Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nineteen Minutes

The following synopsis is from

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five....In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens -- until the day its complacency is shattered by a shocking act of violence. In the aftermath, the town's residents must not only seek justice in order to begin healing but also come to terms with the role they played in the tragedy. For them, the lines between truth and fiction, right and wrong, insider and outsider have been obscured forever. Josie Cormier, the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on the case, could be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened in front of her own eyes. And as the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show, destroying the closest of friendships and families.

Nineteen Minutes is New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult's most raw, honest, and important novel yet. Told with the straightforward style for which she has become known, it asks simple questions that have no easy answers: Can your own child become a mystery to you? What does it mean to be different in our society? Is it ever okay for a victim to strike back? And who -- if anyone -- has the right to judge someone else?

My review:

Jodi Picoult is such a talented author! I have read a few of her books but I do consider this one my favorite to date. She always seems to take such a controversial and difficult subject and give you so many different perspectives of it.

This book is about a school shooting that helps you understand why it happened from the shooter's point of view. The human dynamics and relationships within this novel were amazing. You really come to understand why Peter was driven to commit such a violent act of revenge, even though you don't agree with it.

Another important part of the novel is the strained relationship between Josie and her mother, Alex Cormier. Alex decided to be a single parent when Josie was born and also to pursue a successful career as a judge. This choice has created a rift in the mother-daughter relationship that does not get mended until the events of the tragedy unfold. You really see their relationship strengthen as they realize they can trust each other once again.

I sometimes have a hard time reading novels where the time-line jumps around on me, so it took me a little while to get used to that with this novel. I think that type of writing really added to this story, because it allowed for more of an element of surprise.

It is not very often that everyone in my book club enjoys a book, but we all loved this one! I do believe that many schools actually use this book as part of an anti-bullying campaign. I highly recommend this book!

Who By Fire Giveaway!

Jewish Rantings is giving away 10 copies of Who By Fire by Diana Spechler. You can check out her contest at and enter it until November 5th. She also gives a link to Book Club Girl's upcoming blog talk radio show with the author, Diana Spechler.

This book appears to be about a family that falls apart after one of the children are kidnapped. After years of living in discontent, one of the family members decides to try to put the pieces back together by trying to salvage the family relationships.
I am definitely going to have to add this book to my must read pile!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Giveaways at Booking Mama!

Booking Mama has a couple of great giveaways that you need to check out!

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleene Kent and is about a mother and daughter that must endure the hardships that come along with being accused of being witches during the Salem Witch Trials.

You can listen to an on-line interview with Kathleene Kent at Booking Mama and also leave a comment to register to win the book. This contest is open until October 29th, 2008, so act quickly! You can register at

Booking Mama also has two signed copies of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. This is a historical fiction novel that is based on the life of Nefertari. Nefertari goes on to become one of the most powerful queens of Egypt.

The Heretic Queen contest is open until November 15th. You just need to leave a comment at indicating why you like historical fiction for a chance to win.

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love my book club!!!!

Have I mentioned that I just love my book club? We started out with about seven members and now we have nine members as we begin our fifth year together. We come from all walks of life and range in ages from 35 to 65. A few of us were friends or family before we started our group, but a few of us did not know each other at all until we met at one of our meetings.

Now that we have been meeting once a month for the past few years, we have developed a special friendship amongst ourselves. One might call it a secret society or sisterhood! I know that we all look forward to our time together and miss each other dearly when we do not get together quite so often in the summer.

I think it may be impossible to have a 'great' book selection month after month. I do find it interesting when we read a book that none of our members enjoyed, how we can carry such an interesting discussion about it.

Well that is what I have to share about my book club....I love my girls!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

American Wife

This is the first novel that I read by Curtis Sittenfeld, and I had actually won an advance copy of it. Although I enjoyed this book, I don't think this selection would have went over well with some of my book club members.

I must admit that I was a little nervous about reading a book about a woman that marries a man that is similar to our current president. It wasn't until after I read the novel that I found out that the main character was actually based on Laura Bush.

I am very glad that I didn't procrastinate and decided to start this book right away after I received it. I really enjoyed the story and fell in love with the characters. The only problem that I had with the book was towards the end of the novel. It seemed that she took most of the story line from the current administration, which I thought really did not require much imagination.

I enjoyed this book so much I decided to share it with another reading guru that I know. When I first told her that it is based on the life of Laura Bush she was kind of turned off. But after I reassured her that she probably will enjoy the story she persevered and read it anyway, and ended up loving it.

Sittenfeld is a very talented writer who I look forward to reading more of in the future.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New to blogging!

This blog is such a neat concept but it may take me a while to get into the groove of things! I love to read and I am very excited to share my thoughts and ideas of the books that I have read! I am in the process of reading a couple of books right now that I will share with you soon!