Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Hands down my favorite YA book of the year and quite possible my favorite overall book of the year.  This is just such an incredibly written, heartbreaking, breathlessly beautiful book.  This had my crying, like "crazy woman crying on the elliptical at the gym crying".  I kept dog earring pages (shhhhh don't tell) because there were so many paragraphs that I wanted to remember...forever.  This is definitely going into the permanent collection...simply amazing.

Here are just a few of my favorites...I kinda want to transcribe the whole book...

"My mom, she was really beautiful.  My Dad used to say she could make trees bloom just by looking at them...every morning she used to stand on the deck staring out at the water.  The wind would stream through her hair, her robe would billow behind her.   It was like she was at the helm of a ship, you know?  It was like she was steering us across the sky."  PG 192  (SOB)

"Even God, he have to make the world twice...Yes, so if God can have two tries, why not us?  Or three or three hundred tries." PG 302

"Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people...Maybe we're accumulating these new selves all the time.  Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things."  PG 354  (OH MY GOD!!!!)

"Mothers are the parachutes."  PG 353 (Yes they are...even when they are not here.)


The New York Times Bestselling story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Overwhelmed: work, love, and play when no one has the time By Brigid Schulte

I am really glad I decided to purchase this book and not take it out from the library (I know, I know bad librarian) *but* my copy is now littered with margin notes and underlines and exclamation points.  There was just so much to take in, so many annotated references that I now have a list of must reads a mile long.  I really thought she was writing about my life...driving one to one activity, hauling the other one to something else, a daily list of must dos longer than my arm...ya know your basic mom's life.  And while there is no major answers to these life problems, good suggestions yes, but nothing earth shattering, it brings a necessary awareness to the daily life/work struggle.

Just *one* of my favorites:

"Park the helicopter.  You don't have to be everything on your own and better than everyone else...'Love your kids.  Keep them safe.  Accept them as they are.  Then get out of their way.'"
PG. 283

From Booklist

Journalist Schulte manages to take a fairly pedestrian topic, the value of leisure in modern American society, and turn it into a compelling narrative on work, play, and personal achievement. Liberally peppered with her own experiences as a wife, mother, and Washington Post reporter, this artful blend of memoir and cultural exploration asks hard questions about how to create a well-lived life. Is leisure a waste of time, or the only time to “live fully present”? Are we more concerned about a purpose-driven experience, or bogged down in “banal busyness”? Schulte, juggling the demands of children and work while facing conflicts with her spouse over familial responsibilities, realizes that she is mired in busyness. Her discussions with a wide range of experts clarify her concerns and open her mind to the manufactured madness of a competitive culture and the false promise of the ruthlessly dedicated “ideal worker.” Schulte follows every lead to uncover why Americans are so determined to exhaust themselves for work and what has been lost in the process. For Lean In (2013) fans, and everyone who feels overwhelmed. --Colleen Mondor

Monday, November 3, 2014

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

Such a guilty pleasure...think of it as a delicious, decadent piece of chocolate, not necessarily good for you but sooo worth it. 

Book Description via Amazon

Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love, and redemption, Gabriel’s Inferno is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man’s escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible—forgiveness and love.