Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What I've been reading #17

Trinity College Library
As things are changing int he world of books right now I can't help but wonder what a future library will look like.  Nowadays we have large buildings with shelves and shelves of books.  One day we may have our libraries totally on the internet.  There already are many books online that are so old that they cannot be safely loaned from libraries, so when a person wants one of these books they go to the online libraries.  It may come a time when we will have books that are on our e-readers entirely and not on shelves in our homes.  Maybe like DVDs when we purchase a book it will come in paper and an e-copy will come with it so we can reader it either way we like.  While it is true that this area of our lives is changing right now, we undoubtedly will still have our favorite books that we want to feel solid in our hands and that have our markings, thoughts and underlinings in the margins.  Will the beautiful libraries we have now become museums some day?
Alma by H.B. Moore
After Abinadi's death in the first book of the series, a surprising convert from the Priests of King Noah leaves the city and starts a colony of those wishing to follow the one true God.  Alma defies the king and ends up fleeing repeatedly as first King Noah and then the head Priest keep trying to punish him for following God instead of King Noah.  Through it all they learn the lessons that have been repeated through all cultures:  When you follow God you are blessed and when you don't you are left on your own which leads to all kinds of additional troubles. 

Heather Moore has done a great job in both increasing the understanding and connections of the scriptures involved as well as filling in the daily life and human drama of a time that is both very different and very similar to our own.  In my opinion this book was even better than the first one.

Ranger's Apprentice: Book 6: The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan

John Flanagan does it again by putting together a nice story that appeals to the young people who read it.  Will continues from the previous book to have his first major adventure as a full-fledged Ranger.  Horace joins him to save the realm from a treacherous knight who takes over a castle only to sell it to some enemies of the nation and give them a foothold in the Araluen nation--which naturally would lead to extreme difficulties for the security of the surrounding towns and counties.
Will learns a variety of lessons about trickery and treachery as well as making things looking different than they are.  It is interesting that John Flanagan has started including is some swear words in this volume.  Possibly he figures as Will grows older that is more appropriate.  Despite the fact that by today's standards they are mild they are still totally unnecessary.  The interplay between the two young men is still gentle and enjoyable.  They still prize honor and treating others kindly according to what they deserve, and they still are learning about making tough decisions that are required of defenders of the realm.  I enjoyed the book and still find it a great series with the one exception of a handful of swear words.  Since Will is growing and maturing as well there is the introduction of romance in this volume as well.  Click here to see a bit more information in a short review.

Consequences: A Retrieval Artist Novel by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kristine Rusch has done it again with another enjoyable read.  I was trying to guess why I am finding it so interesting to read stories about a "retrieval artist" on the moon.  I think I enjoy reading about humans living on the moon but that is only the back drop to the story of a person who investigates and finds people who have taken on a new identity to escape something in their previous life.   Why is that interesting?--possibly because it is so foreign and possibly because it differs so much from my own life.

At any rate Miles Flint again finds himself taking a case and then wondering if he should have rejected it.  When his case coincides with other things happening on the moon in the Armstrong Dome that criss cross his case, he finds himself being blamed for a murder that he most certainly did not commit.  He escapes to earth so that he can investigate and find out what is really going on. 

Seeing earth from the future was enjoyable in this book.  Just when you thought the book would need another 200 pages to wrap things up it came to an enjoyably quick conclusion.  Interesting reading. 

How To Be A Sister: A Love Story With a Twist of Autism by Eileen Garvin
This is a very honest and open look at what it was like for Ms. Garvin as she grew up with five siblings one of which had autism.  Few holds were barred as she described the embarrasment and anxiety as well as the love and caring that took place in their home.  Possibly with a saint for a mother and a balancing father their home was very much defined by her autistic sister.

It goes back and forth from their childhood experiences to more recent times where Ms. Garvin has a desire to have a sisterly relationship but keeps finding that autism gets in the way. Despite her best efforts she and her sister cannot have the normal relationship Ms. Garvin desires because autism will not allow it.  However; due to her repeated attempts and persistance they are able to have a sometimes fulfilling relationship. 

This book does an excellent job in opening up a family from another child's perspective and letting us see what growing up in that home is like.  The author does express things in ways that I find bothersome or offensive with swear words at times, however they always are used as an expression of negative emotions and though I do not express my negative emotions that way I found it clearly understandable that someone with different standards might choose to do so, consequently they did not deter me from the rich exploration into her own feelings about her sister and her family that has resulted. 

I recommend this book to any who want to see a way to acceptance of a sibling that doesn't meet the family norm and to know that others may not have always been at their best inside their families.  The feelings expressed here are powerful and caused me to pause and consider things in my own home. 


1 comment:

  1. interesting-sounding books as always dad! :) you've gotten into some cool series lately. i think those book of mormon stories novels sound interesting - do they tell the stories using scriptural terminology or just using the vocabulary today? i'm assuming they expound on the information that is given in the scriptures right? that would be interesting to read :) i wish that books would come with a digital copy too! that would be nice!


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