Words of Wisdom

quotes Khrystine likes

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."— Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


ButterfliesButterflies by Susanne Gervay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was uplifting, though sad in places, and the characters were realistic. Katherine is likable, neither a victim of her problems or a saint. The book is inspiring without being preachy.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Hand of Divine Justice

The Hand of Divine JusticeThe Hand of Divine Justice by Therese Zrihen-Dvir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, it's a great family history and story of personal redemption. The dialogue seemed a bit formal to my American ears, but I enjoyed it and it made me want to write which is always a good thing in my opinion. The only problems I had with this novel are that some of the characters seemed a bit one-dimensional (like Claude, Paul, and Cathy)and I didn't quite understand the animosity of Mardoché for Solomon at times. It seems clear to me why Solomon would do what he chose to do; learning about his identity and pursuing his education seem like good things to do even if they are uncomfortable at times. His parents, especially Mardoché, seemed very selfish in this regard to me, and Mercedes seemed to be the only objective character in regard to this. I don't know if this is perhaps a cultural misunderstanding of mine or if it is a failure on the author's part to truly make the reader understand the motivations of the characters.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

I start classes (well, a class) again this week so it's back to work for me. I am trying to define work a little more...creatively this time around. As part of my penchant for making lists, here are some things I hope to refocus on:

Making A's and $
Taking some childhood development classes
Book reviews (and the reading that goes with it)
Creative ventures: sewing, collages, writing
Blogging: Both reading and writing
Seeing movies again
Exploring and listening to a lot of music
Playing with my look (particularly getting a little more creative with my outfits, maybe exploring Carol Tuttle's classes)

I feel a bit more inspired than I have in a while, so wish me luck!

Monday, September 19, 2011

MeenaMeena by Sine van Mol
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was fine, but I have some reservations about just leaving this around for the kids to read. One of the illustrations (a cauldron with limbs hanging out) would have frightened me as a child. I also feel unsure that the children in the story learned their lesson. Vandalism isn't just wrong because the woman isn't really a witch. Throwing things over the fence seemed a little intense to me. Isn't that a hate crime?

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Dirty Little Angels

Dirty Little AngelsDirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is good, but disturbing. I wouldn't read it if you were depressed. It is not uplifting. Everything in this book seems dirty and potentially dangerous. This is one of those books I can't deny was good, but I didn't exactly like it.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dancing on the Day of the Kings (Caribbean Reference Shelf)

Dancing on the Day of the Kings (Caribbean Reference Shelf)Dancing on the Day of the Kings by Jacqueline Grant Kent

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a pretty good book. I definitely learned some things I didn't know. However, it didn't seem to go very deep and it wasn't fabulously written. I realize its aimed at young readers, but it sort of felt like the writer said, "First this happened. Then this happened." It's definitely a good book and makes a good reference, but its not amazing.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ghosts of Coronado Bay

Ghosts of Coronado Bay (A Maya Blair Mystery #1)Ghosts of Coronado Bay by J.G. Faherty

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was fun. The characters weren't overly developed but I enjoyed myself. You can really tell this book is written by a guy. Maya's character is not unbelievable, but you can sort of tell that its how a guy expects a teenage girl to be. The story was more original than I thought it would be. It was a good summer read.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

The Eyes that See (The Balancer Chronicles)

The Eyes that See (The Balancer Chronicles)The Eyes that See by Chris Adonn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First of all, let me say this book is very short, and may perhaps be meant as a teaser, which may negate what I am about to say. BUT...I thought it could have been so much better. Adonn's idea isn't all that unique, but could be very fun in a sort of high brow vampire-slayer sort of way. However, he just didn't make me feel it. The characters were undeveloped (see disclaimer) and one character (who Adonn admits is his favorite) is unlikeable. I believe he is supposed to be cocky and charming (just my type) but he doesn't quite let us see the charm. Instead, we simply are to assume he's likeable because Adonn keeps telling us so. I find myself curious to see if the next book might be better, but I won't go out of my way to read it.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Murder in the Philosophy Department

Murder in the Philosophy DepartmentMurder in the Philosophy Department by Julia March

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was well written ( I learned a lot of new words!) and highly entertaining, particularly if you have spent time in a college setting. The characters are quite colorful, and there are a few tributes to Agatha Christie. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is because the ending, while exciting, seemed quite rushed. It seems possible March was on a deadline and needed to wrap things up quickly, which is so disappointing because the characters were so much fun to spend time with!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The End of the World

This is kind of a bizarre little novel, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's kind of hard to tell what's going on (though I had my suspicions), but it is not unpleasant. It's a fun quick read, and very well written. ( )

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Freud and Jung: Years of Friendship, Years of Loss…

This book reads like fiction, something I always appreciate in non-fiction. You also really feel like you've been in Freud and Jung's heads, and really get to know their personality. Excellent.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 2, Diego the Tornado

The Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 2, Diego the TornadoThe Wild Soccer Bunch, Book 2, Diego the Tornado by Joachim Masannek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think kids who like soccer will really get into this book, and it had some very well-written parts. However the adults were portrayed strangely to me. Maybe it's just how Diego and his friends see them, but with the exception of Diego's mom, they seemed one-dimensional and somewhat impulsive. The book is written as if Diego is just talking, which can be charming, but something seemed lacking.
Overall I think this is a good first chapter book for a seven or eight year old soccer fan, but I wasn't floored by it.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 (Dear America)The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941

The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 (Dear America)The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis, Seattle, Washington, 1941 by Kirby Larson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think a big difference in the success of a children's book is how likable the main character is. Piper Davis is very likable. She is compassionate, generous, and charming. I also appreciate kid's books that are willing to tell the truth about tricky subjects, such as propaganda.
Piper is realistic. She doesn't go crusading for her friend Betty, but does gradually grow more sure of her opinions.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Stairway to Heaven

The Stairway to HeavenThe Stairway to Heaven by Therese Zrihen-Dvir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is an interesting philosophical treatise based on a true story involving a terrorist attack in Israel. This book shows how terrorism effects all members of a society, and the various attitudes that arise therefrom. I feel much more understanding of the culture of Israel as well.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

My Name Is Not Alexander

My Name Is Not AlexanderMy Name Is Not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is delightful. The illustrations are very detailed, yet they sort of look as if they have been drawn with crayons. The story is educational, but also fun as it will encourage kids to use their imagination, whether about real people or not. There is a section in the back describing the feats of all the people Alexander pretends to be, including Daddy. This is done very well, straightforward and not "dumbed down". This book also ends with Alexander just being Alexander. I think this is great as kids should know that they are awesome just by themselves.

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