with the discovery
that once people start buying digital books, they don't necessarily stop buying
printed ones. In fact, according to Pew, nearly 90% of e-book readers continue
to read physical volumes. The two forms seem to serve different purposes.
Having survived 500 years of technological upheaval, Gutenberg's invention
may withstand the digital onslaught as well. There's something about a crisply
printed, tightly bound book that we don't seem eager to let go of."
—Mr. Carr is the author of "The Shallows: What the Internet Is
Doing to Our Brains."
This book has been billed as an honest look at the price of war on an ordinary American family. It is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and yes--ultimately--hope.
Michael and Jolene Zarkades are a young couple caught up in the malestrom of every day life. He is a defense attorney, and she is the mother of two girls and a helicopter pilot with the National Guard. Iraq erupts, and Jolene is deployed, leaving Michael to be the single parent to their two girls (a role that is obviously foreign to him). As a mother, Jolene agonizes over leaving her family, but as a soldier she understands the true meaning of duty. When tragedy befalls Jolene, their 12 year marriage is tested in ways that neither of them could have forseen.
The thing I liked best about this book was its depiction of the sacrifices that our service men and women make by putting themselves in harms way to protect us and ensure our freedom. Typical of that were the words from the Soldier's Creed posted on the hospital door of Jolene's best friend Tami:
I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
The character Jolene was a personification of this code. I had a little trouble relating to her prior to her Iraq experience because she seemed so bottled up and controlled--a little too perfect--but that was no doubt due to her dysfunctional background, coming from an alcoholic family. She truly found herself in the military--found her purpose. The character of Michael was well drawn, but I found the two children very annoying. The older girl (12) was a spoiled brat and the younger girl (4) seemed too much of a baby.
I do totally agree with Hannah when she says that no matter how you feel about war and all the political machinations behind it, we must always support our warriors.
Good books. Good times. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good beginnings. Good ends. Good people. Good friends. Good fiction. Good facts. Good adventures. Good acts. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good books. Good times.
Yeah, Reading is Sexy
A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
River of Earth by James Still
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
The Stand by Stephen King
This quote from Eudora Welty captures perfectly how I feel about books and reading
"I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself."
Get Caught Reading
Want to find time to read? Fall in book love. Seek out the books that fire your passions. Follow your intellect and your heart. Then time will find you. ...Steve Leveen
Stop thinking this is all there is...
Realize that for every ongoing war and religious outrage and environmental devastation, there are a thousand counter-balancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breathtaking scale, from flower box to cathedral.
Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel.
Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume; right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious...there's your opening!
And, finally, believe you are part of a groundswell, a resistance, a seemingly small but actually very, very large impending karmic overhaul, a great shift, the beginning of something important and potent and unstoppable.
...Mark Morford, Newspaper Columnist and Yoga Instructor
CONAN THE LIBRARIAN
I read as if time were running out, because technically it is. As I grow older, I find I'm increasingly impatient with mediocre entertainments: I want books that will take my breath away and realign my vision...Barbara Kingsolver
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill...Barbara Techman (Writer)
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul...Samuel Ullman
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order...John Adams, 2nd President of the U.S.
Every page allows me to live in the main character's thoughts and marvel at how all of us who grew up poor and female are bonded, regardless of where we were raised or who raised us. I not only feel I know this person, but I also recognize more of myself. That's just one of the great joys of reading. Insight, escape, information, knowledge, power. All that and more can come through a good book...If you're going to binge, literature is definitely the way to do it...Oprah Winfrey
"I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved."
Asking a Librarian her favorite book is like asking a Mother her favorite child
So you want to become a librarian? Welcome to a vibrant and exciting profession. Click here.
The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen. Health and strength may fail. But what you have committed to your mind, is yours forever...Louis Lamour
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.Just get people to stop reading them. ..... Ray Bradbury
I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN
Do yourself a favor and read American Gods, Anansi Boys, Fragile Things, Smoke & Mirrors, The Graveyard Book, MirrorMask, or Good Omens
Love the Fantasy/SciFi genre
Many good authors to try, John Scalzi is one of the newer ones
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, interesting...Aldous Huxley
The Chronicles of Narnia are an excellent read!
I was an adult before I read these books...how sad...
BOOKS: The Other Channel
My lifelong love affair with books and reading continues unaffected by automation, computers, and all other forms of the twentieth-century gadgetry. — Books in My Life Robert DOWNS (1903- )
A room without books is like a body without a soul. .....Marcus T. Cicero
To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ......Gaston Bachelard
The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. — Cosmos Carl SAGAN
The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. — Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475 Norman COUSINS (1915- )