Thursday, December 20, 2012

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

**Links: Book 1**

I'm definitely coming to the realization that I will always adore this series.

In the second book, Harry is in his second year at Hogwarts (see how this goes? each book is a new year). A house elf named Dobby tries to prevent him (in several different ways) from returning to, and eventually remaining at, Hogwarts. He claims he is doing this for his protection, but Harry refuses to stay away. He returns to Hogwarts.

However, strange things start happening. Harry hears voices that no one else hears and people are being petrified by something. The school is in an uproar of suspicions. Harry's the culprit, no, Malfoy, no, Hagrid, no someone completely unrelated to the school. Nobody knows, but there is fear running rampant.

The book has some excitement, and it's slightly darker than the previous book. And, with reading along with Pottermore, I learned exciting new things about the Chamber of Secrets as well as other things, including the sword of Godric Gryffindor.

All in all, I still love this book.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

I must admit, I went into this book feeling a little skeptical that I would enjoy it. I often find that I have difficulties connecting with books that are about black characters. I'm sure that's probably because I grew up in, well, a mostly white suburb, so my associations with the African American culture is limited.

So, I was pleasantly surprised that I truly enjoyed this book.

Hattie Shepherd is the main character of this book. Now, when I say that, I don't really mean that the book is completely told from her point of view, but rather that she is the binding character for the entire thing. It's a book separated in many chunks, each chunk representing a certain point in time for Hattie. The twelve tribes? Her eleven children and one of her grandchildren.

There are her struggles through motherhood throughout her entire life, beginning when she is just 17 and trying to take care of twins (be prepared, the first block of time is a tear-jerker), and ending when she is an old woman who has to take care of her ten-year-old granddaughter after having the child's mother committed.

It is an emotional story that shows just how hard it can be sometimes. Hattie is unhappy in her marriage, struggles to take care of her children, and overall struggling with life. She tries to run away, but doesn't. Her children try to escape their past, only to find that it has shaped them into the people that they don't really want to be.

I definitely enjoyed this. Thanks to Oprah's Book Club for introducing this great piece of work to me.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crossroads of Twilight

**Links: Prequel * Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9**

I think I've made it over the hump of "I can't push through this" when it comes to this series. I really enjoyed the early books, but somewhere in the middle of the series, it gets kind of difficult to push through, and now I'm to exciting reads again.

Rand has cleansed the male half of the Source of its taint that makes men who channel go mad. But he is a very small part of this book. Most of this book is Mat, who is escaping from the Seanchan with the Daughter of the Nine Moons, the woman he is destined to marry, as well as the next in line for their throne. Perrin has a significant role in this book as he continues to hunt for his wife Faile who was captured by the Shaido Aiel. Even Egwene is significant in this book. She and the Aes Sedai who are under her have besieged Tar Valon in an attempt to take down Elaida and reunite the White Tower.

I'm really excited to see where things will go with the story lines. Will Perrin get his wife back? When will Mat marry? Is Egwene going to be ok (something exciting happens to her right at the end of this book)? What is going on with Rand and his sickness when he tries to channel? When will the three boys be back together?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little House on the Prairie

**Link: Book 1**

In book 2 of this series, the Ingalls family move to the prairie, specifically Kansas. It is an extreme fresh start for the family. They go with only the barest of belongings, and all of those stored in a covered wagon. Pa has to build a house and a stable, as well as all of the furniture.

There are some exciting parts involving Indians and illness. They have friends who help them out through some of their tougher times.

I loved reading this. I was scared, excited, worried, and happy for them as they ventured into their new adventure. The end made me feel a little sad, but I'm sure it is just the beginning of a new adventure for the family.

It's a great book for your kids (I'm reading it to my daughter).