Monday, January 22, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle-247 pages

I enjoyed reading the graphic novel adaptation of this last year, so I wanted to read the original novel. I enjoyed the original, also. I like the lesson/moral to this story, which is that we should embrace each other's differences and try to understand each other. Living in a world where everyone is the same is not fun or right. It is also not the same as a world where everyone is equal. We are all equal here on Earth (at least, that's how it "should" be), but we are not all the same. We come from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and no is exactly the same as another in looks and mindset. This is a great lesson to teach kids. The other main theme is love. We should love one another. If we do love each other, then we will embrace each other's differences and equality. Overall, this was a fun, thought-provoking, good read.

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell - 373 pages

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.
Until the warriors came . . .

Xar is a Wizard boy who has no Magic and would do anything to get it.

Wish is a Warrior princess who owns a forbidden magical object and will do anything to hide it.

When stars collide, Xar and Wish will meet.  They must forget their differences if they are to save not only themselves but both their worlds from the returning evil Magic that has been sleeping for hundreds of years.

This is the first book in Cressida Cowell's new series.  (She previously wrote the extremely popular How to Train Your Dragon series.)  I found that enjoyed this more than her Dragon series, however, it still took quite a while to get into the story.  Once I did though I didn't want to stop.  I listened to this on audio as it was narrated by one of my favorite actors - David Tennant.  He did a wonderful job narrating the book.  I would definitely recommend listening to the audio.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Traveling Through Illinois by LuAnn Cadden & Ted Cable

Traveling Through Illinois: Stories of I-55 Landmarks & Landscapes Between Chicago and St. Louis by LuAnn Cadden & Ted Cable, 190 pages

If you have ever traveled to Chicago and driven on I-55, I would say this is a handy book to have.  As I have been driving between St. Louis and Chicago every year for the past year, I wish someone had written this book sooner.  Just about everything that you find fascinating along I-55 you will find written in this book.  Written by southbound then by northbound exits, it is fascinating to read what I have been missing all these years.  For instance, I must stop by the grain elevator museum sometime soon to see what I have been missing!

100 Things To Do In America Before You Die by Bill Clevlen

100 Things To Do In America Before You Die by Bill Clevlen, 173 pages

This is a very interesting read about some things to do in the United States while you are around to enjoy them.  Bill Clevlen is a local travel writer and broadcaster who lives in St. Louis.  I love the fact these are all based on sights in the USA, and they all seem doable.  I actually found that I have already done many of these, and he writes a page about each place.  He also includes trivia questions at the bottom of each page.  I learned that the Statue of Liberty use to be open to the top of the torch but was permanently closed during WWI.

Friday, January 19, 2018

I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson

I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson
(86 Bloomberg Place #1)
312 pages / 7 hrs, 53 mins

"Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house--free and clear--except for the rules... But that's ok, with the right ad she'll pull in some girls, their rent and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work any time soon.

"For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can't take another day in her aunt's tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades. Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths.

"As they struggle to become the women they want to be, they'll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship."  --from the publisher

I enjoy Carlson's conversational style of writing and uncomplicated story lines.  I also appreciate the way she treats the subjects of faith and relationships.  I gave it 3 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - 374 pages

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush

Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, 236 pages

Sisters first was an excellent book about growing up as both twins and in the political public eye.  The book is written from each twins perspective, alternating in the book between Barbara and Jenna.  At times this was confusing because I was trying to remember which one was who.  The girls include many details from their childhood and growing up with a grandfather who was President.  Then, they became the first family of Texas and then their father became President.  It is nice to read about two sisters who are so close and have stayed that way their whole lives while leading very different and separate lives.  This was very good book on the bond between sisters.