Thursday, March 31, 2011

Throwback Thursday -Amelia Bedelia

I have created a new series called Throwback Thursday where I will share some of the books that overwhelm me with nostalgic feelings of my childhood. Some of my fondest memories are of me and my dad going to the library when I was a kid, and later reading to both my parents that night. (I was such a show-off.)

I was just reminded of Amelia Bedelia a few months ago at the Children's Section at Barnes & Noble while shopping for my nephew. I let out a gasp and was overwhelmed by the sweet memories rushing back to me. "I remember that!" I said, gripping my husband's arm in a dramatic fashion as I am prone to doing. I tore the book off the shelf and clutched it, feeling close to my dad and regretting his passing. I was thankful for that moment. It's so beautiful to find splendor in the memories; those moments are what life is made for.

I can't remember many specific details about Amelia Bedelia except her flighty nature and her literal interpretation of figures of speech, which was usually the premise of most of the stories.

I'm really excited about Throwback Thursdays. I would love to hear about the books from your childhood as well!

Love and (a book) light,


Monday, March 28, 2011

What's in a Name? -A Pretty Amazing eReader

It doesn't take a genius to guess where the name for my blog came from. Let me just say that my Kindle is my favorite thing ever. I know some of you out there are loyal to books, but you should also know that it does NOT have to be one or the other! I thought of all people I would be the last to get an eBook Reader; I am not easily swayed by flashy technology. (Just so you know, my phone does not even have the ability to take pictures.)
It's hard to resist everything the Kindle has to offer.

  • It's so light.
    • At 8.7 oz, it's practically nothing to carry around. I also like to read while laying on my side, and with a paperback that's not always the most comfortable thing. With the Kindle, I can use one hand and never have to shift positions.
  • It stores up to 3,500 eBooks.
    • My husband and I like to read at coffee shops and parks. With the Kindle, I don't have to chose between several books to bring. I just grab my Kindle and I have plenty of options. If you somehow manage to max out the memory, you can delete a book from your device, but it will always be in your Amazon account for you to download again (at no extra charge).
  • It uses very little battery power.
    • I have had my Kindle since the end of January, and I can count on one hand how many times I've had to charge it. A typical charge for me lasts from 2-3 weeks. Mind you, I read a lot, too. 
  • It can adjust font style and size.
    • My husband likes to borrow my Kindle sometimes. When he's reading late at night, he doesn't need to wear his glasses; he adjusts the font size to his liking.
  • I find I read faster on the Kindle.
    • I don't really understand this myself, but I know it's happening. I guess it's because I'm not distracted by what's on the next page. 
  • It has free wireless and offers 3G.
    • Every Kindle comes equipped with wireless connectivity. For $50 dollars more, you can have 3G at no monthly cost. With 3G, I can purchase an eBook anywhere I go -not a necessity, but nice to have.

Of course, these are the things that stand out to me the most, but everyone loves the Kindle for different reasons. Like I said, having a Kindle does not mean you have to forsake all your hardcovers and paperbacks. My general rule is that I read fiction on my Kindle and buy paperbacks of science non-fiction. This makes for easier note-taking, though you could insert notes on the Kindle as well. My only criticism is that the user interface is not as intuitive or clean as one would hope. 
There you have it: a review of this blog's namesake. 
{my metallic case that adds almost nothing to the weight and thickness}

{does that not look like a real page?}

{it displays a different screensaver every time you put it to sleep}

Love and (a book) light,


Friday, March 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop -Me in a Series?

Book Blogger Hop

I've joined in on the Book Blogger Hop by Crazy for Books. This is a great way to discover other book blogs. Each week there is a question to answer, and this week it is:

Q: If you could physically put yourself into a book or series...which one would it be and why?

A: I would love to be in Agatha's Christie's books with Hercule Poirot. He is such a character, who wouldn't want to play Watson to his Sherlock? 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book-Clubbers Anonymous: Sign me up!

I recently joined a few book clubs to help me with my resolution to reflect more on the books I read. I admit, I may have gotten a little book-club-happy. Here are the books I've committed to reading over the next few months. 
  1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein 
  2. Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by James Trefil and Robert M. Hazen
  3. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body by Jennifer Ackerman 
  4. Finny by Justin Kramon
  5. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 
  6. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese 
  7. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
  8. Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Reflection on Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Spoiler Rating: 2/5 Nothing you won't learn by reading the back of the book.

Sarah's Key is a wonderful, uplifting, heartbreaking novel about a woman's quest to find a survivor of the Vel d'Hiv roundup of 1942 in Paris. (Click here to purchase the book from Barnes & Noble or to read a synopsis.) 

If Vel d'Hiv rings no bells for you, you're not alone. It was the first time I had ever heard of France's active involvement in one of the most horrifying events in history: the Holocaust. It was also the first time that American journalist, Julia Jarmond, fully grasped the horror of the events Paris during 1942. She soon becomes consumed by her connection to one of the Vel d'Hiv survivors, Sarah Starzynski, and embarks on a journey to find her.

It was very difficult for me to read some parts knowing that even though this is a novel, what Sarah went through is what thousands of Parisian Jews experienced that year. It is through stories like this that I begin to question our humanity, both then, in the actions of French soldiers and the inactions of French citizens, and now, in our ignorance and indifference of and towards the events of that year. It seems like an episode of T w i l i g h t  Z o n e -thousands of people murdered and, less than a century later, forgotten. Maybe I am being unfair; surely some people remember. One thing is for sure, the silence of the victims is deafening. But alas, I have strayed from the book.

I found myself asking "Why?" many times throughout this book. (If you decide to read it, you'll see exactly why.) Why are some consumed with the need to know while others turn a blind eye and are content with ignorance? Why do we make the choices we do? 
Julia asks a lot of "why" questions, too. Fortunately for her, she gets a lot of answers. The beauty of everything is that in searching for Sarah, Julia finds herself. I wish all tragedies led to salvation, if only a few decades too late.

From Sarah's Key, I learned that just because you come out of something alive, it doesn't mean you survived; just because you escaped, it doesn't mean you are free. It reminded me how delicate the healing process is; it requires time, love, and whole-hearted acceptance from the ones you love, among other things.
Overall, I highly recommend it. There is something in this book for everyone whether it's healing, forgiveness, understanding, or like Julia, meaning.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I'm the worst kind of reader. I have trouble remembering all the books I've read, and when I can remember reading a particular book I don't necessarily remember what that book was about. I can conjure a vague memory of whether I enjoyed it or not, but unless I read it within the past six months, that's about it.

I should say I was that kind of reader, because this blog is a new beginning

Here, I will try to say something about everything I read from here on, and recap what I have read in the past (though my memories might be vague and scarce). Know that my intention is not to review books. I have no formal background in literature or creative writing, and for me to critique someone's life work is presumptuous to say the least. Instead, I hope to share what I take from these books and maybe add to your "to-read" list. 

What do I read? ANYTHING. Well, I do draw the line somewhere, and that line is probably in close vicinity to books written by celebrities and supernatural teen romance (they actually have that section at Barnes & Noble!), though an occasional exception is possible. That being said, you may find me reading science books, novels, classics, memoirs, and more.