Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday is Library Day!!!

Books reviews! Yay! I love books. =)
Okay, so I promise I'm not going to review EVERYTHING I've read, 'cuz that would take way too much of your time and mine. But I am going to review the two or three books I've read this week that struck me. (Which may mean I hated them, or it may mean I loved them.)

Annie Leobovitz: At Work, I'm not sure who wrote this with her... She wrote it, but it was more like 'as told to' kind of writing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. She describes her career & her work in fun and interesting tones. A quick read with lots of pictures, this book draws you in to the miracle that is her career. I get the impression that she is as surprised and delighted by her career as a photographer can be... She set out with the intention of taking good pictures and presenting the world through a lens, not to have a famous career. Interesting to hear her describe working with different well-known figures- the fact that Jim Belushi hated the blue-paint photo she took of him, that Mikhael Baryshnikov is a delightful person to photograph, that the milk photo with Whoopi Goldberg was a lucky miracle... Those are the kind of tidbits I enjoying reading.

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

From the website: A searing novel of the terrifying power of love from one of America's leading novelists. Nina has a perfect, well, close to perfect life. She's a successful district attorney with a handsome husband named Caleb, who has a thriving contracting business of his own. They live in a picturesque little town in Maine, and they have an adorable little 5-year-old boy named Nathaniel. They both work too hard and sometimes Nina wonders if she's juggling too many balls, but Nathaniel makes it all worthwhile. Then one day he simply stops talking. It's obvious that he's been traumatised, but in what way and by whom? When Nina finds out that the abuse has been sexual (her speciality as a district attorney is in rape and sex abuse cases) she won't rest until they find out who did it. When the police finally come through, she naturally attends the arraignment of the accused. Then, in front of all assembled, she shoots him dead. This is a novel about the unbreakable bond between mother and child, about a woman who takes justice into her own hands only to discover how very dangerous playing God can be and about the destructive, redemptive, terrifying power of love.

I hated this book, and I loved it. The story is beautifully and powerfully told. The characters jump off the page and into your heart and imagination. I cried as I read the scenes describing Nicholas' rememberences of being molested. I felt the parents' pain and confusion.
I can't imagine what I would do in these circumstances... As a Christian I hope I would be able to trust the punishment God will enact upon a molest, but as a mom... As a mom, teacher and child-care worker, I would be so angry, destroyed and so fearful that he would get away and do it again... When I read Matthew 18:6, I know what God thinks of those who hurt children ("But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.")
Well, I also know that the anger and passion I feel when I think about the situation is not mine alone. It's too big for just me. I know that I am tapping into God's righteous wrath, and that the punishment He will enact is worse than anything I can imagine... However, to wait for it... And to trust our flawed justice system to remove a child molester from his victims... The book questions our presumptions of what we would do...

Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, a book from the Liaden universe

From the web-site: Theo Waitley has lived all her young life on Delgado, a Safe World that is home to one of the galaxy's premier institutions of higher learning. Both Theo's mother, Kamele, and Kamele's onagrata Jen Sar Kiladi, are professors at the university, and they all live comfortably together, just like they have for all of Theo's life, in Jen Sar's house at the outskirts of town.
Suddenly, though, Theo's life changes. Kamele leaves Jen Sar and moves herself and Theo back into faculty housing, which is not what Theo is used to. Once settled back inside the Wall, Kamele becomes embroiled in faculty politics, and is appointed sub-chair of her department. Meanwhile, Theo, who has a notation in her file indicating that she is "physically challenged" has a series of misadventures, including pulling her best friend down on the belt-ride to class, and hurting a team mate during a scavage game.
With notes piling up in her file, Theo only wants to go “home,” to the house in the suburbs, and have everything just like it used to be.
Then, Kamele uncovers evidence of possible dishonest scholarship inside of her department. In order to clear the department, she and a team of senior professors must go off-world to perform a forensic document search. Theo hopes this will mean that she'll be left in the care of the man she calls “Father,” Professor Kiladi, and is horrified to learn that Kamele means to bring Theo with her!

I love the Liaden books! I love the characters, the story lines, the history, and the writing style. Miller and Lee write in a space opera style, with multiple planets, governments and conflicts. I was delighted to see more books in the series! For more info on the entire series, go here: My favorite is Scout's Progress, I think, but I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
Fledgling is a coming-of-age story, with fun characters and an interesting mystery. Yes, there's a touch of romance, but just barely. I think the best 'romance' in this story, is the one between Theo's mother and father... You can go about three-fourths of the way through the book before realizing that they are actually working together, although there are hints through-out of their actual relationship. The mystery of 'who did it?' spirals through-out the book, directing the action but still allowing the character's to take center stage.
Theo is a character I could really root for and relate to- clumsy, uncomfortable in her own skin, bright and curious. It was a delight to see her come in to her own.

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