Friday, January 30, 2009

Roomates Wanted by Lisa Jewell

Lately I have been reading serious and somewhat heavy books.  I needed a breather.  I picked this one up at the library the other day.   This one hit the spot.  It is a story about a sort of loser guy named Toby whose father gives him a large if somewhat delapitated old Victorian home in North London. After his wife leaves him, Toby decides to advertise for roommates and picks people who need some help (struggling artist, homeless teen, etc.).  Anyway fifteen years pass, and suddenly, after the death of his sitting tenant (In Britain you can't kick out a resident that occupied a place before you bought it) and meeting his cute and spunky across the way neighbor Toby basically decides to get a life.  He fixes up the house, tries to fix his tenants and help them move on with their lives.  In the process he falls in love and finally moves on with his life.  It was a great light read.  Not too fluffy, but just fluffy enough.  In many ways this book seemed like a gentler, kinder version of Nick Hornby (one of my favs).  Quirky characters, London, and a fun twisty plot.

Some language and adult scenes/themes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr.Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery's only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance. (From ) I love this book. It is typical overly romanticised Lucy Maud Montgomery , but, I love that!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein

One of the most interesting parts of this book is the author wrote it when he was in his nineties.  It is the story of his childhood.  He grew up Jewish in a Northern England manufacturing town.  On one half of his street lived the Christians, and on the other half lived the Jews.  Harry was the son of an abusive alcoholic and a devoted mother who struggled to make ends meet and to provide for her children.  The invisible wall that divided his street came down when death came to the street in the form of World War One.  The book was slightly reminiscent of Angela's Ashes.  The main story of the book is his sister's love for the Christian neighbor boy across the street.  It was enjoyable and although not the finest literature I've read, a quick interesting book. (The sequel is sitting on my nightstand, The Dream, about his families struggles as immigrants in the USA).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Shack

Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

This is a short quick read that flows like a story but will leave you searching your heart and mind as you mentally face all of your own life experiences and challenges

* warning* It does have a bit of a Nicholas Sparks feel, but I really enjoyed it for what it is. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring by Henry J. Eyring

Twice in the final years of his life, Elder Neal A. Maxwell told a grandson of Henry Eyring's, 'You need to write your grandfather's story.' This is that story of Henry Eyring, perhaps the Church's most acclaimed scientist. It is a book about science and Mormonism, written to be easily understood by newcomers to both subjects. It demonstrates why one of the Church's highest-profile intellectuals was also one of its humblest believers. In fact, this story of Henry Eyring shows how intellect and belief go hand-in-hand and how simple, faithful people can change the world. (
I loved this book! I was truly enlightened reading about Eyring's reconciliation of science and religion -evolution specifically. It really aligned with my views so that is probably why I enjoyed it so much. There are a couple of chapters that were pretty technical - dealing with chemistry and physics - but if you can dig through those, the rest of the book is very interesting.