Friday, March 30, 2012

Group Picture-Autobiography of a Face

Autobiography of a Face was such a tragic and sometimes unbelievable story. It was even sadder to learn the outcome of Lucy's life. It was amazing what she was able to accomplish in spite of her illness.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Challenge 2012

It's time to begin the Spring Challenge! It's really going to be a challenge this time! Let's read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Don't hate me! I know it's long and difficult. But, the movie adaptation starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law is coming out later this year, and we could all go see it. I don't think it's due for release until winter, so we'll actually have two seasons to finish it...see, it'll be easy!

Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature - with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author's own views and convictions.

So, who's joining in?

The Winter Challenge is Over!

Can you believe winter is already over? How did you do with the seasonal challenge? The plan was to read (or re-read) Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell. We'll set the time and date for the winter challenge meeting this Sunday.

This book is such a page turner!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny by Laura Schroff

I am currently reading this book and really enjoying it.

Maurice had never met anyone like Laura and Laura had never met anyone like Maurice. They were from two different worlds. Laura doesn't know why she stopped and turned back after Maurice asked her for some money, but she is glad she did.

Through Maurice, Laura learned about the life he and thousands of others were living on a daily basis....not a pleasant life at all. Laura was helping Maurice to live a better life at least one day a week, and it seemed to be paying off since she could see a change in him even though he had to go back to his horrible living conditions after he left her.

As well as learning about the living conditions of others, the author also gave the reader a chance to find out that her childhood/family life was not very easy.....her father was an abusive alcoholic, and her mother sat by not being able to defend herself or her children. Obviously the author's childhood and the childhood of her brothers and sisters had an impact on their entire life and on her decision to turn back and fulfill Maurice's plea for help.

The descriptions in the book are very detailed and heartbreaking but also heartwarming. You will become a part of the lives of every character and you will feel their pain and happiness.

An Invisible Thread is the perfect title for this book. The book brought to the surface that we all have a connection to other human beings even though that connection may not be outwardly visible.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

April Book Choices!

It's time to vote for the April book! This time we'll choose from the books-turned-movies category.

The Descendants by

Fortunes have changed for the King family, descendants of Hawaiian royalty and one of the state’s largest landowners. Matthew King’s daughters—Scottie, a feisty ten-year-old, and Alex, a seventeen-year-old recovering drug addict—are out of control, and their charismatic, thrill-seeking mother, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident. She will soon be taken off life support. As Matt gathers his wife’s friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation is made worse by the sudden discovery that there’s one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair. Forced to examine what they owe not only to the living but to the dead, Matt, Scottie, and Alex take to the road to find Joanie’s lover, on a memorable journey that leads to unforeseen humor, growth, and profound revelations.

The Descendants has a 3.80 rating on Goodreads. The movie, starring George Clooney, was released in 2011. He was nominated (but didn't win) for Best Actor for his portrayal of Matthew King. It did win an Oscar for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink | Paperback, 215 pages

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

The Reader has a 3.59 rating on Goodreads. The movie was nominated for various Oscars. Kate Winslet won Best Actress for her role as Hanna.

Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean | Paperback, 288 pages

In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana's Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier's death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. At the same time, she came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute him--men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing.

Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Confronting both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the needs of a crime-ridden society and the Christian imperative of love, Dead Man Walking is an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty, a book that is both enlightening and devastating.

Dead Man Walking has a 3.98 rating on Goodreads. Susan Sarandon won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Sister Helen Prejean. Sean Penn was also nominated for Best Actor but lost to Nicolas Cage.

Susan is hosting the April meeting!
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