My Name is Asher Lev

48.  My Name is Asher Lev
by Chaim Potok
Read for my Colloquia
My Library

One of my all-time favorites!  I also love the sequel & so wish that Potok would have written the final book of the trilogy!  Asher comes to age as both he and his family grapple with the intensity of his artistic gifts and what they mean in the context of their ultra-conservative Hasidic Jewish community.

Favorite quotes:
"Millions of people can draw. Art is whether or not there is a scream in him wanting to get out in a special way."
"Or a laugh," she said.  "Picasso laughs, too."

Only one who has mastered a tradition has a right to attempt to add to it or to rebel against it.

Asher Lev, there are two ways of painting in the world.  In the whole history of art, there are only these two ways.  One is the way of Greece and Africa, which sees the world as a geometric design.  The other is the way of Persia and India and China, which sees the world as a flower.  Ingres, Ce'zaane, Picasso paint the world as geometry.  Van Gogh, Renoir, Kandisnsky, Chagall paint the world as a flower.

One must not paint everything one feels.  But once you decide to paint something, you must paint the truth or you will paint green rot.

A Seahorse in the Thames

47.  A Seahorse in the Thames
by Susan Meissner
Christian Fiction
My Library

Alexa tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her sister's disappearance.  Interesting & enjoyable!


A Mother's Rule of Life

46.  A Mother's Rule of Life:  How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul
by Holly Pierlot
My Library

Holly weaves her own story into her formula for creating a "rule of life."  She describes a rule of life:
"It consists primarily in the examination of one's vocation and the duties it entails, and the development of a schedule for fulfilling these responsibilities in a consistent and orderly way."  She approaches this task through the lens of the "Five P's" five priorities of the married vocation given her by "a wise old priest."  (Prayer, Person, Partner, Parent, Provider)

I loved the insights into Catholic beliefs, and found Holly's personal stories very engaging.  And I really appreciate her thoughtful approach to examining and designing our lives as women and mothers.  In fact, I think I could use a reread.


Blue Heart Blessed

45.  Blue Heart Blessed
by Susan Meissner
Christian Fiction
City Library

Have you ever been so very very hungry, and then you eat what seems like the most fabulous meal of all time?  And then you wonder, was it the food, or was it me?  That's how I feel about this book.  I know it's hard to imagine that a book, especially a book like this, could be exactly what I needed, but it was, and it really was one of my favorite books of the year.  Hooray for Blue Heart Blessed!  A sweet story of second chances, what it really means to love, and the reality of hope!


(Meissner employs a really cute journal-writing technique, which is where many of these quotes come from.)

I would imagine coming out from under bitterness might take awhile.  Like losing a few pounds compares with getting a haircut.  Both make you look different but one takes a lot longer than the other.

It actually feels good to be sitting here and not cataloging my woes or ticking off my grocery list of things I want.
It feels really good to jus sit and be silent
I close my eyes and let the stillness fill me.

“Everything you hunger for, you’ve already been given,” he continues.  “You’re already loved beyond your wildest dreams.  You are wearing the ruby slippers, Daisy.  They’ve been on your feet the whole time.”

I don’t know that I’ve ever really considered that it’s the love I give away -- not the love I receive -- that truly defines me.  I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

I told Max about it and that I’m worried it won’t work, and he just said it’s not cool to kill your chickens before they’ve hatched.  I asked him, “What the heck does that mean?”  He said “Don’t make reservations for the worst-case scenario.”  

when your greatest desire is to offer love, not collect it

Dear Daisy,
The Voice of Reason cannot fully know what faith alone reveals, but I have to say I am reminded of that line from the movie Les Miserables.  You know, that one you like so much:
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
Enjoy the view.

Pumpkin Roll

44.  Pumpkin Roll:  A Culinary Mystery
by Josi S. Kilpack
LDS Fiction
City Library

Another Sadie Hoffmiller mystery.  The ending was a little strange, but if it wasn't I'd probably be saying it was too predictable.  


Kisses from Katie

43.  Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
by Katie Davis with Beth Clark
Appropriate for older teens & adults
Read for my Colloquia
My Library

I know my review won't do this book justice.  It is a powerful book, and was a great choice for my Colloquia.  Katie left her life as a popular, financially comfortable, young person just ready to start college, to care for orphans in Uganda.  She tells her story from this unlikely beginning, to the even more unlikely ending ending as a mother adopting thirteen girls.  Though her story is so far removed from the life most of us lead, she shares her joys and struggles in a away that help us to see the potential path of following God's call on our life and giving our whole hearts in love.

Favorite Quotes:

That love is the reason I just keep filling up my little eyedropper, keep filling it up and emptying my ocean one drop at a time.  I'm not here to eliminate poverty, to eradicate disease, to put a stop to people abandoning babies.  I'm just here to love.

Thankfully, God's plans do not seem to be affected much by my own.

The place God calls us to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.

We aren't really called to save the world, not even to save one person; Jesus does that.  We are just called to love with abandon.

Her Good Name

42.  Her Good Name
by Josi S. Kilpack
LDS Fiction
City Library

An older Josi Kilpack, identity theft, mystery, and romance.  Pretty decent, with a likeable main character, and an interesting male lead.

Blackberry Crumble

41.  Blackberry Crumble:  A Culinary Mystery
by Josi S. Kilpack
LDS Fiction
City Library

I think this series is fun in small doses.  I read two this summer which was about right.  Of those two, this was my favorite, perhaps because I read it first.


The Squire, His Knight, & His Lady

40.  The Squire, His Knight, & His Lady
by Gerald Morris
YA Fiction - appropriate for 10-12+ (probably younger if read aloud)
My Library

Not as fabulous as the first, but still a fun read.  I may pick up the series again at a later date, but this one, though enjoyable, didn't leave me hungry for more.


The Blue Sword

39.  The Blue Sword
by Robin Mckinley
YA Fiction
City Library

Love Robin McKinley!  This was a beautiful book.  The characters and setting come alive and carried me into their world.  The heroine is wistful and strong, Harry (short for something, which I can't remember).  Her counterpart is the equally intriguing Corianth, whose unwieldy power must find it's balance to save his people.  Adventure, fantastic setting, and a little romance, combine to create a great read!