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Archive for April, 2009

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Stop by the Revive Our Hearts store Thursday and Friday only for 40% off any book by author and radio speaker Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Nancy is the author of such books as Lies Women Believe and Seeking Him, as well as many more!

I started listening to her radio program, Revive Our Hearts, a few years ago and have been greatly blessed by her ministry. I’ve read (and own) Lies Women Believe, Biblical Portrait of Womanhood, and Biblical Womanhood in the Home (now titled Becoming God’s True Woman, which Nancy contributed and edited).

I’m thinking of getting a few of her booklets: Portrait of a Woman Used by God, Becoming a Woman of Discretion, and The Look. As for books, I’m considering Brokenness, Surrender, Holiness: A Revive Our Hearts Trilogy.

FYI: All sales are final for the  2-day sale. No returns.

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little-dorrit-2My husband and I love to watch Masterpiece Theater. Over the last five weeks we’ve been engrossed in Charles Dicken’s Little Dorrit. We loved it.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, here’s the synopsis:

Amy Dorrit’s (newbie, Claire Foy) gentle spirit has never been dampened by the confining walls of the Marshalsea Prison she’s lived in her whole life. Despite the dark shadow of debtor’s prison, Amy lovingly cares for her father 121_littledorritarthurclennammatthewmacfadyenWilliam Dorrit (Tom Courtenay), the longest serving inmate. A possibly redemptive light unexpectedly shines in the form of Arthur Clennam (Matthew Macfadyen, Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice), who has been left with the intriguing threads of a mystery after his father’s death — threads that will intertwine his family and fate with the Dorrits. Clennam’s exhaustive search for answers involves murder, fortunes gained and lost, the upper echelons and lowest dregs of society, and most surprising of all, a tender romance.

If you missed seeing it on PBS, it’s available online until Sunday, May 3rd. It’s definitely worth the time.

Each episode was a cliffhanger, but the end felt as if there were a few loose strings. Not all of the mysteries seemed adequately answered, which could be the difference between the novel and the film adaptation. But the cinematography was wonderful and the characters were delightful.

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nightstand

I’m a little tired tonight to do too much commenting on what I’m reading, read, and my thoughts…but I’ll try.

This month I finished reading:

I’m still reading:

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (It’s soooo long, but also really good.)
  • The Hidden Art of Homemaking, by Edith Schaffer (I just started this the other day.)

Next month I plan to read:

  • Story, by Robert McGee (I’m really hoping to “restart” reading this one…again. I never made it through the first or the second time.)
  • Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Tail of Emily Windsnap, Liz Kessler (I might just have to get this one from the library earlier than I planned. I’ve really enjoyed the young adult fiction lately.)

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n219367This was one of the books I picked up on a whim. To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed by this pick. It’s chick lit.

The premise of How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls,

Yale graduate Megan Smith has big plans for a career in journalism  and even bigger debt: $75,000 in college loans. She grabs a job at a trashy tabloid, gets fired (small wonder: nothing can make her care which celebrity just got a nose job), and then gets an offer she just can’t refuse.
Seventeen-year-old identical twins rose and Sage Baker are Palm Beach heiresses best known for their massive fortunes and penchant for flashing the paparazzi. Their grandmother offers to pay off Megan’s loans if she can tutor the girls and get them into Duke. But the twins aren’t about to bend their celebutante schedules to learn algebra. Megan quickly discovers that she has to know her Pucci from her Prada to reach these students. If she can look the part, maybe–just maybe–she can teach them something. What Megan could never imagine is what the whole experience is about to teach her…

It’s a predictable novel. I mean, come on, it’s chick lit! It’s a nice little story minus the profanity, promiscuity, underage drinking, lying,  unbelievable naivety of an adult, etc…

Why did I keep reading it? The story is catchy and…I was hoping all the other stuff would just go away. You know how some books (and movies) start off with objectionable material and then as the story progresses the objectionable material subsides–that’s what I was expecting.

Take out the junk and it’s a cute story…but otherwise…it’s tainted.

How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls has been adapted to as the  TV series Privileged on the WB.

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Lady Windermere’s Fan is a four act play by Oscar Wilde that “offers a splendidly satirical view of society’s obsessive regard for appearances 18784127rather than reality.”

I’ve found what I enjoy about plays is that they’re such a quiet read. If I’m needing a little fiction retreat, but don’t have the time to finish a novel a play works best! I enjoyed Lady Windermere’s Fan and the satire within.

Lady Windermere suspects her husband is having an affair and then her husband invites this woman to her birthday ball. Lady Windermere is upset and falls for the attention and poetic words of Lord Darlington, who invites her to runaway with him.

Lady Windermere must decide whether she will be a woman of high moral character and remain unstained by Lord Darlington’s advance or accept his request as revenge against her husband. The one who saves her is Mrs. Erlynne, the woman who she suspected her husband having an affair. To find out the rest, you must read it.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the play:

  • “Oh, gossip is charming! History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality. Now I never moralize. A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is invariably plain.” Cecil Graham, Act 3
  • “Repentance is quite out of date. And besides, if a woman really repents, she has to go to a bad dressmaker, otherwise no one believes her.” Mrs. Erlynne, Act 4
  • “There is the same world for all of us, and good and evil, sin and innocence, go through it hand in hand. To shut one’s eyes to half of life that one may live securely is as though one blinded oneself that one might walk with more safety in a land of pit and precipice.” Lady Windermere, Act 4

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the-tale-of-despereaux I was really excited to read The Tale of Despereaux. It’s a Newberry Medal book and now a movie, so I thought for sure it would become a new favorite.

I read it in about 2 1/2 days. I liked how the chapters were short. It’s a cute story, but to be honest I felt it was lacking…and a bit boring.

I thought it would be an irresistible tale, but it was sad and depressing. I mean Despereaux is born and his family immediately doesn’t like him and casts him off. His mother more interested in her make-up.

His father condemns him to death in the dungeon as part of the Mouse Council and his own brother leads him to the dungeon where the rats are to kill and eat him. Why the sentence of death? He talked to the princess.

The queen dies after seeing a rat in her soup. The rat, Rscouro, gets a disgusted look from the princess and then sets out a plan for revenge.

Miggery Sow is a little girl whose mother dies and then her father sells her to a man, whom she must call Uncle, for a hen, a red tablecloth, and some cigarettes. Her “uncle” then hits her against her ears after nearly every response, giving the poor girl cauliflower ears and loss of hearing.

It wasn’t just the depressing events that was disappointing, but the build-up for the story didn’t go anywhere. Despereaux saved the day, but then everything kind of just ended. For me it was like, “This is it?”

Needless to say, I was disappointed.

I did like how DiCamillo spoke to the reader regularly and explained certain things. What was interesting was how she referred to the themes of light and dark as part of the characters and themes in this book. To a certain extent I liked that, but at times it seemed empty and other times forced. As if the author was reaching for something and didn’t quite catch it.

I really wanted to love this book. I thought it’d be amazing, but…didn’t happen. Some people say to those who don’t like it “Oh, it’s for children. You should think of it like that,” but remember what C. S. Lewis said, “Any story worth reading at ten should be worth reading at fifty.”

Read the reviews on Amazon (both high and low stars), some people loved it and others not so much.You be the judge.

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Book Browsing at B & N

Yesterday I went book browsing at Barnes & Noble and came across a few titles that seemed interesting with the possibility of one day making it to my book list.

You know the way that I remember what books I liked without pen and paper? Using the cellphone…

2009-04-24-april-21-24

I’m sure I look funny walking through stores, but oh well. It works!

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