Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Monday, February 16, 2004

A passion for life

I will not die an unlived life by Dawna Markova is more than a new age change your life book. I knew I would like it when she talked about being at a workshop. The leader said that you needed to find a calm spot, as if you could see to the bottom of a calm pool of water. She thought to herself most people want the water all churned up because they didn't want to see and deal with all the crap at the bottom of the pool of their life. Change isn't easy.

Markova made changes in her own life and doesn't always get it right. She'll tell you that. She does think that it is important to try and find a way to be true to yourself, to find the passion in your life. An interesting book that may help you look at your life in a new way.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Mitford read a like

If you were a fan of Jan Karon's Mitford series, you may like A Miracle for St. Cecilia's and the sequel A Gathering of Angel's. Perhaps not in quite the same league, this may fill the gap until the next Karon.

Book one is the story of Father James, whose parish is getting smaller and less able to support itself. As a result this small New England church is going to be closed by the bishop. As in Mitford the book is full of colourful characters, who live remarkable if everyday lives. The closing of the church and the event that might save it tie the book together. A quick fun read

The second book is the continuing story of St. Cecilia's and the retirement home for clergy that has just opened. I have to admit that the second book was a pleasant read, but I didn't enjoy it as much. I felt it relied a little too much on coincidences and miracles. Still it was a quick read and it was good to visit the characters again.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Too good not to blog about

I'm not done yet, but I know Audrey McClellen isn't going to leave me in the lurch; so I am heartily recommending her book.
Westering Home is a charming novel set on an island off of Scotland. Jean is reeling from learning about her husbands on going adultery. Some distance seems like a good idea in order to sort her life out. She heads to Eilean Dubh, where a family member came from years and years ago. She is enchanted by this Gaelic speaking island and becomes part of the island's life. She also meets the charismatic Darroch. He helps her work through her pain, to fit into the community, to find her ancestor and to love again.
Having said that, this is not a formula romance novel. I care as much about Jean's life as her love life. I started it last night and am about halfway through already.

Update: I finished Westering Home and continued to enjoy the characters. I look forward to the new book The White Rose of Scotland, which should be out soon. McClellan has a web page at Scottish Island Novels.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Thinking of warm places

Sitting in my office with the coldness seeping through the window well, a book caught my eye in the order tool. An Embarrassment of Mangos: A Caribbean Interlude was written by Canadian Ann Vanderhoof. Maybe she was cold too.
In the 1990's Ann and her husband chuck it all. They move onto a 42 foot sailboat named Receta and sail south. For two years they wander the Caribbean and Ann chronicles the charming people they meet, the storms at sea and the food. It always rounds back to the food and she includes the recipe. mmmm After two years she and Steve head back to the "real world", but what an escape. Don't you feel warmer now?