March 20, 2009

Friday Finds for 03-20-09

Ah, my dear old friend Friday Finds, it has been awhile! Never fear, though, I have worked hard to try to catch up on my Google Reader (it's been hard work!) and to bring back to my loyal readers those gems I have uncovered from the blogosphere and beyond. I do not disappoint you again this week. No, I have made up for my absence instead by bringing you all of the books I am adding to my 'much coveted' list, if you will. If you can't find something here, I will have no idea why.

I am going to try to group by genre this week to make it easier on you (and, to be honest, myself). Other than that there in no sort of order. Also, there are no book covers this week since there were so many books. I love selecting books by the book cover just as much as the next, but it would have been too much of a project to undertake this particular week. So, without further ado...


1. Go Make a Difference by Emma Jones (Found @ Lynda's Book Blog)- This book highlights some simple ways that each person can make a difference for the good of the Earth. As a woman with a chronic illness, I am always looking for simple ways to do things- including going greener. Lynda also challenges us to observe Earth Hour on March 28th at 8:30pm your local time.

2. Does Anything Eat Wasps? by New Scientist (Found @ Lynda's Book Blog)- I am not usually into these kind of books. They seem to be all the same. However, this one caused me pause. One, I like New Scientist and read their site all the time. They always have something interesting to read. Two, the questions Lynda selected struck me as questions I actually would not mind having an answer for, such as, how long can I live on beer alone? I mean, it obviously covers the important questions in life.

3. 10 Things I Hate About Christianity by Jason T. Berggren (Found @ Should Be Reading)- This looks like a good read for me because I am one of those "shocking" people who actually question religion. *Gasp!!* I don't believe for one second you should believe anything just because someone told you to believe it. That is the definition of gullible, if you will consult your Webster's please. I am one of those people who think that faith is not about blindly following something, but instead about knowing why you believe what you believe.

4. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas (Found @ books i done read)- Have I put this on my list before? Because it sounds familiar. Perhaps it is floating somewhere on my laptop as we speak. This looks like a good read to me. Regular readers know I love the setting of Asia and the Middle East and I love learning about different cultures in general. Throwing on the TBR list.

5. When God Meets Grief by Lynn Eib (Found @ Bookfoolery and Babble)- As you know if you have been reading my blog, my father died in late January. I have been reading grief books to help myself deal with the loss. This looks like one that could be helpful to me. I am adding it to my reading.

6. The Book Lover by Ali Smith (Found @ Citizen Reader)- A book that is a collection about books, literature, and influential authors? Um, sign me up, please!

7. This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley (Found @ Worducopia)- Ali described this book as "a gem...full of advice about getting those early drafts written and starting to shape them." She also said she marked passages to reread later. After stalling out all the time with trying to write a book, I need all the help I can get.

8. Shattered Reality by Kimberly Cheryl (Found @ Book Addiction)- Cheryl's true story about how her family came together to cope with the tragic news that Cheryl's brother-in-law had just witnessed her daughter being sexually abused by one of her uncles. Not only that, but that her daughter had been keeping the abuse secret for five years. This uncle had been a well-respected member of the family and someone Cheryl had looked up to. How could he have violated their trust and done this to her daughter? Heather says Shattered Reality is "ultimately an uplifting story with the added bonus of being a great resource in the subject of sexual abuse."


1. Silk by Alessandro Baricco (Found @ Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading?)- Trish rates this short book "88 out of 100". It is about a silkworm merchant who goes to Japan for more silkworms when those in Europe begin to get sick. There, he meets a beautiful woman, but she is not Asian. She writes him something in Japanese and he has to wait until he is home to translate it. The woman quickly becomes an obsession.

2. The Me I Used to Be by Jennifer Archer (Found @ The Book Book)- A 16-year-old finds herself pregnant and gives the baby away. Thirty years later she is shocked to find her grandson standing outside her door. Before her daughter died of cancer, she told her son to come find his grandmother. The two then go looking for the boy's grandfather to see if they can now be a family. Sounds good, right? Heather confirms it is.

3. The Translator by Leila Aboulela (Found @ The Boston Bibliophile)- This is a love story- but an unconventional one. The love story is between Sammar, a Sudanese Muslim widow living in Sweden, and Rae, a secular Scottish academic whom she translates for. The only problem is Sammar and Rae's sweet romance has come to a crucial crossroads. Sammar cannot marry a non-Muslim nor will she have a relationship outside of marriage. Rae must convert to Islam or the two must end their relationship. Marie says it was a "very satisfying, very enjoyable read."

4. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (Found @ The Book Drop)- I have got to begin reading a Philippa Gregory story. I have heard nothing but good things about her books and I have yet to read one! Here is another one to add to the TBR pile. This one is about Katherine of Aragon, one of Henry VIII's wives. As Jenne explains it, Katherine has a "rich history of her own."

5. Happiness: A Novel by Will Ferguson (Found @ Falling Stacks)- This book is about what would happen if a self-help book on happiness actually worked. What would happen? Total chaos, as the protagonist of this novel, Edwin, soon discovers after actually accomplishing the feat.

6. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman (Found @ Care's Online Book Club)- After reading the poetic language Shulman uses to write this book, I predict you will put it on your TBR list as well. Head on over to Care's site to read some of the lines.

7. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (Found @ Books on the Brain)- Did I already put this on a list somewhere? Because I thought I had. Perhaps it is on that laptop. But I must include it just in case I did not before. Want to know why? Read about it on Lisa's post.

8. This One is Mine by Maria Semple (Found @ A Novel Menagerie)- Semple takes you inside the world of Violet and her sister, Sally. The sisters live in L.A. but their lives are not what they appear. Admist the money and glamour, the sisters are on the road to self-destruction, and they aren't going alone. Sheri is giving away 2 copies of this book. Click here to sign up and win!

9. The Brightest Moon of the Century by Christopher Meeks (Found @ Caribousmom)- Wendy totally roped me in with her fantastic review of this novel. You should just go read her post.

10. The Cradle by Patrick Somerville (Found @ Reading Room)- His wife is pregnant with their first child and Matt is on his way to find his wife's birth mother. Marissa has asked Matt to bring back the antique cradle that Marissa's mother took back with her when she abandoned her. Marissa wants the baby to sleep in the same cradle she did. But Matt's seemingly simple trip to the birth mother's house turns into an adventure and eventually leads to a discovery that will forever change their lives.

11. Under the Lemon Trees by Bhira Backhaus (Found @ The Printed Page)- Marcia's Cover Attraction post has attracted me to the story behind the cover (if you will). It is the story of a 15-year-old Indian girl in 1976 struggling between embracing her Indian heritage and fitting in as an American. Does she fit in more with traditions and strict family politics or with the opportunity to find her own man to marry and the freedom to choose her own path? It is hard enough for a teenager to find where they want to be in this world. It grows more complicated when you are pulled between two seemingly different paths.

Oh, yes, lots of books. I wish I could read anywhere near as fast as I can find. You can see that even taking a break from finding does no good! Do you have any books to recommend to me? Let me know! At this point, I might as well keep adding! :D


  1. The Uncommon Reader and The Book Lover are on my TBR list as well. I've read Silk and think it's a nice one, but not too crazy about it. The one title I got from your list today is 10 Things I Hate About Christianity, so thanks. I don't believe in religion either anymore, but I still have my faith, and it's much much stronger after I left the institutions of religion. Like you, I also believe in knowing about what we believe in. :)

  2. bermudaonion- Yes, the list is crazy long. Like I said, even a hiatus has not helped. I went back and read all of the posts on friends' blogs and found lots of good ones.

    Claire- Sometimes the institution of religion does get in the way of a person's faith. My hope is people realize that can happen and not let "religion" get in the way of their faith.

  3. thanks for the shout-out! I hope you enjoy The Translator! I'm going to look for the 10 Things I Hate About Christianity. I too found my faith got stronger when I didn't tie it to adherence to religion.

  4. Great list, I esp. want to read Silk!

  5. Marie- Absolutely! And good to know you know what I mean about the religion thing.

    Sadako- Thanks! Silk does sound so intriguing, doesn't it?


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