Archive for February, 2008

The Book of Bright Ideas, by Sandra Kring

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

I LOVED this one!!! The Book of Bright Ideas is one that you can’t pass up.  I absolutely fell in love with this book. With the character’s flaws, their pain and misunderstanding, contrasted to other character’s fierce embrace of life, love and acceptance. I loved Winnalee to no end. Her disregard for what others thought of her, for her acceptance of herself and others.

The story is told from 9 year old Button’s perspective, and a summer when Winnalee and her sister Freeda blow into town like a fire storm that wipes out some things, and allow others to grow in their place. I didn’t want the Summer of The Book of Bright Ideas to end…

The Book of Bright Ideas itself is a book that contains “life lessons”, so that Winnalee will learn how best to live life. The quote below is just one Bright Idea, but I loved it. I didn’t want this book to end, and cried when it did. I would absolutely recommend this!!!

“Bright Idea #94: If you always ride on the slow rides that don’t lift far off the ground, just because you’re afraid of falling, you won’t fall far, that’s true, but you won’t get many thrills either. And you won’t be proud of yourself when the carnival’s over.”

Some Things that stay, by Sarah Willis

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Some Things That Stay is the second of the 4 novels I recently purchased.  It’s a coming of age story of a 15 year old girl who is moved every year with her family to a new place by her artist father, always in search of new inspiration for his paintings. Themes of religion, loss, love, and the ability to change resonate throughout the novel.  I liked this one as well, but didn’t connect to the characters quite as much as I did to Whistling in the Dark or The Book of Bright Ideas.

I especially liked the conflicted feelings the main character has about religion. Raised by atheists, she is exposed to Christianity by her Baptist neighbors.  She never experiences what the others seem to in church, but she desperately wants to feel connected, to feel that there is a Grand Scheme to things.  I think most people experience this, whether religious or not, the desire for community, to feel connected.  I thought Sarah did an excellent job of portraying this, without beating us over the head with either atheism or Christianity.

I would recommend this one as well.

Whistling in the Dark, by Lesley Kagen

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

On the cover of this novel is a quote by Sara Gruen, the author of Water for Elephants, which of course is one of my favorites!  That alone gave me reason to read Whistling in the Dark, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I ordered a handful of books from amazon.com, based on recommendations on the site.  I really liked 4 of them, this being one.

It’s a sweet story of two sisters, one fearless and smart as a whip named Troo, and her older sister Sally who is fiercely protective of her sister, while not quite as fearless but extremely observant.  The story has a bit of a mystery wrapped in it, which carries the plot, but I just fell in love with the characters.

I read this in less than week, always an indicator of a good story.