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September 23, 2016

Looking Back - Leaving Cold Sassy


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



Leaving Cold Sassy by Olive Ann Burns and Katrina Kenison
Fiction
1994 Delta (First published in 1992)
Finished on November 2, 1996
Rating: 2/5 (So-so)

Publisher's Blurb:

Cold Sassy Tree, Olive Ann Burns' unforgettable story of a Georgia town at the turn of the century, has captivated millions of readers with its tale of Grandpa Blakeslee, his young bride Miss Love, and the irrepressible fifteen-year-old Will Tweedy. Throughout her long battle with cancer, Olive Ann Burns worked passionately on a sequel to this magical book. Only during her final days did she realize she wouldn't complete it, dictating from her hospital bed her wishes that the finished chapters be published.

The result is Leaving Cold Sassy - a portrait of the grown-up Will Tweedy; of the feisty young schoolteacher who captures his heart; of the town that has claimed a place in the American imagination; and, in a fascinating reminiscence by her editor, of Olive Ann Burns, a writer who didn't get a chance to finish her extraordinary tale.

Complete with Olive Ann Burns' notes for later scenes and chapters exactly as she wrote them, Leaving Cold Sassy is a final, loving goodbye to Cold Sassy, Georgia.
  
My Original Notes (1996):

So-so. Not nearly as good as Cold Sassy Tree. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact the author wrote this as she lay dying of cancer. The working title was Time, Dirt, and Money and was intended to be a sequel to Cold Sassy Tree. Unfortunately, the characters and storyline are very thin/superficial. I was really disappointed. Olive Ann Burns didn't finish the book before her death, but her editor included Olive's notes for the remaining chapters, as well as a reminiscence by the editor. The family photos were a nice touch, too. I didn't realize that the characters were based on Olive Burns' family (particularly her parents).

This sequel wasn't very good, but the biography by the editor was wonderful! Very sad and moving. Feels like I know Olive Ann and her husband Andy, who also died of cancer. I'm glad I kept reading. 


My Current Thoughts:

I wrote about Cold Sassy Tree a couple of weeks ago and I'm a little surprised that I read this sequel so soon after finishing the first book, but back in the late '90s, I didn't have a huge TBR stack (if any at all!), so I probably went straight to the bookstore and bought this book to read right away. As much as I love having a lot of books to choose from here in my house, there's something refreshing about the idea of going out to buy a book as soon as I hear about it and actually reading it right away rather than letting it languish on a shelf for years. Ah, the good old days! :) But I digress. 

I no longer have a copy of Leaving Cold Sassy and if I did, I'm pretty sure it would go in the donation box, as I don't plan to read it a second time. However, I do plan to read Cold Sassy Tree sometime in the near future. 

September 21, 2016

Wordless Wednesday









Seattle Great Wheel
July 2016

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

September 19, 2016

Be Frank with Me



Be Frank with Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Fiction
2016 HarperCollins Audio
Read by Tavia Gilbert
Finished on April 15, 2016
Rating: 4.5/5 (Terrific!)

Publisher's Blurb:

A sparkling talent makes her fiction debut with this infectious novel that combines the charming pluck of Eloise, the poignant psychological quirks of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the page-turning spirit of Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Reclusive literary legend M. M. "Mimi" Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she's flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she's put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer's eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.

As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank's father is, how his gorgeous "piano teacher and itinerant male role model" Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless "only-in-Hollywood" moments, Be Frank with Me is a captivating and unconventional story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

I adored this book and fell in love with Frank and his naive curiosity and hilarious non sequiturs. If you've ever watched The Big Bang Theory, Frank is exactly how I would imagine Sheldon at the age of nine. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion, as well as having my heartstrings tugged during the sweet tender moments between Frank and Alice. I zipped through the audiobook very quickly, but not wanting it to end, worrying just a bit that it was going to have a tearful ending. I was really more sad to say goodbye to these endearing characters. 

On Being "Tackless":
"I have uncanny intuition unencumbered by the editorial reflex," he said. "I heard Dr. Abrams explain it that way to my mother when I pressed my ear to the door during one of their marathon discussions. My mother's response was, 'Where I come from we call that tactless.' Can you tell me what she meant by that? I have tacks. Quite a nice collections, in many colors. I understand that thumbtacks have fallen out of favor since the invention of the Post-it note, but my mother knows I am still a fan. When I asked her why she said I was tackless, all she did was sigh. Can you explain that to me?" 
On Fashion:
After Frank got the tape off his eyebrows, he'd refreshed himself with a pass through Wardrobe. Now he was wearing an outfit more suited to an afternoon's motoring: white canvas duster over chinos and a white shirt, leather aviator's cap and goggles, a silk scarf and old-school binoculars around his neck. He had his plastic machete stuck in his belt and his pith helmet under his arm. "Is that what you're wearing?" he asked.

"What's wrong with it?" I had on a T-shirt, Bermuda shorts, and tennis shoes.

On the Little Prince:
"Of course you look like the Little Prince," I said. It was something I'd noticed when I worked in the kindergarten. On the days kids brought their favorite books to class, you could see the Pippi Longstockings and the Cats in the Hat and Courduroy Bears coming from a mile away. Bedtime Story as Destiny, I used to call it. And here we had another case in point: Frank, a snappy little dresser given to mood swings, scarves, and non sequiturs, just visiting our world from a small, eccentric planet of his own.

Me? Harriet the Spy. Of course.

On L.A. Traffic:
Back in the car we decided to try the freeway for the full-on traffic experience, driving toward the jagged cluster of downtown Los Angeles with the mountains propped up behind it like cardboard scenery. Though the "driving" I was doing felt more like being parked in Omaha at the Seventy-Second Street Wal-Mart, waiting for the store to open for its post-Thanksgiving Day sale. The freeway was so packed it was hard to believe there could be anyone left driving cars anywhere else in the world.

Final Thoughts:

This is an excellent debut novel and I can't wait to see what the author writes next. I'm glad the book is finally available in paperback. I loved the audio book, but have had a difficult time hand selling the hardcover to customers since most of my regulars prefer paperbacks. I have a feeling once it hits the shelves it will become a favorite about book clubs and quickly hit the bestseller list. I hope so since I think it's a great book. 

Highly recommend for fans of The Big Bang Theory, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Rosie Project and Lottery (by Patricia Wood). 

Note: If given a choice between the print edition or audio, I suggest audio for the full impact of Frank's humorous lines. Tavia Gilbert is an excellent reader and her rendition of Frank's monotone voice is perfect.

September 16, 2016

Looking Back - A White Bird Flying


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Deal Family #2
Fiction
1988 University of Nebraska Press (first published in 1931)
Finished on October 30, 1996
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)

"Miss Aldrich has recreated the spirit of the descendants of the early Scotch and German settlers of the great Nebraskan plains, the spirit of healthy morality and calm contentment that is characteristic of these people" ~ New York Times
 
Publisher's Blurb:

Abbie Deal, the matriarch of a pioneer Nebraska family, has died at the beginning of A White Bird Flying, leaving her china and heavy furniture to others and to her granddaughter Laura the secret of her dream of finer things. Grandma Deal's literary aspirations had been thwarted by the hard circumstances of her life, but Laura vows that nothing, no one, will deter her from a successful writing career. Childhood passes, and the more she repeats her vow the more life intervenes. Laura is at the center of a new generation of Deals in Bess Streeter Aldrich's worthy sequel to A Lantern in Her Hand.

My Original Notes (1996):

What a marvelous author! I loved this book just as much as A Lantern in Her Hand. I love to read about historical Nebraska; the area and points of interest are so familiar. The countryside descriptions, especially those of the grasses and trees (cottonwoods!) are so accurate. And what a good sequel. Having gotten to know Abbie Deal's family in A Lantern in Her Hand, it was wonderful to find out what happened next. I'm ready to buy all of Aldrich's remaining books! She reminds me a bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

Great story!!

My Current Thoughts:

A Lantern in Her Hand was my first exposure to Nebraska literature. I hadn't discovered Willa Cather at this point and I fell in love with Bess Streeter Aldrich's depiction of the area I had recently moved to after living in San Diego for 20 years. Aldrich could have easily been writing about the acreage my husband and I had purchased, her details were all so recognizable. I really need to go back and re-read these two novels, although I wonder if they'll still have the same impact on me now that I've been in Nebraska for almost 25 years!

September 14, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Oregon 2016













Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Newport, Oregon

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

September 9, 2016

Looking Back - Cold Sassy Tree


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.


Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
Fiction
1984 Delta
Finished in October 1996
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)

Publisher's Blurb:

The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the newlyweds' chaperone, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own. He gets run over by a train and lives to tell about it; he kisses his first girl, and survives that too. Olive Ann Burns has given us a timeless, funny, resplendent novel - about a romance that rocks an entire town, about a boy's passage through the momentous but elusive year when childhood melts into adolescence, and about just how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century. Inhabited by characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Cold Sassy, Georgia, is the perfect setting for the debut of a storyteller of rare brio, exuberance, and style.

My Original Notes (1996):

Great book! Very entertaining. I felt like I knew the characters and cried when one died. It was heartbreaking. It took me a few chapters to really get involved in the book, but once I did I couldn't put it down. The ending was so emotional that I rushed out to buy the sequel, so I could find out what happened next. The author never finished the second book, though. She died of cancer, but part of the book was published. I'm going to read it next, I think.

"Rich with emotion, humor and tenderness... a novel about an old man growing young, a young man growing up, and the modern age coming to a small southern town." ~ The Washington Post Book World

It was humorous. I laughed out loud quite a few times! 

My Current Thoughts:

I remember how much I enjoyed this book and how disappointed I was when I read the sequel. I still have a copy, so I think I'll hang on to it and read it when I'm in need of a good laugh.

Have you read either of Olive Ann Burn's novels? What did you think? 

About the Author:

Olive Ann Burns was born in Banks County, Georgia, in 1924. Because she made her appearance before her doctor made his, her father delivered her and placed her on a newspaper, so the printed word was literally her first contact with the world. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism, she wrote for The Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. In 1976 Burns was diagnosed as having an unexpected illness, and she decided she would write a novel. The idea for Cold Sassy Tree grew from a family history she was working on with her sisters for their children. Burns collected stories of her father's, most of which focused on his grandfather, who owned a store in Commerce, Georgia, the model for Cold Sassy. The highly acclaimed sequel to Cold Sassy Tree, Leaving Cold Sassy, was Burns's final work before her death in 1990.  

September 8, 2016

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter, #4
Juvenile Fiction/Fantasy
2015 Pottermore from J.K. Rowling (Originally published in 2000)
Read by Jim Dale
Finished on April 9, 2016
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Harry Potter is midway through both his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

This was a partial re-read, as I never finished the book the first time around. In an effort to read all the books in the series before the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I decided to listen to the remaining books. This installment was highly entertaining on audio, thanks to Jim Dale. I can certainly see why everyone was so anxious for the next release.

Final Thoughts:

Another winner! My only complaint is that listening to the details of the World Quiddich Cup became tedious and I found myself zoning out as I listened. Listening to Fred and George's bantering also became a bit tiresome. In spite of these quibbles, I'm glad I finally made time to listen to the book.

September 5, 2016

A Month in Summary - August 2016




Today is Labor Day, which in my mind is the last day of summer. We will still have plenty of warm weather in the coming weeks, but the days will get shorter and it won't be long before it's dark when I get home from work. Each season has its benefits (and detriments, as exhibited by today's current temp of 92), but I will miss the lazy evenings and sitting out on the porch, enjoying a glass of wine with my husband before fixing dinner.

Anyhow, to my reading. August was another decent month with regard to quantity and quality. There was only one disappointing book in the lot, but I finished it nonetheless. A couple were ok, but not great and a few were very good. I certainly can't complain, although I didn't stick to my goal of reading my own books. All but one were borrowed, which is a huge change from the past seven months. Maybe I'll do better in September.   


Leveling the Playing Field by Rod Scher (Own) 4.5/5

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth (Borrowed) 3.5/5

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (Borrowed - Audio) 4/5

The Sixth Idea by P.J. Tracy (Borrowed) 2/5

Dark Matter by Black Crouch (Borrowed) 4.5/5

They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine (Borrowed - Audio) 3.5/5

Stats:

Triple Dog Dare Challenge - Completely failed this month, but I don't care. I spent the first half of the year reading most of my own books and decided this month to read some new releases that caught my eye.
 

6 books
2 novels

1 mystery
1 thriller
1 sci-fi
1 nonfiction 
3 new-to-me-authors 
4 print
2 audio
3 female
3 male
5 borrowed
1 from my stacks 

Favorite of the Month: We have a tie this month! Leveling the Playing Field by Rod Scher and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.


Reviews to follow

September 3, 2016

Miller's Valley


Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen
Fiction
20106 Random House
Finished on April 7, 2016
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

"No one ever leaves the town where they grew up, not really, even if they go," says Mimi Miller as she tells the story of her life, from the 1960s to the present, in a small American town on the verge of change. The Miller family has lived and farmed in Miller's Valley for generations, but Mimi sees change looming at the corners of her community and within the walls of her home. As she grows up and discovers sex, love, and ambition, what has seemed bound together begins to drift apart: Mimi's mother from her reclusive sister, Ruth; her damaged brother Tommy from his family and son; and the community itself, menaced by the lingering presence of government officials. As Mimi looks back on the past, she comes to understand that her family and her town itself may always have been destined to disappear.

Anna Quindlen's stunning new novel is a masterly study of family, memory, loss, and ultimately, discovery and finding home. Miller's Valley reminds us that the place where you grew up can disappear, and the people in it too, but all will live on in your heart forever.


I've read quite a few books by Anna Quindlen over the years. Looking at her list of fiction, I realize that I've read all her published novels with the exception of just one (Rise and Shine). Some have been absolutely outstanding and others have been very good, but none have been mediocre. The good ones still leave me longing for more, wishing for another amazing story, but I keep reading and keep hoping for something new that will move me in the same way that both Every Last One and One True Thing did.

Miller's Valley was an enjoyable read, but I didn't love it nearly as much as some other readers. I liked the older Mimi and felt that the epilogue (which reveals Mimi as a wife, mother and a grandmother) was the best part of the entire book. 

Final Thoughts:

Miller's Valley is certainly worth reading, but I didn't find any notable passages and it's not one I'll pick up again. I still have Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (one of Quindlen's collections of essays) and don't quite know why I haven't read it yet. It's been on my shelf for a few years now, so maybe this will be the year.

September 2, 2016

Looking Back - High Tide in Tucson


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.


High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver
Nonfiction - Essays
1995 HarperPerennial
Finished in September 1996
Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent!)

Publisher's Blurb:

In these twenty-five newly conceived essays, Barbara Kingsolver once again turns to her favored literary terrain to explore themes of family, community, and the natural world. With the eyes of a scientist and the vision of a poet, Kingsolver writes about notions as diverse as modern motherhood, the history of private property, and the suspended citizenship of humans in the animal kingdom. Kingsolver's canny pursuit of meaning from an inscrutable world compels us to find instructions for life in surprising places: a museum of atomic bomb relics, a West African voodoo love charm, an iconographic family of paper dolls, the ethics of a wild pig who persistently invades a garden, a battle of wills with a two-year-old, or a troop of oysters who observe high tide in the middle of Illinois. In sharing her thoughts about the urgent business of being alive, Kingsolver the essayist employs the same keen eyes, persuasive tongue, and understanding heart that characterize her acclaimed fiction. In High Tide in Tucson, Kingsolver is defiant, funny, and courageously honest.

"Barbara Kingsolver's essays should be savored like quiet afternoons with a friend.... [She] speaks in a language rich with music and replete with good sense." ~ New York Times Book Review

My Original Notes (1996):

Excellent! A variety of essays (25) exploring "themes of family, community, and the natural world." I especially enjoyed the essay about Kingsolver playing keyboard in a band with Stephen King, Amy Tan and Dave Barry. I know someone who saw them perform at ABA in Anaheim a few years ago.

Definitely a book to re-read. She sounds like a woman I'd like to have for a neighbor. I even considered sending her a fan letter... maybe I will. [I didn't.] I bought two copies of the book to give as gifts. I wonder if my friends will enjoy it as much as I did.

My Current Thoughts:

I have read (and loved) all but two of Kingsolvers' books. I still need to get a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, as well as The Lacuna. I'm not sure why I've held off reading those... She is such a marvelous writer! With that said, I didn't care for her other collection of essays (Small Wonder) nearly as much as this book. I've had this one on my "keeper shelf" for a future re-read for 20 years and I plan to read it in 2017. I hope it lives up to my memory!

Thumbing through my dog-eared copy of High Tide in Tucson, I came across several passages that I will share when I read and review the book for a second time, but this one in particular caught my eye, particularly since I marked it with an ink pen and not a removable Post-It flag. (Gasp!) And since one of my earlier "Looking Back" posts is about Beloved, I thought it especially important to share it now rather than later:
I know, for example, that slavery was heinous, but the fate of sixty million slaves is too big a thing for a heart to understand. So it was not until I read Toni Morrison's Beloved that I honestly felt that truth. When Sethe killed her children rather than have them grow up in slavery, I was so far from my sheltered self I knew the horror that could make infanticide an act of love. Morrison carved the tragedy of those sixty million, to whom the book is dedicated, into something small and dense and real enough to fit through the door, get in my heart, and explode. This is how a novel can be more true than a newspaper.

I think what I love about a collection of good essays is that sense of validation of a particular belief or idea. It's nice to have someone share the same sentiments and express them in a literary or inspiring fashion.

Are you a Kingsolver fan? Which is your favorite book? I don't think I could pick just one!

August 31, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - The Tresspasser


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that highlights a book that we can't wait to be published.  It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.



The Trespasser 
(Dublin Murder Squad #6)
 by Tana French
Available on October 4, 2016


Overview

Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She's partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that's going well - but the rest of her working life isn't. Antoinette doesn't play well with others, and there's a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers' tiff, but gradually they realise there's more going on: someone on their own squad is trying to push them towards the obvious solution, away from nagging questions. They have to work out whether this is just an escalation in the drive to get rid of her - or whether there's something deeper and darker going on.

Well, I didn't care for The Secret Place, but I've enjoyed all of Tana French's other books, so I'm planning to grab a copy of The Trespasser just as soon as it hits the shelves. How about you? Which is your favorite Dublin Murder Squad book? Mine? The Likeness. Faithful Place. In the Woods. Broken Harbor. Yep. All but The Secret Place. :)

August 29, 2016

Survival Lessons


Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman
Nonfiction Essays
2013 by Algonquin Books
Finished on March 31, 2016
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

One of America's most beloved writers shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times.

Survival lessons provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to reenvision everything--from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself. As Alice Hoffman says, "In many ways I wrote Survival Lessons to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that's all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. I wrote to remind myself that despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make."

Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches us all how to choose what matters most.


This slim book (a mere 83 pages) can easily be read in an afternoon, but I chose to sample a few chapters at a time, allowing each to sink in before moving on to the next. I have a few pages marked with Post-It flags, but in spite of discovering a few gems, I was hoping for a bit more substance. 

I've always believed there is a very thin line that separates readers and writers. You make a leap over that line when there's a book you want to read and you can't find it and you have to write it yourself. All the while I was in treatment [breast cancer] I was looking for a guidebook. I needed help in my new situation. I needed to know how people survived.

It took all this time for me to figure out what I would have most wanted to hear when I was newly diagnosed, when I lost the people I loved, when I was deeply disappointed in myself and the turns my life had taken. In many ways I wrote this book to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that's all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. There were many times when I forgot about roses and starry nights. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. This is what makes us human. This is why our world is so precious. I wrote to remind myself that in the darkest hour the roses still bloom, the stars still come out at night. And too remind myself that, despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make. 

Final Thoughts:

I've read several novels by Alice Hoffman, so I was curious when I saw this small book on the shelf in the health/cancer section of the store. It's a short, sweet book that would make a nice gift for someone going through a difficult time, whether that be cancer or the loss of a loved one.

August 26, 2016

Looking Back - The Celestine Prophecy


Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.



The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
Fiction
1994 Grand Central Publishing
Finished on August 25, 1996
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)

Publisher's Blurb:

The Celestine Prophecy contains secrets that are currently changing our world. Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your own life right now...and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come!

A book that has been passed from hand to hand, from friend to friend, since it first appeared in small bookshops across America, The Celestine Prophecy is a work that has come to light at a time when the world deeply needs to read its words. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life...and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.

My Original Notes (1996):

What a great book! I didn't want to stop reading it! I couldn't decide if I truly believed in the "9 insights," though. I was very skeptical at first, but then (as coincidences began to occur in my own life), I began to think maybe it was all possible. Toward the end, I decided it was a very good fable, but not realistic. New Age, mystical stuff. Discussing it with my reading group. Should provoke stimulating discussions!


My Current Thoughts:

I remember the summer I read this book and now I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much I enjoyed it. I don't think I went on to read the sequel and I'll bet I wouldn't be as impressed with this book if I were to read it today.

Have you read any of Redfield's mystical books? What did you think?