Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Extra Book - Part Of Your World

Book: Part of Your World
Author: Liz Braswell
Pages: 480

This is my 139th read of the year

I do still enjoy reading to my children - even though my youngest is 13 years old.  I don't think they will tolerate it much longer, but I do hold out hope that we can get through this Disney Dark Fairy Tales before they quit on me.

This book takes place 5 years into the future from when Ariel lost her voice to the sea witch.  Instead of the happily ever after ending like we see in the film, Ariel never regained her voice and Ursula (as Vanessa) is now the Princess of Trulia.  Prince Eric has remained under her spell for 5 years - as well as members of his staff.  Ursula is trying to rule the Dry World and trying to figure out how to destroy the Mer World.  She still has King Triton as her prisoner.

Ariel - now Queen of the Sea - has ruled in silence for 5 years.  With the help of sign language, Sebastian and Flounder, she has kept the peace.  But the time has come for her to try to return to the Dry World and rescue her father, and defeat Ursula.  She has to figure out how to do all of this without being able to speak.  Wtih the help of her friends - both on land and in the sea - she has a real chance of defeating the Sea Witch.

This was another great installment of Disney's Dark Fairy Tales.  This author is a great writer and story teller.  We have really enjoyed the spin of some of our favorite Disney Classics.  This one - at almost 500 pages - took us awhile to read (we only read a chapter or two a day) but it was worth it.  It ended beautifully after a clever tale of heroes, friendship, and love.  We are so glad we read it.

Stars: 4 1/2

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Bookmarks

It has been awhile since I did a Top Ten Tuesday from The Artsy Reader.  Check our her blog and join in the fun!

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is:

Favorite Bookmarks

I don't have 10 of these, but I have a few.  Normally for a bookmark I use whatever is lying around or is closest. Sometimes it is a gum wrapper or a receipt.  Doesn't matter.   I should be collecting bookmarks on our travels - make that a quest in the future.

Here are the few I do have that have special meaning.

1) Bookmark I picked up recently in Barcelona

This on I picked up after seeing this very cool building by the architect Gaudi.  We visited La Sangrada Familia and it was incredible.  This stone was on the outside of the building.  In any direction, if you add up the numbers, you get "33".

2) Bookmarks handmade by my friend Larry Orlando

These beautiful bookmarks were a gift from our friend and caligrapher Larry Orlando.  Filled with amazing quotes about books and reading, I treasure them greatly.  I love picking one each time I start a new book, and reading the quote each time I open the book to get me in the right mindset to read.

3) Handmade bookmark made of wood

I found this company that makes personalized wooden bookmarks, and ordered one.  I could pick which books they placed on the bookmark, and this one is filled with many of my favorites.  It is small and delicate, so I don't use it when I read.  Instead I have it displayed on my shelf.

4) Bookmark I picked up in London

This is a bookmark replica of Rosetta Stone.  We saw the real thing at the London Museum a few years ago.  What a fantastic bucket list item that stone is.  Now that the stone is able to be translated, it becomes all that more intriguing.

5) Bookmark from Italy

This one is actually a favorite of my husband's.  He picked it up on our trip to Venice a few years ago because he liked it.  La Bauta are amazing handmade masks.  They were incredible to see.

6) Bookmark from my last stomping Grounds: Littleton, MA

We moved to Basel after living for 6 years in this small town outside of Boston.  While we were there, the town turned 300 years old, and the town gave out these great bookmarks.  I use it often and think about all of our friends there and the wonderful times we had living in that town.  AND - the town just voted to build a much needed new library, and I cannot wait to see the finished product.

Do you have a favorite bookmark?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Read The World - Cameroon - Mission To Kala

Book: Mission To Kala
Author: Mongo Beti
Pages: 201
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 138th read this year.

This short novel about a young man named Jean-Marie Medza.  He has just returned home after failing his baccalaureat exam.  He is sure his town would be upset, but instead, they greet him as basically a hero.  They send him on a trip to Kala to find a woman who has deserted her husband.  When Jean-Maria arrives in Kala, he is greated like royalty.  He stays with an uncle who lives there while he waits this woman to return to town.  While he is there, he spends time with his cousin, finds a woman that he likes (and then becomes unexpecedtly married to), and is showered with gifts and attention.  He does complete his mission and returns home.

This was a pretty good book.  It is well written and entertaining.  I found it amusing how a failed scholar was treated in a small village where no one could read or write.  He was their hero for just going to school and getting an education - even though he wasn't extemely successful.  The ending did get a little confusing and I felt the author was trying to tie up the story too quickly.  But overall - a good read about this African country.

Stars:  3 1/2

Friday, November 8, 2019

Extra Book - The Institute

Book: The Institute
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 576

This is my 137th read for the year.  

I listened to this book over the last few weeks while I ran errands.  It was well done as an audio book

I know what you are thinking - "Jennifer, are you still doing that Read The World Challenge?"  Yes...yes I am.  And I do need to be better at focusing on that. It is so hard when there are so many good books that have shown up this fall!  I have no guilt.

This is the story of Luke Ellis.  One night, intruders broke into his house, killed his parents, and kidnapped Luke.  Luke is knocked out and he wakes up far from home in a place called "The Institute".  He is greeted by other children around his age with similar stories, and adults that are keeping them locked in.  Soon he discovers that all the kids have special abilities like telekinesis or telepathy, and they start to tell Luke that they are there to make those abilities stronger.  They don't understand why, but the children are subjected to countless tests, and shots, and electric shots - all against their will.  IF they resist, they are hurt.  And soon the children are taken to "The Back Half" of the institute and never seen again.  

I liked this book.  It wasn't his best writing, but it was entertaining.  It was interested to see where it was going, and what the reason was for The Institute taking the children.  It did seem to take a long time to get to the peak of the story and then it was quickly wrapped up.  It was fair in the suspenseful category, but not overly scary.  

It was fine.  Glad I read it, but it isn't his best work.

Stars: 3

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Read The World - Djibouti - The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper

Book: The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper
Author: Abdourahman A. Waberi
Pages: 96
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 137th read for the year

I had no idea where Djibouti was before finding this book.  And of course - it is another country on the vast African continent.  

This is a very short book of poetry.  The author gives us a look into this small country.  He writes about the country's landscape throughout the book and paints a picture of what he felt when he looked at his country side.

This book only took me 30 minutes to read - it is really really short with really short poems on each page.  They give you a small taste of the country, but not as much as I would have liked.  I am not one to fully be able to appreciate poetry, but it was a good enough read.  I think it will stay as my Djibouti book because there just aren't many things out there for this tiny country.

Stars: 3 1/2

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Extra Book - When Life Gives You Pears

Book: When Life Gives You Pears
Author: Jeannie Gaffigan
Pages: 320

This is my 135th read for the year

This is the story of the author after she discovered she had a pear sized tumor in her brain.  While it was benign, it still needed to come out immediately because of the damage it was causing.  She talks about the symptoms she had that lead to the discovery, and how her recovery was after.  How she changed her whole outlook on her life after her diagnosis and survival.  

This was a fantastic book.  I am a huge Jim Gaffigan fan - I watch all of his stand up shows, and he is the funniest clean comic there is.  Hands down.  I had heard about Jeannie's tumor through one of his specials, and when this book came out, I knew I had to get it.  It gave me even more insight into what went on with her and how this family banded together when Jeannie had a trach and a feeding tube, and couldn't eat anything by mouth for months.  It was a great reminder of how we always sweat the small stuff, and how quickly our lives can be turned upside down.  How worrying about the little things seem so much less important when you are facing the chance of dying.  Jeannie used this tumor as a second chance to make changes in her life.

I highly reommend this one.  She is genuine, and forth coming and honest about her plight, and how she dealt with this upheaval to her life.  Get it now.

Stars: 5

Monday, November 4, 2019

Read The World - Uganda - Kintu

Book: Kintu
Author: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Pages: 446
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 134th read for the year

Still rolling through the never ending countries of the African continent!

This multigenerational novel begins in 1750 in Uganda with the Kintu clan.  It starts when Kintu Kidda, who is a governor, sets out to pledge his alligance to the new ruling family.  On his way he sets in motion a curse that follows his family for generations.  The book follows the family as they try to lift the curse generation after generation, trying to keep their family bound together even as they spread out and away from each other.

This was a good book.  You really have to pay attention because the amount of characters are astounding.  And trying to piece together whom belongs to whom is harrowing.  It is a well told story, and well written, and gave me insight into some of the customs that take place in Uganda to rid families of what they believe is a curse.  The story was captivating right from the beginning and worth a read.

Stars: 4