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: June 14 2011 at 6:55am | IP Logged Quote stacykay

I just finished The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks. The story's main focus is on Henrietta's very short life, the result (the growth and sale of her cervical cancer cells) of her encounter with a doctor from Johns Hopkins, and how all of this has affected her family. It includes a sobering historical glimpse into the treatment of African Americans within the medical community, including experimentation.

Karen t wrote:
...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....


I loved this book, but I hadn't heard much about the movie and had planned to go. If that is the way the movie is focused though, yuck! I'll be skipping it too. And that is such a shame, because the main character's adventures were fascinating. Especially loved the end of it (I won't be a spoiler, though! ) Thanks for the alert!



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Karen T
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Posted: June 14 2011 at 10:30am | IP Logged Quote Karen T

I finished When Christ and His Saints Slept last night and did like it very much. It gave so much more detail to what happened between Stephen and Maude, and is really a living book for history. From the author's notes she seems to have researched it deeply and stuck to the basic story very well, only adding the "behind the scenes" types of details to make it into historical fiction. I am definitely going to look for more of her works. I've heard good things about Here Be Dragons so that might be next. And I'd definitely like to read more about Eleanor of Aquitaine as well.

I finished another book last week that I don't think I put in my previous list A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill. It's nonfiction, about a woman with cerebral palsy who gets a service dog. It was a Kindle freebie a few months back and i got it just b/c the lab on the cover looks like mine but it was very good.

I'm now reading Dickens' Hard Times and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe for online book clubs.

Karen
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SuzanneG
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Posted: June 14 2011 at 11:53am | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Here is the chronological order of Sharon Kay Penman's books:

1101-1154 When Christ And His Saints Slept (Volume 1 of Trilogy)
1156-1171 Time And Space (Volume 2 of Trilogy)
12th Centurey. Devil's Brood (Volume 3 of Trilogy)
1192-1193 The Queen's Man
1193 Cruel As The Grave
1183-1232 Here Be Dragons (Volume 1 of Welsh Trilogy)
1231-1267 Falls The Shadow (Volume 2 of Welsh Trilogy)
1271-1283 The Reckoning (Volume 3 of Welsh Trilogy)
1459-1492 The Sunne In Splendour

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Karen T
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Posted: June 14 2011 at 4:23pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

Thanks Suzanne; I love having lists of books in order like that. I was at the library today and I think they had The Queen's Man plus some mysteries but that was all on the shelves. About 70% of our library's holdings are in storage while a new building is being built and we are using a tiny temporary place but i can place a hold for anything in storage and usually have it in a few days. I've already requested Here Be Dragons but then I'll get Time and Space now that I know where it falls in chronology.

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SuzanneG
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Posted: June 15 2011 at 12:58am | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

I just picked up The Tapestry Shop , by Joyce Moore. So far it's wonderful!

It is based on the life of Adam de la Halle, a thirteenth century musician. It is set in 13th century France and takes place during the reign of Louis IX.

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Booksnbabes
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Posted: July 19 2011 at 4:56pm | IP Logged Quote Booksnbabes

PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks Neat idea, unfolding the history of a Jewish book and the people who possessed through the clues found by the woman called in to conserve it, but too much unnecessary violence (especially s*xual), too little morality, and I only finished it because I hoped it would get better. Definitely an anti-Catholic bias here! DO NOT RECOMMEND

THE LAST TALK WITH LOLA FAYE by Thomas H. Cook -- again an interesting way of telling the story (past events unfold throughout one night of conversation), but I wouldn't read it again.

All three Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley (SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD, THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN'S BAG) -- enjoyed these as I'm a mystery buff (always have been); got them for my sister who just graduated with a degree in Chemistry, but couldn't resist pre-reading them , looking forward to the release of the fourth in November

THROWAWAY by Heather Huffman -- free e-book, enjoyed it though rather loose on morality and too much "bedroom" time, story gets better at the end with the main character changing her life around and then using her good fortune to help others. Plan on reading others in the series (also free). Wouldn't buy them, but light reading for when I don't feel like tackling something heavier.

THE PENDERWICKS and THE PENDERWICKS OF GARDAM STREET by Jeanne Birdsall-- have been our read-alouds; LOVED these, can't wait to read the third!

HIGH RHULAIN by Brian Jacques -- dd read this and then insisted I read it as well; great read as all the Redwall books have been!

VOYAGE OF THE SLAVES: A TALE FROM THE CASTAWAYS OF THE FLYING DUTCHMAN by Brian Jacques -- another great adventure read from Jacques; best for older kids though, I thought (allowing 9-yr.-old to read, with plenty of discussion), part of a series and I am planning to read the others at some point, but one need not read the others to enjoy this

THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett -- LOVED this book; will likely add it to my home library

A MURDER OF CROWS (A SIR ROBERT CAREY MYSTERY) by PF Chisholm -- graphic, gritty, but enjoyed the historical references (Shakespeare is in there), not sure if my delight in mysteries is enough to pull me into the series (doubt it)

SAVVY by Ingrid Law -- got this free at the local bookstore going-out-of-business sale, enjoyable read about a family with special gifts (on a certain birthday they get their "savvy" and they need to learn how to use/control it), nothing really objectionable, probably for the early teen crowd, liked especially that it took place near our geographic location so I knew the towns/highways mentioned, the characters are homeschooled once they reach savvy age   

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT by Erich Maria Remarque -- graphic, but loved this novel; very moving

SARAH'S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay -- enjoyed learning the history, did NOT enjoy the "modern day" portions of the book, wouldn't read again, or would just skip the portions that were not about Sarah

PLUM LOVIN' by Janet Evanovich -- grabbed this at the book store sale as well, had no idea what I was getting! Fluff, light on morality, but kind of an enjoyable read (a guilty pleasure?), I doubt I'll read any more, but only because I'm in too much danger of liking this twaddle

I'm working on DON QUIXOTE by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, but not sure I'll finish it this year (or next!); I have to read this in small chunks, and be in the right mood

I'm also reading SMALL STEPS FOR CATHOLIC MOMS by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss and DISCIPLINE THAT LASTS A LIFETIME by Raymond Guarendi--both I highly recommend!   

THE HOBBIT by Tolkien -- read-aloud for the family, as wonderful as always!

THE COMPLETE FATHER BROWN MYSTERIES by GK Chesterton -- e-book, I am a huge Fr. Brown fan, though the later stories are not as enjoyable as the earlier ones

COMPLETE MYSTERY NOVEL COLLECTION VOLUME 1 by Agatha Christie -- e-book, I'm also a huge Agatha Christie fan, so enjoyed all of these!

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME by Ron Hall and Denver Moore -- enjoyable book, true story about how reaching out to the poor (one in particular) changes a man's life, written by the men involved

FOUR CORNERS OF THE SKY by Michael Malone -- free e-book, light read, not great, but not terrible

MAKING WAVES by Lorna Seilstad -- nice light reading, Christian reading with a touch of historical fiction in the setting (which was not too far from here and why I opted to read it), nothing objectionable, could even be read by teens, I think I'd read it again (since it is on my Nook already)

COOL BEANS by Erynn Mangum -- free e-book, nice light Christian read, suitable for older teens as it centers on college-age "kids" and deals with relationships, aimed at teens I believe

LIFE, LOVE, AND A POLAR BEAR TATTOO by Heather Wardell -- free e-book, ok book, light read, appreciated the choices made in the end

TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES by Thomas Hardy -- reread this book, remembered why I didn't like it, not a bad book, just too depressing

Started reading PORTRAIT OF A LADY by Henry James -- could not even finish this book (made it through part I), too depressing, I could see the train-wreck coming and couldn't bear to witness it

Listened to THE SIGN OF THE FOUR by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, always enjoy Sherlock Holmes!

Listened to A DOUBLE BARRELED DETECTIVE STORY by Mark Twain -- eh, not my favorite

Listened to THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER by Mark Twain -- probably more than the kids needed but they seemed to enjoy it, good discussions during and after

Currently listening to BLEAK HOUSE by Dickens and THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON by Johann David Wyss, both of which are going sllloooowwwwly

I think that is it thus far (it's been a good reading year!). I keep trying not to read the old stand-by books (mostly classics, especially Austen) and branch out a bit. Not really thrilled with modern fiction.

I have three Sharon Kay Penman books on hold at the library. I am just waiting to be notified that I can pick them up!

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motherheart
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Posted: July 29 2011 at 11:27pm | IP Logged Quote motherheart

I just finished two more books this month:

The Conspiracy of Ignorance: The Failure of the American Public Schools by Martin L. Gross and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

This first--I was surprised to learn so much; I almost didn't read it.

The second. Wow. I read it a a good time in my life. I recommend it.

:) Mary
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SeaStar
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Posted: Aug 15 2011 at 6:16am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

Just finished Haunting Jasmine and thought it was fun- not too taxing on the old brain but enjoyable.

I especially enjoyed the way the famous authors kept popping up in the bookstore.

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motherheart
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Posted: Oct 31 2011 at 7:53pm | IP Logged Quote motherheart

I just finished a book that I happened to get from our local library system, and authors are Catholic. :)


Homeschooling : a family's journey by Gregory and Martine Millman

I definately recommend it.

Mary

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Mary's daughter
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Posted: Nov 01 2011 at 8:53am | IP Logged Quote Mary's daughter

I read The Keeper of the Bees and enjoyed it very much. Thank you to those who recommended it. I am enjoying Freckles right now. I tried to read The Magic Garden, also by Gene Stratton Porter, but I found it...creepy. Anyone else read this one?

Sarah's Key was another I read based on this thread. It was a good read but has left a sadness in me. I have read a lot of books on WW II and the Holocaust. This one was horrifying, even though it was fiction.

Stephanie
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MichelleW
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Posted: Nov 01 2011 at 1:43pm | IP Logged Quote MichelleW

I also read and thoroughly enjoyed The Keeper of the Bees! Really, really loved it.

Then I read Chocolat and though I enjoyed it, I really thought the author missed her own point.

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Karen T
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Posted: Nov 01 2011 at 8:56pm | IP Logged Quote Karen T

I managed to do a lot of reading over the summer before we started back to school. I'll hit the highlights:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - one of those I'd heard a lot about and never got to before. Very quick read and interesting. (about book burning)

The King's Speechby Mark Logue. I thought it would be good to read this before seeing the movie (I just wanted to see Colin Firth, really ); however it turns out the movie was not made from the book. Instead, the movie people got interested in Logue's grandfather, the speech therapist, and approached him for info. In reading his grandfather's diaries, he decided to write a book, but the movie was already in production. It's a pretty dry book but I listened to the audio, and they included a number of the actual speeches from the king, which were nice to hear. For anyone who's seen the movie, though, the whole cursing thing never happened, at least according to the author.

The Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and all the sequels. Well, I'm currently on the 4th book (there are 5 so far). There are a lot of parts of these I don't care for, but I keep reading them b/c I've just gotten too involved in the mystery of what's up north.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Loved the first two, the last one was just OK.

The Quiet Light by Louis de Wohl. A biography of St. Thomas Aquinas, excellent as all the de Wohl books I've read.

I've been on a Dean Koontz kick this year, ever since reading the Odd Thomas series. Koontz is Catholic and his later books often have a spiritual theme in them, even while sometimes using space aliens to accomplish something. sounds weird but that plus his obvious love for dogs makes some good reading! The one I just finished most recently was One Door Away from Heaven and it hits on the bio-ethics movement of euthanasia, etc. I really loved the ending!

I've also read a ton of books on eating and food this year. An excellent one was Why We Get Fat and what to do about it by Gary Taubes. He's a science writer and really shows how the past 30 years of nutritional advice from the government and typical doctors is based on shaky medical evidence, and all the evidence which points to entirely different conclusions. I've started another good one called Wheat Belly (sorry, don't have author handy).

Two short books I recently read that were excellent:
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Great ghost story for October! It's being made into a movie due out next year. Spooky but not gory.

Dewey, the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron

whew, guess that's enough for now!
Karen
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Posted: Dec 29 2011 at 5:17pm | IP Logged Quote aforb001

I finished reading The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin in just a few days! Amazing how much more reading I can do when we aren't doing school! Anyway, it was AWESOME! Then I had to watch the movie which was excellent also. This is now one of my all time favorite books alongside The Count of Monte Cristo and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
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