Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I have not read very many books where the narrator is developmentally challenged. I've only read one other MG book. It is far easier to let a sibling or friend tell the story. I had toyed with having alternating viewpoints in my own contemporary novel, but sustaining the voice of the intellectually impaired sister was difficult. In the end, her voice comes through clear and true through dialogue and I stuck with a single viewpoint, that of the sister who is ... for lack of a better term, normal. Except she's not. Ms. Giles has written a powerful story about two girls, Biddy and Quincy, who transition to living independently once they turn 18, the prejudices and hardships they face just because they are "speddies" and their hopes and dreams of the future. I found myself cheering them on for facing obstacles and crying with them when they were hurt. Giles left them in a good place, but I couldn't help but worry for them long after I finished the book. These characters will remain with me always.

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

This was one of the most romantic books I've read in a long time. Based on the song, Scarborough Fair, the author weaves a tale involving a family curse and the love that breaks it. I loved the contemporary setting with a great cast of characters who race against time to solve the puzzle. As it says on the cover: a haunting, thrilling romantic puzzle. Just read it.

By the way, this book breaks many so-called writing rules. It has a prologue, multiple viewpoints, some by adult characters, mixing of genres ... but it's also brilliant. Anyway, just a reminder to write what the story demands.

True Grit by Charles Portis

This is probably the first old Western I've read. I enjoyed it tremendously. It speaks of a world where one is beginning to create law. By far, the 14-year-old Mattie has the strongest sense of justice. Loved her voice. This is a book appropriate for children and adults alike, a true American classic.

The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser

I have always enjoyed time travel stories but this one was very unique with body-swapping as well. Shay, a 20-yr old girl, stares into her grandmother's mirror on the eve of her wedding and is transported into her grandmother's body (Brandy) on the eve of her wedding. Shay-as-Brandy even gives birth to her own mother. Now think about that ... all the conundrums it causes, foreknowledge, etc. A really fun read.

The Ten Commandments by Msgr. Charles Pope

A concise little book by one of my favorite preachers. Fr. Pope shows how the commandments apply to daily life, how they free us to love God and our neighbor as we ought. It also has a good examination of conscience.  

Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity by Anthony Esolen

This is one of my favorite authors. I always look forward to his clear reflections in the Magnificat, and he does not disappoint in this book. In the Family Honor class Dagny and I just took, the last skit was about a couple who gets married and has a lot of baggage. They came to the altar broken. That's not to say that the grace of God cannot work in them ... Michael and I are prime examples of a couple who went through heartbreak and betrayal before we were married and who went on to make numerous mistakes, but we have finally come to the Truth and how it resonates in our hearts. Holy Matrimony: a covenant between one man and one woman, holy because it is set apart from any other kind of relationship; it makes us co-creators with God. The author makes arguments for traditional marriage not just because God meant it to be so, but through the lens of history, literature, and plain old common sense. This is a beautifully written book, perfect as supplemental material for marriage preparation classes.

The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi

I'm smack dab in the middle of this book when my kindle freezes up and I am not reading this on the computer screen. I tried deleting this a dozen times and reloading and finally, after a week, it is working. This is the first instance of a kindle snafu. Still, it is a difficult book to read on the kindle. I often want to go back and look up something and unless I bookmark the sections, it is difficult to find. But this book is incredible in what it proposes, that we are coming into a new era where God is bestowing gifts that only Adam and Eve received before their fall from grace. Mary was the last human on earth before Luisa to receive the gift of living in the Divine Will. Much of this stuff I cannot wrap my head around, but it is making me understand my faith in a deeper way.

Christianity, Islam and Atheism: the Struggle for the Soul of the West by William Kilpatrick.

This is a must-read for people who are interested in what is occurring in the Middle East -- the persecution of Christians. I grew up knowing about all the world's major religions and believe me, they are not the same! Many people in the West simply do not understand that Islam is not tolerant of any other faith. Infidels are to be converted or killed. This is why we had the Crusades.

I wish we had a leader like Winston Churchill who wanted to stir the hearts of the British people to make war against Germany. He said:

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory; victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

St. Francis and the Sultan (1300s) Cappella Bardi, Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence

I think that's enough for now ... Tell me, what good books are you reading right now.


Mirka Breen said...

Are you reading ALL OF THESE BOOKS simultaneously? That's one feat I have never been able to achieve. I'm a one-book-at-a-time reader.

Marcia said...

I've read almost nothing for several weeks now, and it feels kind of weird. I've just been so busy morning, noon, and night. I've been slowly working my way through Lois Lowry's Giver Quartet in waiting rooms and such, since it's on my Nook, which fits in my purse.

Vijaya said...

Hee hee, only the NF Mirka. Fiction, I tend to eat up one at a time.

Marcia, even at my busiest, I've never been without a book. I'd feel weird too ... They give me not only much needed escape but also interesting food for thought. I'm glad you have your Nook with you. I hope it eases up for you some.