Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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stacykay
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Posted: April 30 2011 at 11:33am | IP Logged Quote stacykay

Two more books done. Somehow, after all these years, I had missed Agatha Christie's Appointment With Death. It's a Hercule Poirot mystery, and I really enjoyed it!

I also read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. It is a fictional look at the history of the Vel'd'Hiv' Roundup in 1942. In all my years of reading books and articles and watching movies and documentaries on WWII, I had never heard about this. My oldest ds said his high school European history teacher, who is also a priest, covered this topic.

Sarah's Key is a sad but necessary history lesson. Not for children under 18?, depending on comfort level, as there is some *adult* discussion and bad language. As for the depiction on what went on in the velodrome, I would say, whatever age you'd let a child watch "Schindler's List" would be the age that could read this. (Our minimum for Schindler's for our boys is 16 or 17, depending on child.)

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Stacy in MI
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Karen T
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Posted: April 30 2011 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

I have been reading a lot over the last few months.

After hearing about Boys Should be Boys by Meg Meeker, here on 4Real, I got the audiobook and listened to it - very good! I just started her book on girls (Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters) this morning.

I finished Bleak House- excellent, one of my favorite Dickens so far.
Also Les Miserables, which I'm glad I read finally, but wish I'd gotten the abridged version. Fifty pages on the history of the Parisian sewer system, or on the history of the convent where Valjean stays awhile, were more than I needed to read. you could easily skip (I skimmed heavily in parts) all that and never miss anything important to the plot. It's the one book I think abridgement is a good thing for.

I have read two Oliver Sacks books recently, Musicophilia about how music affects our brains and how some people suddenly develop enormous talent after a brain injury, or have musical "hallucinations." The other was Awakenings about his work with Parkinson patients, especially those who developed it after having encephalitis lethargica in the 1920's. Earlier I'd read Asleep: the forgotten epidemic by Molly Crosby, which covered the encephalitis. Her book was very interesting and well-written; Sacks' books contain a lot of interesting info but are not written well IMO. There was a movie made of Awakenings in the late 70's or early 80's.

I just finished Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, an old author I'd never heard of before. It's about a physician in 1600's in England who is sent to Barbados as a slave and eventually escapes, becoming a (fairly moral) pirate by necessity. Anyone who likes the Patrick O'Brien novels or Treasure Island etc would enjoy it and there is no bad language or adult situations. I'm going to check out the Errol Flynn movie of it soon.

I finally read The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter (I'd had it on the shelf 2 yrs) and LOVED it. Probably my favorite of hers that I've read so far.

Oh and last but not least, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, about his attempt to hike the Appalachian trail. Somewhere I thought I read that this was a good family book to listen to in the car, etc but I"m glad I didn't - way too many words and situations not appropriate for kids. But I did enjoy it, especially as we hike parts of the Trail here and there.

I've read a bunch more of DE Stevenson's books too - they are nice, light books to read in between heavier ones.

Karen

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Karen T
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Posted: May 05 2011 at 8:15pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Has anyone here read Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth? I like most historical fiction and had seen this, and the sequel, World without End, highly recommended on various book forums. I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and am enjoying the story except for the Church-bashing. I understand that during those times (1100's) there were a lot of abuses within the Church, priests with mistresses, etc. but in the preface the author is quite frank that he is an atheist, and maybe I'm extra-sensitive having read that. But I just don't want to read the whole thing and then have a really sour taste in my mouth, you know? As long as there are some good men as well as some bad men I'm OK, but if it all deteriorates into lust and greed I'd just rather stop now, KWIM?

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leanne maree
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Posted: May 05 2011 at 9:22pm | IP Logged Quote leanne maree

I am entering this late, but I am almost finished
finding happiness- here. I have read his finding Sanctuary.
Its all on the St benedictine rule. Wonderful.
I will go onto either The Interior Castle or his name is Mercy. by an Australian Priest.
All your books look great.
I am more of a NonFiction reader.



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lapazfarm
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Posted: May 05 2011 at 10:46pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Karen T wrote:
Has anyone here read Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth? I like most historical fiction and had seen this, and the sequel, World without End, highly recommended on various book forums. I'm about 1/4 of the way through it and am enjoying the story except for the Church-bashing. I understand that during those times (1100's) there were a lot of abuses within the Church, priests with mistresses, etc. but in the preface the author is quite frank that he is an atheist, and maybe I'm extra-sensitive having read that. But I just don't want to read the whole thing and then have a really sour taste in my mouth, you know? As long as there are some good men as well as some bad men I'm OK, but if it all deteriorates into lust and greed I'd just rather stop now, KWIM?

Karen T

I've read it and I have mixed feelings about it.
The main character, the Monk, is awesome and a very holy man. The priest/bishop--not so much. A total contrast is set up between these two and you really get to rooting for the monk, so there is a compelling conflict there.
The part I had the most trouble with was the (IMHO) gratuitously graphic violent rape scenes. Just really didn't need the level of detail provided in order to move the story along. Though it really does make you hate the character doing the violence.
The description of the building of the cathedral was great.

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aforb001
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Posted: May 06 2011 at 5:59am | IP Logged Quote aforb001

I was given this book several years ago before it became such a hit. I was only able to get about a third through it. I hated it! From what I can remember the story about that strange woman and her son was very disturbing to me. I had read Ken Follet's espionage books and enjoyed those many year ago.

Adele
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Karen T
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Posted: May 06 2011 at 8:48pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Thanks for your opinions. I ended up reading more today (I'm at a conference and have my e-reader loaded to snatch minutes here and there between classes) and definitely agree about the graphic scene that I read today (William and Aliena) Could have done without so much detail.

I liked the monk at first (I believe you mean Fr. Phillip, the prior?) but am wondering if his ambition and pride become worse, as he is really the only decent person in this so far! I guess I will keep reading for now; it's become sort of a train wreck to keep watching.

Did you read the next book?
Karen

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lapazfarm
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Posted: May 06 2011 at 10:28pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Karen T wrote:

I liked the monk at first (I believe you mean Fr. Phillip, the prior?) but am wondering if his ambition and pride become worse, as he is really the only decent person in this so far!



Don't worry. He's a good guy.

And no, I didn't read the next one.

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guitarnan
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Posted: May 06 2011 at 11:07pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

Don't bother. It's not nearly as good as the first one. I was extremely disappointed.

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MWeber
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Posted: May 21 2011 at 9:05pm | IP Logged Quote MWeber

I just read The Atonement Child, by Francine Rivers (also just read her book, Redeeming Love).

I'm in the middle of rereading the Dorsetville series by Katherine Valentine.

Oh, and I also finished The Haunted Rectory by Valentine. I was shocked by its spookiness!

My all time favorite series of the year is the Three Pines mysteries by Louise Penny. The first one is Still Life. Not Catholic, but for some reason, I found the writing style to be so engaging.

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SuzanneG
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Posted: June 09 2011 at 12:25am | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

I just finished A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter.....it's been mentioned several times over the years here on 4real.

I really really liked it! It will be a fun one to re-read and talk about with my girls when they get older!

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motherheart
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Posted: June 09 2011 at 12:46am | IP Logged Quote motherheart

I just finished the Narnia series. Yes-I had never read the books before. My 12 year old ds and I read the first four together, then the rest on our own. It was a lot of fun.

:) Mary
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Karen T
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Posted: June 09 2011 at 7:58am | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Suzanne, welcome to the world of Gene Stratton-Porter! I love that book and I've read a few of her others now as well; my favorite so far is The Keeper of the Bees.

Karen
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Karen T
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Posted: June 09 2011 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote Karen T

I finished Pillars of the Earth last month and still can't decide whether I liked it or not. I guess I'm glad to have read the cathedral-building stuff but could have done without the graphic love scenes

Now I'm reading When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman. I'd seen it recommended by several people who disliked Pillars. It's also historical fiction but focuses more directly on King Stephen and Empress Maude, in their fight for the Crown. It's pretty good so far.

I also read Tina Fey's Bossypants, which I do NOT recommend. I used to watch her on SNL years ago and thought she was funny sometimes but this book is a bunch of liberal spouting, interspersed with as many curse words as she can fit in. Tina needs to grow up a little.

I listened to The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White on audio. It's been on my 'to-read' list for years but I'd thought it was more YA - it really seemed more of a younger children's book. Very good, though, and the narrator was excellent.

Also listened to Meg Meeker's Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters which was just as good as the boy one, but also very sobering

Another book I read was Water for Elephants. It was better than I'd expected, with such a unique setting. The love story IMO was secondary to the main themes and I've heard the movie focuses mostly on that part so I probably won't bother seeing it.

Another interesting book to me was Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Another unique setting , this time below London. I've never read any of his other books but I liked this.

I read a lot of other stuff but am only mentioning the ones which I either recommend or definitely rec. against.

Hope to get a lot of books in this summer!
Karen
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Posted: June 09 2011 at 12:06pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

After having it on our bookshelf for YEARS, I finally finished JANE EYRE the other day. I love how morally upright the heroine is!!! And I am now officially addicted. We've watched one of the movie versions on Netflix, and I'm watching another one tonight, and tomorrow I'm watching the latest movie with my oldest.   

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Karen T
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Posted: June 09 2011 at 2:54pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Oh, Jane Eyre is probably my favorite book of all time (or maybe tying with The Scarlet Pimpernel) - I have read it so many times and it's always great to me. Have you watched the one with Timothy Dalton in it? I love that version. I've been avoiding the new one so far; I really hated the new Pride and Prejudice and Emma, a few years back, so I'm always afraid to see what Hollywood's done to a good classic. Let us know how the new one is!

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Posted: June 09 2011 at 4:34pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

I hated the new P&P as well. The 1995 BBC was *it* for me! But I have a few friends who liked the new Jane Eyre, so we'll see. I *did* like the newest Emma, though I thought it was overdramatic in places.

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Posted: June 13 2011 at 9:34pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Karen T wrote:

Now I'm reading When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman. I'd seen it recommended by several people who disliked Pillars. It's also historical fiction but focuses more directly on King Stephen and Empress Maude, in their fight for the Crown. It's pretty good so far.


Karen~ I love Sharon Kay Penman!!!! My husband likes her mysteries.

Karen T wrote:
Suzanne, welcome to the world of Gene Stratton-Porter! I love that book and I've read a few of her others now as well; my favorite so far is The Keeper of the Bees.

I just requested it from the library! Thanks!

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Posted: June 13 2011 at 10:01pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

Sharon Kay Penman is one of my favorite authors. I own nearly all of her books and re-read them frequently. I prefer her historical fiction to her mysteries (even though Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of my favorite people in all of history...I even dragged my family to her tomb!).

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Posted: June 13 2011 at 10:13pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

guitarnan wrote:
Sharon Kay Penman is one of my favorite authors. I own nearly all of her books and re-read them frequently.


My favorite.....Here Be Dragons!!!!!

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