Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

Mr. Chartwell, also known as Black Pat, has been psychologically torturing Winston Churchill for a long, long time. In fact, Churchill has been suffering from depression ever since Black Pat came into his life. Black Pat is a big, menacing, black, smelly dog with a dark side. Only those haunted by him can see him.

Esther Hammerhans is a librarian and a recent widow who decides to rent out her late husband's study. When Mr. Chartwell arrives to ask about the room, a frightened Esther tries to get out of renting it to him. Black Pat, always the conniver, offers her a great sum of money to stay for just a short time and Esther agrees. Will she fall victim to his darkness?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome To My World by Johnny Weir

I absolutely love ice skating, from figure skating to ice dancing. I love watching the National Championships, World Championships and of course the Olympics! When I heard that Johnny Weir, one of my favorite skaters and certainly one of the most outlandish too, was writing an autobiography I couldn't wait to read it.
Johnny was late to the game of ice skating, starting at the "old" age of 12 years old! One winter day, with nothing better to do he found a clear patch of ice in a cornfield and using the ice skates he got for Christmas he decided to give skating a try. Well, the rest is history. He took to the ice alright, within six months he would be competing! In a short while he was competing at the Junior National Championships with his skating partner Jodi earning all first place votes too. Pair skating didn't last long and Johnny was on his way up. His family completely supported his desire to skate at a competitive level even moving the entire family to be closer to Johnny's coach and the ice rink in Delaware.
Training and competing can be grueling and along the way Johnny made a name for himself by being himself. Designing his own costumes and picking his own music for his routines, following a strict discipline of training eight hours a day to staying close to his family and a few close friends he earned a reputation for himself that was not always kind. He made mistakes in a few decisions and as he got older he recognized them and more importantly learned from them as well. He continually pushed himself to train harder, to be stronger and to be the BEST male skater in the United States.
Competitions took him all over the world, exposing him to many different cultures. He loved the people and the culture of Russia the most. Johnny takes you through the years of his competing at the National level to eventually earning a spot on the Olympic team.
He discusses the publics perception of who Johnny Weir really is and the bias of the Federation of Ice Skating. Through all the ups and downs he remains true to himself and with the unconditional support of his family, he has the time of his life. Yes, Johnny Weir is flamboyant, yes, he dresses differently than many people expect, yes, he does things his way, and yes, he says exactly what he thinks and believes in. Through the entire book he opens our eyes to the world of competitive ice skating. At the end of the book, you recognize his love of the sport and how talented this young man is in the art of ice skating! What a great book. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

April Book Club Reads

The Busy Moms' Club will meet on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss Welcome to the Mysterious by Lorna Landvik.

The Adult Book Club will read and discuss Madonnas of Lenigrad by Debra Dean on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

The Mystery Book Club meets on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. The group will read and discuss Faithful Place by Tana French.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

Little Calli Clark wasn't always a selective mute. In fact her mother had often called her a little chatterbox. Only four years old, Calli loved to color and tell stories. It all changed
one day and Calli's voice went silent. Why? What happened to Calli that was so traumatic that she stopped speaking and singing her sweet little voice?
Petra moved in next door to Calli and soon the two girls became best friends. It didn't seem to bother Petra in the least that Calli didn't talk. She seemed to understand her wants and desires without Calli uttering a sound.
Early one summer morning Petra's parents discovered she was missing. Upon inquiring with Calli's parents, it was discovered that Calli was also missing. Police are contacted, friends and neighbors are interviewed, searches are conducted. Ms. Gudenkauf presents the reader with several possible scenarios on the disappearance of the girls. The story is told from each girl's perspective up until the very end.
I couldn't put this book down and I was quite surprised at the ending. I would highly suggest reading it!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.
Do you have girlfriends that you have known for most of your adult life? If so, then you know what it takes to keep those friendships working and more importantly how much those "sisters" mean to you.
The time is the 1960's and this book is about five young women who meet one day each week in the local park. While their children are playing the young women develop a lifelong friendship. A friendship that brings laughter, comforts and challenges. They soon feel the need to do "something more" and decide that each of them must write either a story, an essay or keep a journal. Each week the friends critique each others work. It doesn't take long before honesty is the policy and the girlfriends share more than a simple criticism.
It is a time for change...women's lib and the civil rights movement. The five women bring out the best in each other and sometimes the worst. They challenge each other to do more, to think outside the box, to BE more than a mother and housewife. As their friendship molds into a sisterhood, they discover secrets about each other which pushes them to evaluate their own values and morals.
I loved reading this book and would clearly call it a "page turner" and a feel good book. I couldn't wait to find out how it ended and I will easily admit I LOVED THE ENDING. Happy reading!