Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Challenge - Thriller Thursday

November 7 - Thrilling Thursday - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes
by Jodi Picoult

Most readers will look at the cover of this book and say I am crazy for selecting this title as my Thrilling Thursday selection. Synonyms of the word thrilling include: breathtaking, electrifying, gripping, stimulating, mind-blowing, stirring, and sensational (to name more than a few). This book exemplifies all of these words.

On my husband's 37th birthday the United States was shocked when two teenagers killed twelve students and a teacher, wounded 23 others and then committed suicide in Columbine, Colorado. It was the first time I had ever felt vulnerable as an educator. As a member of our campus crisis team we had talked about what to do in the case of a tornado, fire, or an evacuation. We had never discussed an active shooter scenario. The following school year, our team began talking about what we would do if an active shooter were to come on campus, or God forbid into the building.

A friend recommended Nineteen Minutes to me. I believe it was the first of Jodi Picoult's books I ever read. When I began reading this book, I had no preconceived notions. I really didn't even know what the book was about. I didn't read the blurb because I didn't want to have any kind of spoiler. I wanted to enjoy the book for the story and not for what I might predict would happen.

As I found out later, Jodi Picoult enjoys taking on a challenge. She seems to love controversy while making the reader step back and reconsider their own beliefs. She made me do just that. Nineteen Minutes is the amount of time it took for the small town of Sterling, New Hampshire to be shattered much like Columbine. I don't want to give any more of the story away. I do want you to know you will question your beliefs about so many different subjects when you have finished reading this book. I would love to hear back from anyone who reads the book because of this recommendation.

Here are a few questions to ponder.

  • What are your feelings toward Peter Houghton at the beginning of the book?
  • Do those feelings change as you read his story? If so, how and why?
  • Is anyone a victor at the end of this book? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think there are so many instances of school violence?

November Challenge - Whatever Wednesday

November 5 - Whatever Wednesday - Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig

Rhett Butler's People
by Donald McCaig

For those who know me well will understand why I chose this particular book for my first Whatever Wednesday. This book, like so many other books can fit into more than one of the categories for my November Challenge. However, I wanted to spotlight this title today because it has one of my all time favorite characters as the title character. I have loved Rhett Butler from the moment he appeared on the pages of Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone with the Wind. I could hardly wait for this book to be released. I was going to be able to read more about Rhett, to find out about his life, his family, and Miss Katie Scarlett O'Hara from his perspective. I was not disappointed, and I don't think anyone who loves the characters from GWTW either from the pages or the screen will be disappointed either.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November Challenge - Thankful for Books

In the past I've joined others posting a particular thanksgiving for each day of November. This year I am going to do something a little different. I am going to share something for which I am particularly thankful for...books.

Books are an extremely important part of my life. Not only because I am a librarian, but because I am a reader. I'm not afraid to say it! In fact, I will say it again, I AM A READER! My "To Read" list gets longer and longer every day. I will never be able to read all of the books I want to read. My idea of Heaven is an ever growing library.

So with that being said, I will be posting the title of a book each day in the following six (seven) categories...

#Surplus Sundays (these are a true bonus)

If you want to join me in this adventure, feel free. You can post your books on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or even below in the comments section. I think it is going to be a fun challenge for me, especially choosing the perfect title for each category. Will your To Read list grow?

Let the reading begin.

Now, to play a little catchup...

November 1 - Sexy Saturday - The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon - There is no better way to start this challenge than to talk about the wonderfully intoxicating romance between Jamie and Claire. These books are not your typical romance novels (sometimes referred to as "Chick Lit"). They can fit into a number of different genres, and have been by many people (according to Ms. Gabaldon herself). These include, but are not limited to, the following: romance, historical fiction, thriller, science fiction, history, and adventure. There is something for every reader in this series because Ms. Gabaldon tears down the genre walls and lets her characters create their own destiny.

This series has recently become even more popular because of the television series on Starz. The first half of the season (eight episodes) began in August and ran through September. The second half of the first season is not scheduled to air until April 2015. 
The Outlander series
by Diana Gabaldon

November 2 - Surplus Sunday

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Playing for Pizza
by John Grisham
Since this book is representing Sunday, it only seems fitting that it should be related to football! Playing for Pizza is a book about self discovery. When the third-string quarterback of the Cleveland Browns is cut from the team following a horrible performance, he is unable to find work for another team. The only team that will take him is the Mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy. Not knowing the country, culture, or language, Rick has a great deal to learn, but more than anything else, he has a lot to discovery about himself.

November 3 - Mysterious Monday 

The Cradle will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark

The Cradle will Fall
by Mary Higgins Clark
I don't actually remember when I read this, my first of Mary Higgins Clark's, book. I believe I might have been in high school. This book set me on my path of mystery novels. I loved the suspense and anxiety I felt for the main character, Katie DeMaio because I, as the reader, knew information she did not. The medical aspect of this book was also intriguing. I know not all doctors are like the one depicted in the book, but it does make one suspicious.

November 4 - Texas 2x2 Tuesday (I like this a lot better than my initial "Tot Tuesday") 

Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont and Jane Dyer

Move Over Rover
written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Jane Dyer
Move Over Rover was named to the Texas 2x2 Reading List in 2007. I love to read the book aloud to young children to see if they scrutinize the illustrations. Do they look closely enough to see each animal to crawl into Rover's doghouse to get out of the rain? If you pick up this wonderful book, be sure to read the story and look at the pictures very carefully. Can you predict what is going to happen at the end of the book? When sharing it with young children see if they have the same hypothesis.