Friday, October 20, 2006

Fall Reading Challenge: Part 4

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I've only read a few books since the last time I've posted. I kind of feel like I might be letting someone down... Go figure out that thinking. I mean, that thought is down right silly since the challenge is only with myself.

Susanne, finally I've read your recommendation, Rift in Time by Michael Phillips. This book was set on the premise of a non-believing archeologist finding Noah's Ark. The story that runs after the discovery involves the beginning of Adam Livingstone's understanding of God and His authority on earth, the individuals that God adds to his core group of collective friends and the worldwide powers of evil that is bent on stopping Livingstone's further research of discovering the Garden of Eden.

Although the premise was intriguing and set to be a great mystery, I found the writing to be annoying and entirely too detailed. (Sorry, Susanne.) Some things do not need to be written because the idea of an action implies a certain following. Really, when someone gets a cup of tea, the author should not point out every minute detail to this process... Just say that "She offered and poured him a cup of tea" and leave it at that! The book was about 150 pages too long due to this sort of unnecessary detailing. I found myself skimming sections that were completely irrelevant to the story just so that I finish the book.

Some characters where completely unnecessary and some situations just had me rolling my eyes. A star archeologist who wishes to keep his research under wraps (and tells his core team all the details in a private secure meeting) should know that if his actions have been divulged to the press, that there is either a mole in his group or his private area was bugged. He really wouldn't ignore the situation with an "oh well" reaction and then continue to tell someone that he doesn't trust details of his adventure to come. I was really bothered with the stupidity of some situations.

So Susanne, all this to say that I won't recommend the book to others unless they are into this kind of reading. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't think I'll be continuing the story in the second book, especially since you said that the second book wasn't as well-written or as interesting as the first book. I've too many others that I wish to read.

I've read the Tales of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo with my daughter. It became our nighttime reading book that we like to do together. What a delightful story! It is filled with adventure, excitement and the idea of good vs. evil. Not everything that happens is tied up in a pretty bow, but the story recognizes the value in holding onto hope, giving forgiveness, following your dreams and seeing love as the reason to brave, to be strong and to be full of honor in all of your actions.

All I can say is that if you haven't read this to your children or if it's not on your child's horizon, this book would make a fabulous Christmas gift.

I threw a book into my reading list that just looked interesting - The Doctor's Daughter by Hilma Wolitzer. The book was an easy read, as I chewed throught it in just a couple of days. I didn't know what to expect, as once again, I did not read the inside cover.

The story is set around a middle-aged wife and mother, Alice, who is struggling to find her place in life after being laid off from her editor position. She is complacent in her marriage, doting on her younger son and indecisive as to the direction of her life. Although New York City has a lot to offer in the way of jobs, she just can't seem to pull herself together. Along with this waffling in life, she has hidden angst against her husband and against her "perfect" parents. Things start to fall apart in every section of her life - her husband moves out, her body gives indication of a lump in her breast and her father who is in a nursing home causes more grief as well.

On a whim on day, she places an ad in the NY Times to be a "book doctor." She decides to read through selected manuscripts to edit them and to suggest parts to be rewritten, changed or sliced out altogether. Through this work she comes into a first time author with talent oozing from his pen. She becomes enraptured in the story and finds herself really wanting to know the author.

The story that ensues is Alice's journey to find out how her past affects her future, how decisions she makes today can be a result of indecision in her history, about how living under the guise of a perfect parentage can lead to heartache in her own. I really like how the author persued these revelations through hindsight, hidden memories, conversations and through Alice's bout with therapy. The progress seems natural, flawed (in a good sense as in the flaw of a person's rationalizing) and realistic. I recommend it, but please note that it is a secular book. I don't mean that it is graphic, but that there are situations in it that can make you uncomfortable.

Lastly, I've read one other book, but I want to tell you all about it next week. You'll see why I'm so excited about it starting on Tuesday.

If you wish to review my other Fall Reading Challenges, just follow the links below. Until then, Happy Reading!

Fall Into Reading Challenge

Fall Reading Challenge: Part 2

Fall Reading Challenge: Part 3

Books I'm working on: Financial Peace University, Narnia Series, Bible - from Gal to Rev and a few others I've picked up since the forming of the list: Mercy Falls and The Sea. I hope to get Sheet Music in the weeks to come.


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